You’ve set out to see the most popular tourist spots in the continent, bare necessities in tow. Halfway through your itinerary, however, your body begins to give in to the weight of the journey. Soon after, you feel discouraged and unable to move forward. You’re faced with the choice of continuing your trip, or giving in to that yearning to head back home. Burnout or fatigue has the potential to ruin what would have been a great adventure for any backpacker. Although it is all right to deal with it as it occurs, there are ways to prevent backpacker burnout.
For a backpacker, a good amount of energy goes into moving around while carrying a heavy pack, and adjusting to a new environment every few days. Preventing burnout in light of the former owes a lot to physical training before the trip. The neophyte may try to take up a regular exercise routine at first, such as jogging or swimming, before moving on to weight training and endurance workouts, which will help make the load of the backpack easier to bear.
Other important habits you may want to adopt are eating healthy and drinking at least 6 to 8 glasses of water everyday, to keep you in good shape during and in-between trips. Drinking enough water can also help keep your energy up while on the road, so always keep a water bottle at hand, especially on hiking trips; you can try to find low-priced drinking water in grocery stores in non-tourist spots, like in certain parts of Europe, or even have your drinking flask filled at restaurants and cafes, the way some travelers do in France. Also, adapt to the environment by wearing proper clothing. Check the climate and weather forecasts in your itinerary to determine what type of clothes to bring.
Possibly the best solution for avoiding fatigue, however, is to get enough rest at the end of the day and whenever the opportunity presents itself: sleep in the bus, train, or plane on long travels, and even take a nap before dinner time. Likewise, allow yourself to recover when you need more than a good night’s sleep. Consequently, be ready to stay longer at one place than you planned. Some seasoned backpackers would suggest taking your time to regain energy and enthusiasm before heading out again. If you’re on a tight schedule, however, planning several short breaks throughout the trip may be worth a try.
For some, a good part of the battle is with staying enthusiastic throughout the entire journey, and each one may prefer a different approach. Some may stay for only 2-3 days in one location and move on to the next, while others stay in the same place for a while to relax and gradually regain their interest. The key is to know when to slow down at any time during your trip. Just be sure to allot a fraction of your budget to cover expenses on food lodging fees for a couple extra nights.