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Michael 84

Travelling Is Overrated: Why I Hate To Travel

Monday, 9th November, 2015

Is Travelling Overrated? Why I Hate To Travel

Why is everyone obsessed with travelling? At least, that’s how it can seem sometimes.

But I actually think travelling is overrated. Not going places, not having holidays, but the travelling itself, and everything about it.

Let me explain…

For a couple of years now I have said I wanted to do one thing; Travel to different places. My aim is to go abroad at least once a year…If you are a frequent traveller or one of these who thinks jet-setting is the meaning of life, or you use the word ‘nomad’, that will not seem very ambitious.

Why I Hate Travelling

If you love holidays and love to experience new things then you’ll wonder how someone can even ponder not liking to travel. The end result of it all is almost always great, but it’s the build-up, the preparation and tedious planning which is something I hate.

The Cost – It’s expensive!

OK, let’s start with basics which everyone can understand which is the cost. It is expensive. I hate to talk about money because it is all about the experience, but this is just a fact. I’m talking mostly about flights, as you can get accommodation dirt cheap, and there’s probably cheap accommodation where sleeping in the dirt is actually more luxurious.

The thing about flights is that they’re cheap if you book way, way in advance. I’m talking maybe 6 months and more in advance, and yeah, I’m sure you can find the odd few at non-peak times and unsociable hours cheap, but generally, that’s how it works. I like to plan things (more on that later) but I hate to plan something like a 3 day holiday so far in advance!

To me, it’s crazy to plan a couple of days in Europe 6 or 8 months, or even a year in advance. If you want the cheapest flights, however, you usually have to do this. If I book something I want to be excited about it; At booking you’re excited, then maybe for a few days or weeks, then you forget about it for months, and then finally months later travel day comes along.

I was excited when SAS (Scandinavian Airlines) started flights to Copenhagen from Newcastle Airport, however if you book only 3 or 4 weeks in advance it’s over £400 return! that’s NYC money!

If you book really far in advance, don’t mind where you’re going or are willing to fly from a range of UK airports, then maybe there’s a few good deals to be had. If you’re like me and like a bit of notice, maybe a month, then it sadly gets more expensive (that includes train tickets too).

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Pics from Iceland/Reykjavik

Organising Trips With Friends Is Not Fun

Going abroad with your mates is fun. There’s plenty good times to be had, and it would be my number one preference when booking a holiday. However the planning…It’s the worst! You all have to agree on a destination, dates, accommodation which gets more complicated when there’s more and more people.

In terms of budgets and styles of holidays, everyone is different. Some will have bigger budgets, and some won’t. Some will justify spending more on a better hotel/apartment, and some will want the absolute cheapest possible place to stay as long as there’s a bed.

Then, unless you all book your own thing separately, someone will have to make the whole booking, be the lead name, pay for it all and be responsible for getting all the money from the people going.

I Like To Know What I’m Doing & Where I’m Going (Planning)

To a certain extent I like to plan things. If someone says, “Let’s go to Madrid for a few days” that sound fantastic to me! Let’s go! :mrgreen: However…..Where are we staying? What’s the place like? Is it central? Are there better places? How much does it cost? Is there something else better but more/less expensive? What date are we going on? Are there better dates? What’s in Madrid anyway!?

If I am going to spend a weekend/few days/week somewhere then I want to make the most of it, and the best way is to know exactly what it’s all about. I don’t have to meticulously plan every minute of my stay, but I do like to know where the hotel is, there could be better options out there.

Personally I’d rather pay a little more and stay somewhere a little better or a little closer to the centre of somewhere, than spend a little less and be miles away from existence or in a place that looks like it’s going to fall down.

I’ve known people to pay less for a hotel which is far away, ending up paying for Taxis everyday of their stay, with them ending up actually spending more than they would have in a central hotel.

I also want it to be nice. Why would I spend a lot of time, and a lot of money, on a place which is terrible? I wouldn’t do that at home!

The internet is great, and it’s at our disposal. There’s the entire world wide web, including Trip Advisor, and even Google Street View so we are able to check up on things…If we have this resource, why not use it? I like to have a good look around the web at where I’m going and what’s around it; We have the ability so why wouldn’t you!? 😛

Will The Hotel/Apartment/Accommodation Be Terrible?

I hope I am not alone in thinking about this before I even book to go anywhere. The anxiety of your accommodation. If you’re travelling to a new place then you will not have stayed at the hotel you’re going to.

There’s always anxiety about the hotel, and will it be any good, or will lit be terrible. There’ll be plenty people with the thought “Why do you care, you’ll be out most the time”, which is true, but you’d still expect something decent and above all safe.

