How To Cope With A Bad Mood While Traveling

It finally happened. I was on a road trip with my partner that I was looking forward to for months. And around day 4, I just wasn’t feeling it. I was mildly irritated, nothing sounded fun, and felt guilty that I felt this way! There is nothing more frustrating than doing something you love, exploring a new place, and not enjoying it. While luckily this bad mood was temporary, there are a few things I tried to help get my head back on track. Here are some of my simple tricks to help you overcome a bad mood while traveling.

Get Rid Of The Guilt

A good first step, really, is to try not to blame yourself for your mood. This will likely make your mood even worse. Sometimes, there may be a reason why your mood has shifted, and sometimes there isn’t.

If you can pinpoint something that occurred that contributed to the shift in your mood, find what you can do to directly address that event. If there wasn’t any obvious reason as to what may have led to the mood change, spending time poring over “what happened” may also not be helpful.

Being able to tolerate certain emotions can be difficult, but it is super important is to allow ourselves to be okay with feeling them. When we become more accepting of the emotions we feel, they tend to not last as long or be as intense.

Go Back To Basics

This can feel like a no-brainer, but it can actually be really helpful. Have you eaten recently? Had enough water? Taken any medication you are prescribed? Have you slept enough? Showered or bathed?

Checking off these often times overlooked basics can ground us and help us to refresh our mood and behaviors.

Watch Your Alcohol Intake

This is a difficult one for me while traveling, as my favorite activity while traveling is finding local breweries, wineries, distilleries, etc. The idea of having a glass of wine or a beer to “loosen up” may sound appealing, however it can overall contribute to a lower mood. Alcohol is a depressant, after all!

Talk About It

If you are traveling with someone, let them know where you are at, emotionally.

You don’t have to spend a significant amount of time discussing your mood, what may be contributing to it, or searching for solutions. Sometimes just the acknowledgment that you aren’t feeling as excited or as energized as you want to be can be a good kick start to allowing your mood to move past any discomfort.

If you are traveling solo, reach out to others if you are able to. Send a loved one a text or call/FaceTime briefly. Reconnecting for a short period of time may be helpful.


This can be difficult to practice when our moods are not great. Take some time to reorient yourself to all the great things that traveling does for you. Remind yourself of things that went right today. This can include any safe travels thus far, any new and beautiful things you have seen and did, and what else you may be looking forward to.

For some people, journaling and documenting their gratitude is more effective, and for others, simply thinking about them is just as helpful.

It’s Okay To Need Support

It is important to note that there is a difference between experiencing a low mood and if you are experiencing a depressive episode, panic attack, or other significant mental health concerns.

Further support may be necessary – and this is totally okay! Reach out to any mental health or medical providers when you can.

We’re human and we experience emotion. We are likely to experience a variety of moods, especially if we travel often. If we can give ourselves some space to recognize how we are feeling and tolerate it to the best of our ability, we can feel even more present and engaged when doing the things we love most.

Have you ever had to overcome a bad mood while traveling? What helped you manage your emotions?

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