6 Tips on Preventing Social Burnout When Traveling

Last updated August 29, 2023

Whether you’re going to a new state or jet-setting to a different country, traveling is a time to create memories and have new experiences. However, even the most relaxing vacations can come with stressors such as social burnout. 

Social burnout is a feeling of fatigue due to excessive social interactions. You may experience social burnout because of overstimulation or because you miss the routine of being at home. 

Introvert or not, social exhaustion is all too real. The good news is that there are strategies to help you prevent social burnout when traveling.

Six Tips to Prevent Social Exhaustion

Explore the following six tips to prevent social burnout while traveling and enjoy the full experience. 

1. Find Like-Minded Travel Partners

Social burnout preparation begins before you leave. When planning your trip, consider the preferences and personalities of those you’re traveling with. Do they like staying in every once in a while, or do they prefer to spend every day engaging in social activities? 

Traveling with people similar to you can make traveling extra smooth because you have similar ideas about how to spend time. 

However, it can also be fun to travel with people who are more extroverted than you! When traveling with extroverted friends and family, set boundaries and try to come to a compromise regarding social activities. 

2. Set Boundaries With Your Companions

Setting boundaries is essential for successful travel. You can communicate your boundaries politely before the trip begins or as situations arise. If you can’t fathom the idea of going out again after a long day, be honest with your travel companions and tell them so. They may decide to go out while you stay home, or they might stay with you and have a more relaxing night.

Take great care not to be rude when communicating your boundaries. If your companions want to go out one night and you don’t, you can still encourage them to go out while you stay in. 

3. Go on Solo Activities

Solo activities are rewarding, even if you’re traveling with other people. You might go on a hike, explore a museum or sit on a quiet beach. These activities are spectacular choices because hiking improves mental health by boosting mood, museums provide educational opportunities, and a quiet beach allows you to relax and recharge.

These activities are just as important as the social interactions on vacation. Just make sure to take extra precautions if you go somewhere by yourself, especially because you’re in an unfamiliar place. 

4. Allow for Downtime

Downtime means exactly what it sounds like—time spent doing absolutely nothing. You can schedule downtime throughout the day to get back to feeling like yourself, or you can take a full day to get renewed. 

Travel itineraries can be hectic, especially when trying to fit 100 adventurous activities into only five days. Downtime is necessary for even the most extroverted and outgoing personalities. 

During a period of downtime, you can read a book, watch a movie, take a nap, cook a meal or lay by the pool. Your period of downtime can last as long as necessary for you to recharge. 

You’re likely not the only one who needs time to relax before moving on to the next vacation adventure, especially if you struggle with feelings of social burnout or social anxiety. Around seven percent of people are affected by social anxiety, and if you’re one of them, downtime is a vacation essential. 

5. Try Journaling

Journaling helps you understand yourself better. Writing down your thoughts prioritizes your fears and concerns in life, and you can enjoy these benefits beyond your home. 

Taking your journal with you on travels allows you to reflect on your feelings and get to the roof of your social burnout. You may feel extra relaxed and prepared for social interaction after a journaling session. 

6. Practice Self-Care

Journaling is an effective example of self-care—practices that aim to improve your health and well-being. Everyone’s self-care needs are different, so you’ll want to find what works for you. 

Whether your favorite self-care activities involve journaling, doing yoga, reading, taking walks, swimming, eating nutritious meals or ordering takeout, you can engage in them on your travels! 

Getting enough sleep is one of the most accessible ways to practice self-care. Sleep influences your energy levels, and keeping a consistent schedule can improve your travels. You may also try relaxing activities like yoga, walking, swimming or reading. 

Mitigating Social Burnout to Enjoy Yourself

Traveling is a fresh and invigorating way to experience different cultures and escape your everyday life for a while. However, you may incur a speed bump known as social burnout. 

It happens to the best of us. Balancing social and solitary time during your travels can help you prevent these feelings and help you make the most of your adventure. Which strategies are you looking forward to implementing the next time you travel or go on vacation? 

Mia Barnes from Body+Mind magazine

About the author: Mia Barnes is a freelance writer and researcher with a passion for healthy travel and wellness. Mia is the founder and editor-in-chief of Body+Mind magazine. Follow Mia and Body+Mind on X and Instagram @bodymindmag! 

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