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Too Much Travel: Four Questions to Ask Yourself to Avoid an Overbooked Itinerary

This blog post was updated on October 29, 2018.

Is there such a thing as too much travel? I often thought the answer to this question was always met with a resounding “no”. If you enjoy experiencing new places, people and cultures, you might think that you will never tire of travel. We all want to maximize our vacation days, but sometimes that can translate into a miserable trip. Too much travel can be a bad thing when your itinerary looks more like a race against the clock. If you are planning your summer vacation or just a weekend away, here are a few questions to ask yourself to avoid travel overload.

How many one and two night stops do I have?: When I traveled around Eastern Europe for two weeks in the winter, I had several one and two night stops in destinations. Before you plan an itinerary loaded with one-night stops so that you can cross off a bunch of destinations, go over the time involved. One night stops are often very stressful. You might get into the destination in the evening, when most of the museums and attractions are starting to close up for the day. If you have to leave in the morning for your next stop, you will barely see that one night stop destination. It is a good idea to space out one and two night stops. While many itineraries require these, it is best not to have a whole trip on the go. Otherwise you might not have time to see anything.

Are the driving distances too long for the amount of time?: Perhaps I was raised this way on long family car trips across the United States, but I often take on too much time actually on the road when I travel. Driving can be incredibly fatiguing. If you think that you can cover long distances in a short amount of time, most of your trip will be spent in the car and not at your destination. A driving day of just 4 hours might seem easy, but you also have to factor in the time for stops in case you want to see something along the way. Before committing to hotels and tours, it is best to make certain that you can reach all of these places in a timely manner. If one stop is too far out, eliminate it and save it for another itinerary.

How many activities do I have planned each day?: An itinerary on overdrive often features activities for every hour of the day. If you plan on visiting two museums in the morning, three museums in the afternoon and partaking in a wine tasting before dinner, you might have very little time to soak up those attractions. A good rule of thumb for travel is that it always takes longer than you think. A tour might stretch longer than you anticipated, running right into your next activity. While it is good to stay busy while traveling, don’t over do it. More time consuming activities should be spaced out from one to the next.

Is there time to get lost?: The overscheduled tend to never have time to simply get lost. Getting lost while traveling is often where you find those magical travel moments, the memories that last a lifetime. However if you are in daze of tours, activities and tight arrival and departure times, there will be no time to merely let the destination come to you. Every travel itinerary should have ample time to wander down side streets or park at a café table for a few hours.


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