Yes, It’s Perfectly Fine to Have a Non-Travel Day

Because today I don't feel like doing anything
Because today I don't feel like doing anything

 “So what did you do today, Raphael? The Roman Colosseum? Vatican City?  Ostia Antica…?” my friend Tara asked me.

“Actually, today I did nothing. Well, I did many things. It’s just that not any of them were travel related. I actually just left the house once to get some food.” I replied.

You see, when you travel you sometimes feel as if everyday has to be special. You feel as if you’re wasting time by not traveling. You feel that you should live every single day as the last one thanks to that silly YOLO hashtag. But for me? For me, it’s perfectly fine to have a non-travel day.

In fact, I absolutely love them. Here’s why.

Non-travel days allows you to calm down and re-organize yourself

Every once in a while, short-term travelers go back home and proceed to unpack and re-organize themselves from their latest adventure. Long-term travelers? We don’t have a home base and often we live out of a suitcase.

Therefore, a non-travel day is a blessing from the heavens since we can organize our upcoming itinerary and read an interesting book while we do the one and only dread that every single traveler dreads: laundry.

Sure, some hostels and hotels can offer to do your laundry for a small fee but most of the time, you are better off doing it yourself (especially since you’ll avoid loosing socks that way!) and so you’ll need at least half a day in order to go to the local laundromat.

Just remember to separate white from colors or that crisp white shirt of yours will end up turning pink!

Laundry day at Cappadocia
Laundry day at Cappadocia

Locals don’t travel every single day. Learn from them and enjoy the moment.

One of the main benefits of a non-travel day is that instead of sightseeing and enjoying the culture of museums and religious sites, you can actually go and observe the culture of the locals who go on with their daily lives.

From the baker to the office worker, each local you meet in your travels has their own story to tell. Just sit back, relax and watch how life unfold before your eyes. My favorite part? Going to the supermarket and watching the interactions between mothers and their children.

You’ll be surprised to know that trying to buy as many candies as possible is an universal constant in every single country.

Local food market at Italy
Local food market at Italy

Just slow down and enjoy the little things in life

In the end, a non-travel day will normally end with me cooking the food I bought at the supermarket, folding my freshly washed clothes and enjoying the sunset with a good glass of wine. It’s non-special days like those the ones that allow you to appreciate more the special travel days where the craziest adventures happen.

There’s nothing wrong with taking it slow every once in a while in order to avoid travel over-burn and in fact, I actually love taking a small break from a life of travel in order to catch up with my friends abroad and to keep on building my many online businesses.

So yes, next time that you find yourself in the need of slowing down and to stop traveling…just do it. Trust me, there’s nothing as liberating as a non-travel day. I love them, don’t you?

Wine at Santorini
Sunset wine at Santorini

But until the gates are open I just wanna feel this moment!

And of course, there’s always those travel days that actually turn into something else, such as the time that I went with my friend Tara to the nearby town of Marino in the Castelli Romani hills in order to attend the Chocolate Festival and explore the city museums.

The result? We ended up buying a 5 liter bottle of wine for only 12 euros and got involved into a series of hijinx including taking a photo with the annoying Peppa the Pig. Seriously, don’t you just hate her? Stay tuned for the complete story this week!

Have you ever had a non-travel day during your travels? Share your best ones with me in the comment section and remember to always keep on enjoying the moment!

Because today I don't feel like doing anything
Because today I don’t feel like doing anything

45 Comments

  • I loved this post. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. It took me a long time to appreciate the important of rest and slowing down when I travel. I ended up in Essaouira 2 1/2 weeks ago and I haven’t left! I was so worn out after changing cities every three days. And I agree that the longer you stay somewhere, the more you get to know the culture.

  • It’s also worth noting that traveling alone can calm yourself down and help in rethinking about what has been done. I also love going to the supermarket and anywhere where I can just watch people and how they respond to one another.

  • I can totally appreciate the days when you’re lying low and just enjoying those simple things. Laundry can sometimes be a blessing.

  • I think slowing down is not only possible but necessary. This is the only way to observe real, authentic local traditions. Passing through in one day is no way to KNOW a place you got to live among them and do what they do, hear what they have to say. This is why i chose life as a serial expat, give me more time to know and understand what’s going on around me

  • “You only live once? False, you live everyday. You only die once” – Dwight Schrute.

    That being said even travel can become stale if you never take a break. There are things to experience in your own backyard as well – things that are not planned, life.

    Nice, reflective, post.

  • This is great! We all need to slow sown sometimes and often forget to. There are times when I feel frazzled from the constant on the move feeling. I love to take time to just look up at the beautiful blue sky with big puffy white clouds, and just enjoy nature’s art.