Most of us take gadgets everywhere with us these days, which are worth money (along with all your other possessions) so I don’t want to leave them in a room of a hotel which looks like it cost less than a shirt.

barcelona-newcastleairport-7

The Waiting Around & The Airport Experience

You’ve finally made it to travel day, you’ve picked out your airport outfit and you’re excited, but there’s all that waiting around at the airport. Checking in 2 hours before, and just the general waiting around is something I hate. You’re essentially somewhere you can’t leave for hours, waiting to get on an aeroplane.

I haven’t even talked about delays, which do happen, and you’ve got nothing to do other than to wait around in rooms filled with other people doing the same. Or if you’re even more unlucky, they’ll board you on a plane and then tell you you’re delayed, which has happened to me a few times.

You’ll end up walking around Curry’s or other electrical store, or the duty free, spending as much time as possible looking at things you have no intention of buying; Then going into WHSmiths for the obligatory bottle of water and magazine you’ll never read.

Then there’s lines at customs and security on the departure and arrival, and waiting around there to be scrutinised. It’s not the most pleasant experience you’ll have.

I Don’t Like Flying

I am not petrified of flying, but I don’t like it. I do it when I have to, when there’s no other viable option, and I fully understand that if I want to go places it’s one of those things you just have to do. It’s not just the fact you’re up in there air and if there’s problems you’re likely to die, it’s the whole experience.

I am 6ft (1.83m) and have long legs, so an airplane seat is not the most comfortable thing in the world, and gets less comfortable when someone who’s sitting behind you kicks your seat, or someone in front decides to put their seat back.

There’s also pretty much nothing to do, and it’s an uncomfortable place to be. It’s a little better these days with iPads and music, but it doesn’t feel the same as sitting in your own place watching a film or playing a game on your iPad. I have found however that playing a long game, like Sim City does wind down a good few hours 😉

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When I went to Barcelona

Travelling Alone – It’s Restricting

We are now old, if you’re over 23 then life should have begun (maybe for a few years), not only that, but your friends will have lives too. That means going abroad with other people is harder than it may of been in the days of college/uni or in your more youthful days. Even if you find people who are up for travelling you have to make sure you’re on the same page, and there can be problems (see above).

So what if you want to go somewhere that nobody wants to, or is able to? Well there’s two choices; Don’t go, or go alone.

Travelling alone is not a deal breaker, but you may not have as good a time as you would have with others…But I should stress, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time. Whether you’re having a night out or going abroad for a week, it can be about the people you do these things with rather than the place you go;

e.g. Having a night out in a nightclub can be great with a few people, or terrible with other people, but the place is the same. It’s about the people. That works for travelling too.

Travelling alone can be done, and in some ways it’s better. You can see everything you want to see, you can do everything you want to do…There’s no voice in your ear of someone telling you they don’t fancy doing something which you want to do, and then you giving in for the sake of the group you’re with. It is a bit restricting on some things; Sampling the nightlife.

Nightlife is about being sociable more than anything, and if you’re alone you won’t have anyone to be sociable with!

Finally when you get home and want to tell everyone about the amazing time you’ve had and someone asks, “who did you go with?”, you’ll have to explain you went alone, and they’ll look at you like your some weirdo (but don’t worry, those people probably don’t leave their own front room).

Travelling To Travel

I’m talking about flying from a different, non-local, airport here. I went to Stockholm a few years ago, somewhere I’ve wanted to go for years, and one of the main things stopping me for years was that there was no direct flights from Newcastle. I finally got round to going, and got over the fact that I had to fly from another place. I flew from Heathrow to Stockholm, which was pretty good.

However the travel. Let’s go through my day: Wake up at 3:30AM for a 4:45 train to London Kings Cross which takes 3 hours. From Kings Cross a Tube to Heathrow which took around 1.5 hours. Then the waiting around starts for the flight, then there’s the flight.

From there it’s a case of getting from the airport in Stockholm to the hotel, and I arrived at my hotel all checked in at around 18:30. Total travel time give or take? 15 hours! And that was only across the water! :mrgreen: Would I do it again? YES! It was a really good trip, a worthwhile experience and Stockholm is a great city 🙂

I forgot to mention marrying-up flights and/or trains…If you fly from a non-local airport you have to first make sure you can get to it with plenty of time to spare; And for the return leg, make sure the flight gets back at a certain time so you can get the connecting flight, or train. If you’re flight home gets back to the airport at 23:30 and the last train is at 23:00, then you’ll either have to forget it, or book a hotel for the night (more unnecessary planning/expense!).

