Traveling as a Hobby: 15+ Downsides of Travel as a Pastime

Last Updated on February 14, 2024 by Lifevif Team and JC Franco

If anyone knows anything about me, it’s that I am an addict. I’m wholeheartedly, inexplicably addicted to traveling. Traveling is my hobby, my passion, my obsession. For me, it’s hard to admit that there are several risks and disadvantages to traveling as a hobby, but I guess nothing in life is entirely good or entirely bad.

I get particularly uncomfortable when people drag traveling as a hobby into the “there are risks involved” spotlight. However, I can admit that as a regular traveler, I am aware of certain risks involved that newbie travelers can really benefit from being aware of. If you want to ensure that you go into traveling as a hobby, knowing all of the risks and disadvantages involved, read on.

What could be better than traveling as a hobby, right? I thoroughly enjoy it. However, in the points listed below, I have actually listed the disadvantages and risks that I have personally experienced while traveling. Let’s take a closer look.

18 risks & disadvantages of traveling as a hobby:

1. The Cost | Traveling is Expensive. 

Most hobbies are expensive. That just seems to be the norm, but it appears that traveling is particularly expensive. When you travel, you have to think of flights, hotels, transport, activities, meals, and so much more. If you are willing to save every penny you make to fund your hobby, then this shouldn’t be a problem for you. If you are always struggling for extra cash, you might struggle to keep up with traveling as a hobby

2. Increases Your Carbon Footprint.

Every time you get on a plane, you are contributing to the mammoth environmental problem the planet is facing. Unfortunately, there is no way around it. Cars, trains, buses – they all produce emissions. For me, this is one of the biggest disadvantages of traveling as a hobby

3. Home Sick.

Feeling homesick is no joke; let me tell you that! You might think that feeling homesick isn’t “so bad”, but it really can be. I didn’t really understand the concept of homesickness in the past until I went on a particularly long trip (over a month). At first, everything was great and then after 2 weeks, I started to miss my bed, my home, my friends, and my family. It got so bad that I almost packed my bags and headed home. 

4. Leaving Your Pets Behind.

My pets are my world. I have taken them traveling with me before, of course, but there are many destinations and airlines that simply won’t allow pets. I have had to leave pets with friends or find a pet sitter. Unfortunately, this can be heartbreaking for you and your pets, especially if your trip is quite long. 

5. Putting Your Home Security at Risk.

When you are out of town for any period of time, your home is at risk. Opportunistic criminals might notice that your home is vacant and target it. It is also at risk of damage. If a storm strikes and you are out of town, who is going to stormproof your home?

6. Language Barriers Can Be Brutal .

If you travel often as I do, you often encounter new cultures. Different languages can become difficult to deal with. In some areas, Google Translate has been enough to get by with, but, in other areas, even using a translate app has proven difficult when communicating. Being constantly lost in translation can take its toll.

7. Travel Fatigue or Jetlag

Depending on where you’re traveling to and how long your flight is, you could end up crossing time zones while in the air. When this happens, your body clock can be thrown completely out. You can arrive at your destination and feel extremely jetlagged (fatigued). This can rob you of your holiday time while you sleep it off. If you don’t sleep it off, you can feel tired and drained for a few days. For some people, jetlag is quick to get over. I am not so lucky.

8. It’s Tiring. 

When you travel, you don’t have a normal day. Instead, you have one jam-packed day after the other. Your days are usually filled with activities that require you to be present and engaged. This can become extremely tiring. 

9. Be Way Out of Your Comfort Zone. 

Being out of your comfort zone can be fun and cause personal growth, but when it happens consistently, it can start to feel tiring. I remember one trip where I felt out of my comfort zone for the entire trip instead of just for moments, as was the case in past experiences. This really left me feeling dissatisfied and unhappy with my trip in the end. 

10. Exposes You to Illness and Injury.

Have you ever given much thought to the vaccinations that you are required to have before traveling to certain destinations? This is because you can get sick if you are exposed to certain viruses and diseases that your body has never been exposed to. When you travel you can get sick

11. Can Disconnect You From Home (Family and Friends).

I once returned from a trip only to find that everything I thought I knew about my social groups and family had changed. It felt like I had missed out on so much and I was no longer in the loop. This is one of the more difficult pitfalls of traveling as a hobby – you miss out on changes and important events.

12. Can Deplete Your Annual Leave/Vacation Days.

If you travel regularly, you are probably always running out of annual leave. While traveling and going on holiday is great fun and the perfect way to spend your vacation days off work, there are bound to be days when you want to take some time off to do personal things, and you can’t because all of your leave days are depleted. 

13. Falling Behind On the Career Ladder.

When you are always looking for opportunities to travel instead of being tied to a desk achieving corporate goals, you won’t seem like someone who is trying to climb the career ladder. If you are super career-focused, traveling excessively can cause you to fall behind in terms of career growth. 

14. Lead to Potential Loneliness.

If you travel alone a lot like I do, loneliness can find a way of creeping in. Of course, you can always make new friends along the way, but because they don’t know you well and you don’t have a history with them, it can be hard to lean on them when you’re feeling low. 

15. Lead to Possible Relationship Issues.

If your love for traveling grows and your partner doesn’t share that passion, where does that leave you? Even if you travel alone often, it can create a rift between you and your partner. Hopefully, your partner loves traveling as much as you do, or you could run into some relationship problems.

16. Causes Friendships to Weaken.

Unless your friends are traveling with you, you can expect to start missing out on all their highs and lows. Often, not being in contact as much and not seeing each other as much can cause friendships to fade away. 

17. Uncomfortable Beds.

This one is, actually, a big deal for me. Nothing seems worse than an uncomfortable bed when you have been traveling for hours, yet they still exist in the tourism industry. Unfortunately, there’s no telling if the hotel you book is going to offer you a decent bed or not. This can really have an impact on your comfort. 

18. Can Make it Difficult to Come Home.

When your trip is drawing to a close and it’s time to pack your bags and head home, it can be quite a shock to the system. Of course, you don’t want to go home to work, responsibilities, and the humdrum lifestyle that doesn’t include new cultures, fun activities, and relaxation. This can be quite a big downside to traveling as a hobby. 

Take the Good With the Bad – Travel Anyway!

Yes, traveling has disadvantages and risks attached, but it is also a highly rewarding hobby that won’t have you just passing the time. Instead, it will have you thoroughly enjoying every encounter and also completely thrilled with every new connection made.

JC Franco

JC Franco is a New York-based editor for Lifevif. He mainly focuses on content about faith, spirituality, personal growth, finance, and sports. He graduated from Mercyhurst University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business, majoring in Marketing. He is a certified tennis instructor who teaches in the New York City Metropolitan area. In terms of finance, he has passed the Level I exam of the CFA program.