10 Worst Disadvantages of Travelling Abroad [Top Travel Disadvantages]

Travelling is incredible. But it isn’t without issues. Here are 10 of the worst disadvantages of travelling abroad you should know about before you go.


Disadvantages of travelling abroad are part of the experience too. In this post, I discuss 10 of them!

People always talk about the good stuff when it comes to travelling.

And that makes sense! Travel’s awesome.

But there are definitely travel disadvantages that are worth knowing about too.

So, for the sake of fairness, here are 10 disadvantages of travelling abroad.

[Last updated: February 2023]

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Must-Know Disadvantages of Travelling Abroad

Don’t let these disadvantages put you off! They’re simply worth knowing about. Want my advice? Read them, keep them in mind, and go travelling anyway…

1. Travel is Insanely Addictive

There’s a reason people talk about the travel bug.

It’s real! I can vouch for it.

You go away once, sample the incredible opportunities and experiences travelling offers, and get hooked.

This might not sound like a disadvantage. And, in some ways, it isn’t. In fact, I love how addictive travel is.

But it has a funny way of affecting your ‘home plans’.

“Notions of career and plans for family get side-lined in exchange for the next hit of foreign adventure you can get your hands on. ”

And, like any addiction, it pangs when it isn’t indulged and has its own set of troubling withdrawal symptoms.

Frankly, home life doesn’t feel the same anymore – especially when you first get home.

For a time, life isn’t as vibrant; the call from far-flung destinations is intense and all-consuming.


You’ll find yourself in places so beautiful, you’ll never want to leave! It’s totally addictive.

2. Travel Isn’t Cheap (One of the Major Drawbacks of Travelling!)

This disadvantage of travelling is stating the obvious, but money tends to be an issue for travellers.

After all, travelling to distant destinations is expensive!

And, though budget travel is always possible, the pressure that travelling puts on your pockets is undeniable.

I’ve found that when travel becomes a priority, it requires sacrifice in other areas. It forces you to live differently so you can save up for your next trip.

Again though, there’s a silver lining:

That very same sacrifice will lend a greater poignancy to your travels. Whenever you put effort into something, you tend to value it more, right?

Nevertheless, it will undoubtedly use up your savings, leave holes in your pockets and shrink those once bulging nest eggs.

3. Careers Get Delayed and People Move On

Life at home doesn’t stop while you’re travelling.

In fact, it moves on without you.

People get married and have babies, move home, and get promotions.

You return from travelling and suddenly the awesome experiences you had become a memory.

You’re confronted with a new reality, where your peers are a year (or more) ahead of you in their careers and earning more money. Maybe they’re already attaining the goals you once had for yourself.

For competitive go-getters, this can be a bitter pill to swallow.

Sure, there’s no replacement for life experiences – and you’ll have that in abundance.

But when you’re back home with your adventures (until the next one, at least) behind you, it can be hard to see people who have moved on ahead.

4. It’s Hard to Maintain Habits and Routines

At home, you probably have a set routine and structure to each day.

You know what to expect! And you enjoy the regularity of things.

For me, one of the biggest drawbacks of travel is that it flips this on its head!

Maybe it’s a good thing. After all, there’s nothing wrong with mixing things up every now and again, right?

But what if you usually go to the gym 5 times a week? Or have specific dietary requirements? Or have sporting or academic goals? Or you need a particular amount of sleep to function at your best?

The list goes on!

Here’s the truth: habits and routines are helpful. Unfortunately, travel, with all its irregularity and unpredictability, can make them hard to uphold.

Heads up, you might also like this post about the pros and cons studying abroad! Check it out!


It’s tiring too. You might need a piggy back every now and again…

5. Travelling is Tiring

It’s hard to overstate this travel disadvantage.

Travel, above all else, can be exhausting.

You’re on the move constantly, doing new things, absorbed in novel environments, and slammed with stimulating sensory experiences.

Your brain works on overdrive to take everything in, plan ahead, overcome challenges, and stay safe.

This is tiring at both a physical and mental level, which makes it harder to enjoy the experience.

6. Travel Can Be Dangerous

Travel isn’t just tiring.

It can be dangerous and fraught with unexpected hiccups, mixups, and mistakes too.

As far as my mum’s concerned, this is definitely one of the main disadvantages of travelling!

Thankfully, 95% of the time, peoples’ understandable concerns about the dangers of travel are unfounded.