Travelling Abroad To Several Places At Once; aka “Going Travelling”

I’ve mentioned all of the above which is planning for 1 trip, now imagine that x10! I couldn’t imagine travelling to 4 or 5 different countries one after the other, all in one go. It just seems so stressful. There’s no routine, you won’t have time to do anything at all because you’ll be travelling; No general leisure time, no TV, no working out, lack of Internet, nothing. Living out of a suitcase and dodgy sleep patterns.

If it’s all planned (and it pretty much has to be) it means you have to be in specific places at specific times for trains/planes/hotel reservations etc. I could envisage doing some sort of road trip in Europe or something, but there’d be a serious lack of planning, maybe only 1 or 2 places ahead of where I’d be next.

Travelling Has Become A Competition

Travelling has now become a competition. Back in the early days most people who went abroad for a holiday would go once a year. It would be a family holiday or your typical Summer holiday. It would be about relaxing, a good time, or going to see something such as a tourist attraction or landmark. Fast forward to now, we live in a different world, filled with social media and people wanting to spend money on experiences rather than tangible goods.

For many, the competition is real. It’s all about ticking off boxes, going to as many places as possible just so they can tell their friends they’ve been. Sometimes it seem like these people don’t actually want to go to these places, it’s almost like it’s become a chore.

They’ll use the expression, “Done”, like it’s a task. “Yeah this year I’ve done Croatia, Montenegro, Vegas, Paris…” – What do you mean ‘done‘!? – It sounds like an assignment they’ve had to complete.

Then there’s the social media side. You need to go places so you can show off your pictures of where you’ve been on your social media. In the blogging world this happens a lot, but it also happens for people in general, sharing their holiday snaps on Facebook and Instagram.

Verdict

I love going abroad, experiencing new things, seeing new stuff, and checking out different cultures, but the run-up to it all…I hate it. My idea of brilliant travel would be to want to go somewhere, spend 2 or 3 days reading about it, booking something amazing, then waking up and already being there. Or if it’s somewhere I’ve been before, e.g. Barcelona, just casually jumping on a plane at the weekend for a reasonable price and going.

Sadly, that’s not how it works, it’s more complicated than that, but I guess it’s something you have to go through if you want the end result which is a trip abroad.

Check out more from the travel blog here.


Michael Adams

About Michael

Michael Adams is the founder and editor of Michael 84, blogger and T-shirt designer from Newcastle, UK. Sharing men's fashion tips, style advice and lifestyle information for all guys.

  1. Valentin Said,

    Love travelling, but gotta agree with you on the flying bit. Far too expensive, and I’m just straight up terrified of it to be honest! Having said that, if I could get a return plane ticket for like £30, I genuinely think I’d spend most weekends abroad! 🙁

    Val

    posted on Tuesday 10th November, 2015 at 23:22
  2. Michael Said,

    Yeah! I don’t think we’re going to see many £30 returns, I think paying a fair price is OK, but it just gets me when they put the prices up as it gets closer and closer to the departure date! 😀

    posted on Wednesday 11th November, 2015 at 17:30
  3. North East Family Fun Said,

    Interesting read – I would love to travel more and unfortunately it is always the cost that restricts us. All of our spare £ goes on travel and days out but if you are looking at 5 flights abroad it is generally always over £500 and that’s before accommodation/spending money! We are hopefully planning a couple of trips next year though – hoping to get a couple of bargains.

    posted on Thursday 12th November, 2015 at 14:46
  4. Michael Said,

    If I could get reasonably priced flights a week or two before the departure then I’d probably go abroad more, I think lots of people would! I guess it’s just the airlines taking advantage of people who need a flight at short notice.

    posted on Thursday 12th November, 2015 at 22:15
  5. Jo Nguyen Said,

    If travelling is a bit of a bother, it might be best to stay at home to avoid potential anxiety, because for some people it’s just not worth the bother. That’s why some opt for a tour package as it’s cheap, already planned out and fuss free.
    For me I love to travel and planning/ organising everything gets me super excited! 🙂

    Jo x

    posted on Sunday 15th November, 2015 at 6:30
  6. Michael Said,

    Thanks for your comment Jo. It is almost always worth it, in the end. However I haven’t met anyone who enjoys being stuck in an airport for hours through a delay! :mrgreen: You can’t plan your way out of external factors, which are the biggest complaint of travelling.

    Michael 🙂

    posted on Sunday 15th November, 2015 at 14:49
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