Travel Stress Statistics: 9 Facts You Should Know (Explained)


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Whenever the word “vacation” is mentioned, many people imagine white, sandy beaches while relaxing in virtually every way possible. Beaches aren’t for everyone though. Some people would prefer to relax at a scenic cabin, deep in the mountains.

No matter what your vacation style may be, travel is almost always guaranteed, and you think about it with fond memories.

Despite the fact that people often associate traveling with enjoyment, relaxation, and having a good life, statistics show that many people actually experience quite a bit of stress while traveling. This stress may make a vacation more detrimental to your health than simply staying at work. What gives?

What´s about travel stress? Despite the fact that almost all people who participated in the study agreed that traveling gave them the opportunity to reflect on their life, 89% of people found travel to be stressful. Because traveling is so stressful, many people are actually starting to go against it.

In this article, we are going to look at travel stress statistics. From our research, we have been surprisingly alarmed at the facts concerning the topic. It is a great idea to learn about travel stress statistics so that you can travel more peacefully and get the most from your vacation. Let’s jump right in.

The “Goodlife,” Traveling, And Stress: Stats To Know

Since the ancient Greeks, we have been fascinated by what it means to live a good life. Philosophers, anthropologists, and statisticians have all wanted to know exactly what makes a good life in the modern-day.

Not to our surprise, being able to learn new things and explore different places is an important part of having a good life, according to most people.

👉 In fact, studies have shown that most people agree that having new experiences more important than having products. According to a study conducted by Trafalgar, a whopping 74% of people said this.

👉 Similarly, 70% of people say that the experiences gained from traveling is more important than the sights.

👉 A more surprising statistic is that 93% of the people studied agreed that travel gives them a distance from their everyday life. It allows them to stop, reflect, and think about their life. Given that reflection is the key to change, it would seem that a large portion of people agree that traveling is the best opportunity for this.

👉 In contrast, only about 20% of people can actually experience true relaxation during traveling. That does not mean they don’t experience stress at all, but it means they are able to turn off the stress and relax during the trip.

What Makes Travel Stressful?

Cause For Travel StressPercentage
Needed Time And Research50%
Social Media Pressures39%
Cause For Travel Stress

👉 Given that so many people find travel stressful, the natural question to ask is, “What makes it stressful?” The vast majority of people found travel stressful because of the needed time and research for planning. A staggering 50% of people cite their travel stress to these reasons.

Interestingly, the second most common cause for traveling stresses social media.

👉 Of the people who participated in the study, 39% of them agreed that social media pressures added to traveling stress. We will look more at social media and travel stress next.  

Some of the other most common reasons for vacation stress include having too many choices, having to leave the daily work behind, and experiencing relationship testing moments.

Some studies have actually suggested that having too many choices is the number one reason why people get stressed, though this contradicts the other study we looked at and have already cited.

The stress related to leaving your work at home is primarily an issue with Americans. In the studies we looked at, almost all of them noted this to be an issue predominant among American travelers, though they did not list the percentage difference between Americans and non-Americans.

Social Media And Travel Stress

Even though the majority of travel stress comes from the needed time and research, the relationship between travel stress and social media is becoming a predominant issue, as we learned. Studies have specifically looked into what makes social media so stressful for traveling.

👉 About 53% of participants cited the pressure to post pictures on social media caused additional stress.

👉 Even more worrisome is the fact that 47% of people claim that Instagramming caused them to miss the trip in front of them.

👉 Similarly, 63% of users still checked the news while traveling, whereas 57% stay on top of social media.

  • 53% of people find the pressure to post pictures stressful
  • 47% of people feel they miss out on their vacation by Instagramming
  • 63% of people check the online news when traveling
  • 57% of people check social media when traveling
  • 51% of people continue to respond to emails when traveling

What Travel Stress Is Doing To The Industry

Because of these negative views about traveling, the industry must be affected in some way, right? Right. According to all of these studies, many people are reporting that traveling has lost its charm. This is especially true for traveling to cities or other areas with large populations.

👉 Based on the same Trafalgar study we mentioned above, about 61% of people found traveling to places with large crowds to be a negative experience.

👉 Despite the fact this experience is negative, about 2/3 of people said they experienced it during their last vacation or travels.

Additionally, people feel that they aren’t getting to experience any real culture during travels anymore.

