Over three years ago, my husband and I took the worst trip of our lives, to a place I was so excited about visiting. On the plus side, I got a lot of helpful material for the blog. On the down side, it seemed like everything went wrong, and as if I’d totally lost all my travel skills! The whole experience got me really down, and I was so close to just throwing in the towel on travel and travel blogging. Those were some dark days!
We had a horrible hotel experience at the supposed #1 hotel in the world, we didn’t get the experience we were promised on a three-day excursion to the desert, and to top it all off, I got sick (like, pukey sick) for the first time in nearly 10 years on one of our very long travel days between cities. And those were just the big ones. It seemed like a zillion little things kept going wrong, too… Because they did.
But my husband and I bounced back quickly—we had to, since we already had another international trip booked just a few weeks later! I’m glad we chose to keep forging ahead, too, since that was October of 2019 and you-know-what shut down the world starting in March of 2020. I’m so thankful we didn’t waste the time when we could travel before it all started! Here are 5 ways I’ve found to bounce back from a bad trip. I hope they help you, too!
Take a Break
You may feel like giving up travel forever after a series of bad experiences, or after one long, bad trip. I know I felt that way after our trip to Morocco in 2019! But instead of canceling your trips moving forward or swearing off future travels, just take a breather.
Take a few weeks or a couple of months to rest and recharge. Dive into your home routine, focus on other hobbies, or pick up a new hobby! Let yourself get distracted, have some fun in other ways, and when the travel bug comes biting again, you might be surprised at how ready you are to get back at it.
Read next: The Top 9 Habits of Successful Travelers
Remember the Positives
Even if it seems like everything went wrong on your trip, it’s very likely that’s not really true. For instance, my husband and I got to have some amazing Moroccan food on our trip. I got to dine at Rick’s Cafe in Casablanca, inspired by the 1940s movie! We also got to spend all that time together—that is never time wasted!
If you start to feel yourself going down the “everything was terrible” rabbit hole, challenge yourself to think of just three positive things that happened or came out of your trip. Don’t be surprised if you have a hard time narrowing it down to just three. There will be more positives to remember than you think, once you start listing them!
Also helpful: The Top 5 Trips for Positive Vibes
Get Back to It
This might be the hardest thing on the list, but it’s also the most important one. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and just keep going. I’m so thankful we already had an amazing trip to Salzburg, Austria, booked just a few weeks after our Morocco trip. It was a dream of mine to visit Salzburg, and I wanted to enjoy it.
I braced myself for everything that might go wrong, and then you know what happened? It was one of the best trips my husband and I have ever taken. Truly, it was a gift, and I never would have known if I hadn’t chosen to get back to traveling so soon after our less-than-perfect experiences.
Spend Money on Something You Want to Do
One reason why Salzburg was awesome? We didn’t skimp. We didn’t try to do things on the cheap, we paid for the things we really wanted to do. We stayed at Hotel Sacher, which is one of the nicest hotels I’ve ever stayed in. We didn’t book the BEST room, but we booked a room at a great hotel. And you know what happened? We got upgraded to a better room, with a view, for FREE!
I was determined to see all the Sound of Music sites, both from real life and from the movie. The best way to do that was with a tour, but instead of going cheap with a group tour on a big bus and a ton of people (not my husband’s idea of a good time), I shelled out the cash for a much more expensive, but much more amazing, private tour. It was SO WORTH IT. I have no regrets. It was more than I would normally spend on anything but plane tickets, but it was one of the things that made our trip so special!
What’s worth it to you? The Best Travel Splurges Worth the Price
Let It Go
It is important to learn from your bad experiences. But it is more important to move on with that new knowledge. What can you do differently next time? Even if you didn’t do anything truly wrong on your trip that went sour, you could find ways to be proactive in preventing similar incidents on your next trip. We’re all just trying to get better every trip!
More here: How to Practice Self-care on Travel
Want more? Check out all my best planning resources on my dedicated Travel Planning Page!
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