The 3 travel mindsets that stops you from enjoying your holiday

Last updated on November 24th, 2016 at 11:47 am

It’s so easy to travel nowadays that, sometimes, we forget travel is a privilege. If you think back to sixty years ago, most people would never dream of flying to another country, let alone jet setting to an exotic destination a few times a year to explore the world. Holidays have become more of an escape from your life than ever, but often times we become the biggest enemies in letting ourselves enjoy the precious time off.

It might stem from issues like having an unideal travel companion, but more often than not it’s our own mindset. Have you ever fallen victims to your own mind? I know I have. Here are 3 travel mindsets that can stop you from enjoying your holiday (and tips on how to avoid it!):

3 travel mindsets that stop you from enjoying your holiday| Laugh Travel Eat

TFOMO :– the fear of missing out

This is the number 1 killer. The Fear of Missing Out. When we finally go to a destination that we dream of, we might realised that there isn’t nearly enough time to see everything. You load up your itinerary, hoping you can cram everything in, but sometimes you just can’t.

Our travel group sitting on a wooden bridge on top of a waterfall at Plitvice National Park, Croatia| Laugh Travel Eat
When we went to Plitvice, it was rainy, dreary and we only ended up spending 3 hours there – it was a shame, but it’s still a good experience with my girls

It might be the weather, or the lack of transport, though it’s mostly time, but you are left with a gripping guilt that you have missed out on something amazing. However, let’s appreciate the fact that you are there itself it’s already amazing. We can’t win everything in life. Even if we would like to.

You shouldn’t push yourself too hard to visit everything either, after all, a holiday is meant to be relaxing, even if most of the time it doesn’t turn out that way. But pushing yourself to the point where you snap or break down in exhaustion isn’t healthy either.

The Traveller vs Tourist syndrome

Me getting excited and jumping along a beautiful canal in Venice, Italy| Laugh Travel Eat
Cheesy jump shot? Checked!

This one is hotly debated and I’ve written a whole post about why I think it’s stupid. If you like to take a million photos on your travel, do so without annoying others. Don’t let something being too “touristy” stop you from doing it. Yes, the boat tour I did in Venice to visit the islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello is super touristy, but it’s the best viable and value for money option.

That brings me to the second thing, don’t let your travel companion, who you should pick carefully, tells you what you should and shouldn’t do. I am not giving you a free pass to disrespect the local culture, but rather an urge that you shouldn’t let other people’s judgment stops you from doing what you love to do. Of course, this also ties in with having a like-minded travel partner. But solo travel would be just as fun and leave you unencumbered by this problem.

The ripped-off syndrome

This is another frequently occurring ailment, and though it is avoidable in theory, it’s much more difficult in practice. When you are travelling abroad, sometimes even at home, it’s easy to not know the standard price of something and get ripped off. This is can range from a few dollars to tens of dollars, and it’s even truer in South East Asia countries.

The front gate of the Citadel where we entered - with a heavy Chinese architectural influence, Hue Citadel, Hue, Vietnam | Laugh Travel Eat
Got some less happy memories in Hue – but I try not to let it ruin my trip

To be honest, I even get ripped off for 10 HKD buying clothes in my hometown – it happens. So don’t let this ruin your trip. I’ve made plenty of mistakes (cue Vietnam), and if I let it take over my mind it’ll ruin the trip. Consider it a lesson learned, and if you can’t do anything about it, then let it go. It won’t be easy, but you shouldn’t let it ruin your holiday.

Have you ever “suffered” from these syndromes? I know I have – all three of them, even at the same time, too. It’s easy to fall victim to them.

3 travel mindsets that stop you from enjoying your holiday| Laugh Travel Eat
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Written by Nam Cheah

Hi, my name is Nam. I am 24 and spent half my life in Hong Kong and the other half in UK. I believe there's endless experience and beauty in the world and this is me chronicling how to experience the best at the best price.


  1. Toally agree with the 1st point. Much better to see just a few thngs and enjoy them to the fullest than doing everything at the same time – the 2nd never work for me.

  2. These are so true. I used to always be so very stressed when I travel before because I’m always afraid that I won’t be able to see everything I wanted to see. But then I learned how to travel slow and realized that travel itself is meant for you to enjoy. It doesn’t matter if you’re unable to see what others saw because it’s always better to have your own experience of the place you’re visiting.

    Tourist VS traveler is the most stupid thing. Whoever invented that has nothing better to do with themselves.

    • haha I hate that people try to make others feel inferior about the way they travel. It’s good to promote sustainable and conscious travelling, but not when you throw a group under the bus!

  3. Great blog! You have written down all of my fears in one post!

    I always worry about missing something important and try to fit in as much as possible but then feel bad about myself when I don’t get a chance to do it all!

    I do everything that is touristy because I don’t know when or if I will be back and I just have one of those faces that screams “please rip me off!”. The latter two I have accepted and the first one I am working on!! 🙂

    • It is so difficult! But knowing that you are falling victim to it helps you get out of it faster – at least it is so in my opinion!

  4. OMG, also do have the fear of missing out. Despite being deaf, I have to SEE everything myself to make sure i dont miss anything but then i would get disappointed when someone posted 1 thing that i actually miss a thing or 2 by a mile or so, ugh! that make me want to travel back and find it again lol.

    • It’s always good to have an excuse to go back to one place! I think it’s important to recognise that you’ll always miss out on seeing a certain thing, but having seen the rest is just as precious!

  5. Great post Nam! I visited Morocco (and the continent of Africa) for the first time EVER last year, but got super sick from food poisoning – my travel memories from there are less than stellar and I was really disappointed as I had high hopes. However, I had to reframe my mentality and force myself to remember what an amazing opportunity it was, and how beautiful the country is. Plus – it gives me a great reason to go back again and explore more of Morocco next time (although I won’t be eating another tagine anytime soon).

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