👉 About 37% of people said they didn’t experience culture on their last trip. More shockingly, 49% of people said they saw a real culture, but they also thought the culture wasn’t that unique.

From these interesting statistics, Trafalgar extrapolated that many people view traveling as a checklist of things to do, as opposed to something to experience.

Part of the reason they extrapolate this idea is that most respondents said they felt guilty whenever they couldn’t visit all of the sites.

Why is traveling so stressful?

Why is traveling so stressful? Traveling is stressful for many reasons. The number one reason for travel stress depends on which source you look at. The most common factors relating to travel stress include time, planning, having too many choices, leaving your work behind, and experiences that test relationships.

No matter what study you look at, however, having too many choices and needed time and research are the number one and two reasons for traveling stress.

This seems to be particularly true of people who do not travel often since they don’t know how to plan their time and resources wisely.

Social media is becoming an increasing issue that leads to travel stress. Whether it’s the pressure to post a picture or staying up to date on social media, most people feel like they’re missing out of their vacation and are experiencing more stress than usual because of the prevalence of social media.

What can I take for travel anxiety?

What can I take for travel anxiety? If you have travel anxiety, there are things you can do to help lessen the effects. If you are someone who experiences long-term anxiety, not just travel anxiety, you should talk to your doctor about receiving prescription medication.

Antidepressants and benzodiazepines are the top two types of medications prescribed for long-term anxiety sufferers.

Antidepressants and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are ideal for people who have long-term anxiety. However, benzodiazepines are much better if you have short-term anxiety issues, such as panic attacks while traveling. These sorts of medications will provide short-term and immediate relief.

If you do not want to take prescription-strength anxiety medication, you can try over-the-counter options such as lavender essential oil, vetiver essential oil, valerian root, and magnesium.

What can I take for travel anxiety

These over-the-counter natural products are not regulated by the FDA or tested for anxiety-relieving purposes, but many people find that they help.

What calms anxiety naturally?

What calms anxiety naturally? Anxiety is something that can be difficult to treat, whether you use medication or natural products. Some of the best ways that you can treat anxiety naturally include staying active, staying away from alcohol, ditching caffeine, and sleeping more.

These four tips can help you stay more relaxed while traveling.

Something else you can do to calm anxiety naturally is to meditate. The goal of meditation is to calm your chaotic thoughts by replacing them with more mindful thoughts. It’s a great idea to try meditating whenever you feel travel anxieties creeping up on you.

You can also try to drink certain teas to calm your anxiety at the moment. For example, chamomile tea is considered one of the best teas for sleep promotion and nerve-calming. Some studies have even suggested that chamomile tea helps fight generalized anxiety disorder.

How vacations affect your happiness?

Even though many people find traveling stressful, almost all studies still find that vacations and traveling actually lead to a happier life.

Even in the research that found traveling to be stressful, almost all of them agreed that more frequent traveling led to overall happier life.

Almost all studies say that those who are planning on going on vacation and have just gotten back from vacation tend to be much happier than those who are not planning and have not gone on vacation.

Planning a vacation can actually improve your happiness as early as eight weeks before the date.

Interestingly, most studies found that the length of the vacation did not lead to more or less happiness. For example, a short vacation does not lead to less happiness, whereas a long vacation does not lead to more happiness.

Instead, just about every vacation causes an increase in your happiness for about 8 weeks. With this stat, taking a few short vacations throughout the year can improve your overall happiness dramatically.

Final Thoughts

Overall, vacations and trips can dramatically improve your happiness. Although taking one trip won’t improve your entire year, taking several short trips throughout the year will make you feel happier as a whole.

Still, many people experience high amounts of stress from traveling and vacationing. Most of this stress comes from having too many choices, research, planning, and social media.

Social media is something you particularly need to be careful about because it is leading to more overall anxiety before, during, and after vacations.

Luckily, there are things you can do to combat travel anxiety. For example, not waiting until the last minute to save money or plan the trip makes a huge difference.

Additionally, not overbooking your trip or forcing yourself to create an intensive itinerary creates a much more enjoyable experience. More importantly, put your phone down!


Mike Gilmour

Hi, I'm Mike, co-founder, and editor of RV and Playa. My passion is traveling (with my RV) and enjoying the day at the beach (Playa)! Well, I originally created this blog as a way to share what I've learned by experimenting with the RV lifestyle, and I want to help others develop in life through new skills and opportunities.

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