If you’re sensible, vigilant, and appropriately cautious, you shouldn’t have any problems on the road!

Even so, there’s always a risk.

Valuables get lost and stolen, flights get cancelled, and people get sick. In rare, worst case scenarios, they even get hurt.


Another downside of travel is that, despite all the awesome stuff you do, it’s draining.

7. It Will Push You Physically, Mentally, and Emotionally

In a similar way, travel will challenge you at many different levels.

You’ll feel lonely at times, homesick at others, and frequently out of your comfort zone.

You’ll have to be brave, face up to your fears, confront personal demons, and take countless steps into the unknown.

“Physically, mentally and emotionally, travel can be tough.”

None of that’s easy.

But, of course, it’s also what makes travel such a tremendous personal development tool.

Travel will change you in fundamental, positive ways (see below), which is almost entirely due to overcoming the challenges it throws at you.

But that doesn’t make it easier in the moment!

Here’s my advice:

Whenever you’re struggling on the road, take it easy, be self-compassionate, accept what’s going on, stay present, and know that it’ll all be fine in the long run.

8. You Can Feel Lonely and Homesick

When you’re by yourself on the other side of the world (or even in a group), loneliness can be a regular unwanted visitor.

It creeps up and makes your days feel pretty bleak.

Not only that, but homesickness can rear its head at the time same time – quickly making matters worse.

However, I have to remind myself that it’s 100% natural to feel lonely and homesick on the other side of the world.

Consider what you’re doing!

You’re literally away from all the people you know and love, stepping into the unknown and taking a huge leap of faith.

You’re bound to feel lonely at times.

Just as you’re bound to feel homesick at times.

Know that it’s totally natural and that it’ll pass, like a wave, in time.

Heads up, you might also like this post about overcoming the travelling blues.


Beautiful, yes. But lonely too on occasion. Homesickness can be a tough part of travelling.

9. Coming Home is Hard

One of the biggest disadvantages to travel is that you have to come home!

That probably sounds a tad tongue-in-cheek.

But I’m serious!

I mean, one obvious issue is that you’re no longer having the time of your life out on the road.

However, coming home is hard for other reasons too.

You get back and everything feels the same – apart from you.

You feel completely different, but home does not.

After enjoying total independence and life-giving adventures, you’re back to the same four walls, the same faces, and the same routines.

It’s the same day-to-day home life that you left behind months (or even years) ago.

It can feel unbearable.

For me, it’s a feeling of longing to be back out there; frustration at the banality of home. It’s a general malaise and sensation of no longer belonging.

Getting home from travels is never an easy process.

10. You Become a Different Person

I’ve mentioned this final travel disadvantage a couple of times already.

But it’s worth explaining in more detail.

“Go travelling and you’ll almost certainly feel like a totally different person when you get back. ”

Again, in most ways, this isn’t negative!

It’s a sign of how profound travel is; you’ll find that you’ve changed in hugely positive ways.

But it’s also disconcerting.

Indeed, you might be unaware that you’ve changed until the moment you’re home and the hubbub of your return has died down.

Then it’s like a slap in the face. You’re back home and feel utterly out of place in what should be a familiar environment.

It can take some time to wrap your head around and figure out where this “new you” fits in.

Remember the Disadvantages of Travelling!

And there you have it: 10 disadvantages of travelling abroad.

Again, in no way should these travel disadvantages put you off! Indeed, I actively hope they haven’t!

But in the interest of knowing what you’re getting into, they’re definitely worth keeping in mind.

And, to be honest, there’s no saying for sure whether you’ll go through the same issues! After all, everyone’s experience of travel is different.

So go have an adventure, revel in the wonder of it, and embrace the occasional negative that goes with it. In almost every case, there’s a silver lining anyway!

Like this piece? Drop a comment below with your thoughts. Which travel disadvantage are you most concerned about experiencing on the road?

1 thought on “10 Worst Disadvantages of Travelling Abroad [Top Travel Disadvantages]”

  1. I must say I never expected it, but the first time I felt the loneliness and homesickness was when I spent 6 weeks on the road, across Africa, then across the US, with friends in turn and visiting friends in different places. It was part running out of money as well as just the yearning of back to my bed, my four walls, home country, home routine, etc. For someone who loves travel, this was truly shocking!
    Thank you Danny – nicely put together, and I like how you add the silver lining in every disadvantage.
    Now I’m so looking forward to getting back on the road and air for another long haul, now that I know what to expect! 🙂

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