Saturday, November 2, 2013

Tips for the Tired, Worn Out & Travel Fatigued Traveller - especially you who long-term travel. Re-charging you body batteries!

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Last week I realised we had been traveling 15 months already.
That is not bad going for a single Mum, who is also near 52 years old, and who has an 8 year old.
It is also pretty good considering our budget is only $50 - $60 US a day.
I keep an accurate budget on my iPhone using an App. called Cash Vault.
I include everything - even if we have to use a public toilet that costs 20 cents.

But what it also means is we have to plan and take time to do things that fit into our budget.
Now in saying that I don't scrimp on too much.
We went to Disneyland. We climbed Machu Picchu.  We take some tours.
When we are at a place that is special, then we normally do that event or excursion.
But this takes planning.

It means I need to take time to contact hostels and hotels and bargain prices down for accommodation.
And sometimes the accommodation is not the standard we would like.
But normally, with a bit of emailing, and web-searching we do find decent places to stay in for under $25 a night.

However, it can also mean we are in hostels and the space is less that relaxing. Or we are in countries where we don't speak the language.

And it doesn't help when you are on a time-agenda, and can't stop for long.  Nor does it help when you can't get a hot bath to soak away your worries.

What brought on my travel fatigue, was one too many border crossings, with one too many big bags, in one too many chicken buses and tuk-tuks. With one too many delays.  One too many wet pieces of luggage on top of a bus.  And what finished it - one too many people trying to rip us off - this time it was a taxi driver, who instead of driving us 6 blocks to the bus terminal to take the bus to the next town, he tried to drive us to the next town and charge us $40. And then the argument started.  And then he 'lost' the bus terminal - even though I pointed him in the direction 4 times.  And I was tired he wasted half and hour, and I didn't want another argument over money.

So we arrived and I was - well worn out!
I wanted to cry.
I was not well - I also had picked up a tummy bug.
I felt revolting.
My clothes smelled musty and I had to wash the lot by hand.
Enough was enough.

So here are a few ways I found to recharge.

I know this is hard win you have to keep moving, but if at all possible try to rest up - at least for a couple of days, and if possible a week.

This might mean you have to spend a little more on your budget.
In our case our limit is $25 a night, but for $28 we could get a room with a terrace garden and table and chairs out the front.
Check it is clean, has no bedbugs and make sure you have room to move.

Make sure you book a place to yourself.
No dorms, and a hostel or hotel on a quiet street.
You cannot recharge with people bugging you, so try to get a room at the end of a hostel or away from the street and kitchen and communal areas.

Go and get yourself a nutritious meal.
Make sure it is a clean and comfortable place you can sit. If you have a child/ren, bring them a book or electronic device so you can think and be still, and sit.
Order a drink.
If you like wine, have a nice glass - something that makes you feel good.
I do not encourage you to go and buy a bottle of wine and to get sozzled.
But one or two glasses will relax you, and you can go and have a good sleep.

It is unlikely you will have a bath if you are in Central or South America, but you may if in England.
The best thing is a long soak in a hot tub, but otherwise take a long shower, and wash & condition your hair and feel squeaky clean.
If you have a hot tub, take a book or a nice magazine and just tune out to the world.
If you are too tired to do this when you arrive, then do it in the morning.
Wash your body all over. Even your own body needs touch.

If you have a little one, try to get a separate bed for them.
I found there are times when you can only get a matrimonial or double bed.
A kicking child gives you little rest.
So try to get them their own bed.
Now climb in between those sheets, and go to sleep.

Try to book a massage.  Even back and neck is enough to de-stress.

MEDIATION, PRAYER, YOGA and other relaxation methods
When you wake, have some time alone if possible.
Silence yourself and breathe.
Try to be thankful for some things in your life.
Focus on anything positive.
If you are a Christian have some time with God.
If you are spiritual, take some time to mediate, yoga or relaxing exercises.
Sit in a church, especially if you are in a place where the cathedrals or churches are unusual.

Now is the time your body is run-down.
I know green juices are good, so if you have a blender or juicer you can make them.
If not please take vitamins.

It is important over the next few days to eat right.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are the key.
So drag yourself to the market and stock up.
If you have access to a kitchen, then prepare your own meals, but if you are too tired, local meals can be just as good.
Ask for extra vegetables and protein foods, and cut down on the carbohydrates.