  • Love your blog! What an inspiring post about looking at what is around you and seeing the beauty there. Perfectly inspiring!! I love going for a walk in the snow and watching others enjoying the feel of the flakes as they land on you. My labs just love jumping and rolling in the snow, so fun to see their excitement.

  • Love it!! I always make sure to stop and see what’s around me while I travel. I don’t want to miss any opportunity to enjoy!!

  • If you’re in a place that’s foreign to you, there’s really no such thing as a “non-travel day” because as you said, even the simplest daily interactions can be an adventure and a great way to observe and soak in the local culture. But if we’re talking about “non-sightseeing days” then yeah, no way a long-term traveler can do that every single day! Breaks are necessary, laundry must be done :)

  • I agree, sometimes when traveling you need to just take a break. During my long Euro-trip this summer, I was starting to feel REALLY exhausted from constantly being on the move, and at the end of my trip, I decided just to do nothing, and it felt great!

  • I do that sometimes not doing the touristy place I just go and wander around where my feet leads me and sometimes you’ll find nice quirky places by accidents, or go in the park and take in the local atmosphere :)

  • Great post!!! Need to keep this in mind when traveling!! Need to just sit back and take it all in sometimes ;-)

  • I love reasoning for why you love non travel days and they make perfect sense. I have no stories because I hardly ever travel literally. Thanks for sharing.

  • Terrific point! Sometimes you just gotta stop and smell the roses. We’re often trying so hard to see “everything” that we miss the little things that make a spot so special. Thanks for the reminder.

  • We actually factor in loads of non travel or exploration days as we travel. If that is possible! :-) When traveling with kids, you really need to downtime and just veg days. A little time to be an internet junkie or perhaps just time to stroll around and see what happens. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Every time I travel i make sure to have a do-nothing day. It really helps to settle yourself into your environment and fall into pace with everything.

  • Sometimes slowing down opens up new opportunities – a conversation you wouldn’t have had that leads to new discoveries, new inspiration as your thoughts settle. All good and thanks for reminding us.

  • What better way to fully connect with and immerse yourself in the local culture? Seems like these days just might be the hidden gems of your travels.

  • Love this post, but still get stressed when I have non-travel days. I think I’d feel less guilty if I were a long-term traveler. Any tips for short term travelers? ;)

  • great post! I think another reason to enjoy non travel YOLO days is that you can only enjoy those crazy days when you have peaceful days in between. Otherwise you don’t notice how great they are

  • I totally love this post! I’m always on the road and I really appreciate a day off, just to enjoy a glas of wine and watch a movie or something. But I can’t do this more than one day, I would go crazy! :)

  • Taking a breather on your travels is one of the best things ever and you’re so right, it’s a great way to soak up and observe the natural culture of the people and the place you’re in.

  • Whenever we took an extended vacation, we always took at least one day off to just relax. It really lets you recharge your batteries and soak in the scenery.

  • Well said. I do love to travel – see places, experience different cultures, etc. but it’s impossible as of the moment. If I would be given the opportunity and chance to do what you do, I’ll surely grab it without second thoughts.

  • I just had a nontravel day! I was staying for two days in Lucerne, Switzerland after travelling nonstop for 10 days through Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic. When I got to Lucerne, I was so burnt out and exhausted that I spent almost the entire first day in my hotel after walking around for a bit and stopping by the grocery store (I made a little excursion down the street to buy a Swiss Army Knife, hehe). I felt a little guilty, but I’m glad I did because I regained all my energy so that I could explore the next day! Non travel days are so important for a little bit of rest and rehabilitation.

    Cheers!
    JoAnna
    foreverinparadise.net

  • I have been advocating this in all my travels. In medium-long term ttravels it’s so important to have a day to rest, reorganize yourself and enjoy other stuff than monuments and landscapes!

  • Great post. Non travel days are great! Like you said they allow you to just sit back and take it all in and just enjoy the smaller things in life rather than work through a long list of ‘must-sees’.

  • Totally agree! We love having chill days on the road. Sometimes we feel guilty for not going out and sightseeing, etc. but its super important to take a break and relax for a bit or you’ll get burnt out!

  • I am an old lady. I need a break. This summer, I had two days between tours in Split, on the first day I wandered around Split and took in the sights. On the second day, I had a lie in, sunbathed and napped on the beach, had a fat greasy burek (but it was healthy because it had spinach in it) for lunch. it. was. great.
    More recently, I went to Iceland for 4 days. I didn’t exactly have a non travel day, but I’d been travelling since 3am, visited the Blue Lagoon & got to my hostel bang on check in time. Plans for the rest of the day…. a nap before my Northern Lights tour at 9pm. It might’ve been a bit naughty, but there was NO ONE else in my dorm room, I was super tired & the duvet and pillow looked FLUFFY. It was calling me to get in, so I did!

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