Simple Tips To Help You Cope With Homesickness On Long Vacations

Contrary to popular belief, the pangs of homesickness aren't exclusive to first-year students who move to another state or country for university. Adults, especially those who move elsewhere for a new job or embark on a lengthy sojourn abroad, may find themselves susceptible to homesickness. In fact, around 50% to 75% of people experience it at some point in their lives, per WebMD. If you're going on an extended solo vacation in the future, remember that feeling homesick is a normal part of the experience. The good news is there are ways to mitigate it so you can fully immerse yourself in the journey.

Clinical psychologist Meg Jay told The Atlantic that homesickness can be an indication of longing. "Sometimes homesickness is a signal that you're missing something or wanting something, and it is okay to listen to that," she said. If you find that a big part of your gloom is related to missing the people back at home, bring photographs to alleviate some of the sadness when you're away. Whether stored in your phone, etched in a locket, or tucked away inside a book or a journal, having a keepsake can help bring comfort.

Keeping in touch through social media, texts, phone calls, or even postcards can also help with staying connected. Just don't go overboard, of course, as it may interfere with your trip and keep you from exploring and meeting new people.

Spend more time outside

When homesickness is at its worst, you may feel inclined to wallow in sadness and spend most of your days indoors, but doing so may only exacerbate your negative feelings. Instead of sulking in your hotel room, push yourself to step outside. Bill McGowan, an executive who spends most of the year traveling, told The New York Times that limiting the time you spend holed up inside your accommodation is key to alleviating homesick feelings. When he has some downtime, he makes it a point to reserve a table in a restaurant instead of ordering room service, deliberately compelling himself to break free from the confines of his hotel room.

If you thrive in a structured routine, he also said it helps to book the same type of hotels so you can at least gain a semblance of familiarity: "...it's almost like a home away from home," he told the outlet. "I don't really have that horrible realization when I open the door." Speaking of booking, aim for lodging in busy areas. This way, you have plenty of options to travelerblog when homesickness strikes. If you choose the alternative and stay in a remote area, you'll be more susceptible to slipping into isolation. Being in a place surrounded by activity makes it easier to get out of your own headspace and motivate yourself to try new things.

Indulge in new experiences

The whole point of going on an extended vacation is to have an enriching experience exploring new places, so if homesickness creeps in during your trip, remind yourself of the reason why you chose to embark on an adventure in the first place. It's easier said than done, but try your best to take your feelings as a cue to immerse yourself in the activities you set out to enjoy. Make your way to museums and tourist attractions. Partake in guided tours. Do a pub crawl or bar hop. Take yourself on a culinary adventure. Enroll in workshops and beef up your skills. Join local mixers and meet new people. The more you keep yourself engaged, the faster you can get over your homesickness.

While it's important to acknowledge your emotions, it's equally essential to recognize where you are and how far you've gone. Keep in mind that traveling and exploring is your ultimate goal, so continually reinforce that notion as best as you can. "Remember, you are exactly where you wanted to be," relocation coach Allegra Stein told BBC. "It's about owning where you are, choosing what you want the next day to look like and taking little steps to get there."