Travel Tips

How to Cope When You Have the Can’t-Travel Vacation Blues

There are ways to feel better when you can’t take a dream vacation

The Vacationeer

World events have upended millions of people’s travel plans. 

If you’re one of them, it’s only natural to feel disappointed. From getting much-needed R&R to making memories with loved ones to seeing the world, travel offers so many benefits. 

While nothing can replace a much-anticipated trip, there are ways to feel better about an unwanted change in plans.

The following tips can help you cope.

Give yourself time to process.

When dealing with disappointment, experts recommend letting things sink in and putting a label on how you’re feeling. Labeling your feelings will help you come to terms with an unfortunate situation. Whether it’s sadness, confusion and even anger, give yourself permission to feel it and name it.

But don’t wallow in disappointment.

While it’s a good idea to work through your initial emotions, it’s important not to let them take hold. A change in perspective can help: Instead of thinking of your vacation as cancelled or impossible, think of it as postponed. 

Get moving. 

Beyond the many benefits for your body, exercise can also boost your mental health. It increases feel-good endorphins, the neurotransmitters that stimulate brain chemicals that help manage your mood, and helps you regulate  stress hormones. Research has even shown that exercise can be as effective as antidepressants for some people. 

Write it down.

Many people feel anxiety in addition to disappointment about the recent turn of events. An easy and effective way to get some release from these negative emotions is to write about them. Experts recommend letting your thoughts flow without pause or judgment until they’re all out. 

Do something nice for yourself.

Just because you can’t get away doesn’t mean you can’t plan something special. While our current situation makes it harder, it’s still possible. A few ideas include indulging in an at-home spa day, enjoying an invigorating (and socially distanced) hike and ordering a special takeout dinner from your favorite restaurant.

Practice gratitude. 

Whether it’s your family, friends, health or just a really good slice of cake, there is always something for which to be grateful. Making a list of all the things you appreciate in life can help shift your focus away from what’s not going right.

Start thinking about your next vacation. 

As hard it may be to imagine, this will one day be past us and we’ll be cleared to travel again. So go ahead and make a list of your dream vacations.

Research shows that anticipating a vacation can make you happier than the actual vacation itself.

Get inspiration for your next trip by taking a virtual tour of top destinations.


The Vacationeer

The Vacationeer is a collective of Hilton Grand Vacations storytellers whose goal is to inspire travelers to go further. We're always on the lookout for new destinations to explore, useful travel tips, and unique ideas to help you plan the most memorable vacations possible.

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