(some tips are more for women here)
Paint your toenails.
I carry a peel of mask in a tube.
Go for a mud pool or bath.
Now is a great time to deep condition your hair, or do a face mask.
You can buy these in most markets too, or even google natural ones you can concoct yourself.
Shave your legs.
Buy yourself a treat.

Take a salsa or dance lesson.
Take a local cooking lesson.
Go and paint, find a pottery class, or make some things out of what you find around you.
Art classes are great to relax and engage your mind.
Play mini-golf, go bowling, go to the movies.
I even find shopping or the markets can be good fun.
If you are quite low on funds, go thrift shopping.
The hunting for bargains engages your mind, and makes you forget your worries.
Even South and Central America I have found have "American Markets & Stores", which are new, seconds and pre-loved items.
All of these you can do this alone, with a partner, and with kids.

I have found water is very relaxing.
Warm water more-so, but see what you can find around you that eases your worries as you spend some time floating or swimming, or even just sitting in the water.

Make sure you get some sun.
Dark and gloomy places and days make you feel sad.
Sit out in the warming rays for 1/2 hour, or go lie like a pool, or on the beach.

Have some-one care for your child/ren.
If there is a partner or husband, then get them to take the child/ren.
If not see if the hostel or a fellow traveller can assist.
You may also find if you have met travelling families they may be able to assist.
Make sure you trust the person, or you won't relax.

Turn off the phone.
Leave the computer off especially for emails, Facebook and definitely for blogging.
Pick up a book, and sit and read.

Now this may seem a contradiction, but if you are unfit or tired, sometimes a slow walk in the park, or a walk on the beach with your feet in the same or water, is especially relaxing.
You can still take your child, but tell them this is your time to relax and they are to walk with you.
Not cause you stress.
Otherwise take the child/ren to a park.
You can sit, and they can get their energy out.
I even had my son run around a car park while I very slowly drove the car to get his energy out.
I have stopped at an oval and told him to run to one side, and then run back.
Meanwhile I sit, and take a deep breath, and watch and feel the sun and the wind.

You do not have to stay in a 5 Star Hotel to enjoy the lovely gardens, grounds, bars, restaurants and other areas they have.
You can sit and enjoy a coffee and your surroundings will make you feel better.

If you have children, take them to a fast food restaurant like Burger King or MacDonalds - somewhere where you can sit and have a coffee, and they can play.
You don't have to buy food or drinks, and you can have a few minutes to yourself.
If it is sunny, a playground also works.

Now before you tune out, tune in.
I have bought packages off eBay and also from HotelClub with super specials.
We also found one just driving by in USA.
Especially if you are travelling close to Christmas.
Resorts are empty.
So the weeks leading to Christmas have the best deals.
We found a special on eBay for our first week in Fiji.
the couple bought a holiday and split up.
We got a bargain for less than our daily budget and included lobster dinners, breakfast, massages and island trips!
We also found an all inclusive special we are yet to use and are just booking for before Christmas.
Again the deal is exactly the same price as our daily budget, but is all inclusive, and even includes drinks and a kids waterside centre.  It is 4 star on the beach and has pools and mini-golf.
As we won't be leaving the resort for a few days, we will end up not needing to spend any more.
All that scrimping and saving can wear you down making ends meet, so try to save up on a few days where you stay some-where and don't move towns or hotels - as this costs more.
Look for on-line specials.  Google, Google, Google.
Out low budget is sometimes hard to live by, but when we find great deals they are something to look forward to.

I am sure some of you can suggest other things to do that relax you.
Please leave a comment if you do - I can add them in.


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    2. I totally agree. Originally we were meant to get across 7 countries in 7 weeks. I have been able to change that now so at least we can go a little slower. I can't wait for New Year when I hopefully rent a house and stop. When we have house-sat and been in a place for longer than 1 month it is amazingly less stressful and the budget loves it too. I know one family that did 30 countries last year and I think how the heck could you even really see them. Crazy! I do love travel and do love exploring but times like now I would be happy to live here for 3 months as we have made friends and love the town! Might have to come back and do that for a while next year! Love reading your comments and appreciate you reading our blog too. Happy travels to you!

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  3. Thanks Starr Sonam - I do agree - travelling slow and being able to stay in a place a few weeks really is the best way to travel. It also helps you make friends and enjoy the culture ad have more of a normal life - even for nomads. Appreciate you reading our blog. Yes mud baths are fun!


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