Travel Envy During This Pandemic: Things to Tell Yourself to Cope!

8 Things to Tell Yourself When You’re Feeling Travel Envy During This Pandemic

Don't let it get to you!

Almost a year has passed since the pandemic broke out and nations all over the world declared their first COVID-19 lockdowns. Now that everyone has adjusted to health protocols and vaccines are rolling out, more places, whether near or far from us, have softly reopened to tourists. I’ve seen a number of people on my own social media feed going on weekend getaways, road trips, and even visiting new destinations in countries where they’re taking further studies. Whether you agree with such decisions or not, one can’t help but feel a bit of travel envy during this pandemic. 

That’s perfectly understandable and there’s no need to feel guilty about feeling travel envy at a time like this. Nor do you need to chastise anyone who’s making plans this early for their future travels. We all need something to look forward to every once in a while, especially since many of us have become victims of cabin fever. So feel all the travel envy you want, just remember to rein it in once you start feeling too sorry for yourself. To help you feel better, here are useful things to tell yourself when travel envy hits you during the pandemic!

1. “It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

It may sound cliché, but in the context of COVID-19, this old saying can save lives. When in doubt of your and your loved ones’ health and safety, just stay at home. Sure, you probably have friends who came back in excellent health after a weekend road trip, but that’s hardly any reason for you to follow suit. You have your own circumstances to consider. 

For instance: If you live with people under the high-risk groups such as senior citizens or children with underlying medical conditions, are you sure that out-of-town getaway you had in mind won’t be detrimental to them when you return home? Understand that when you make risky decisions, you make it for everyone else you come in contact with who would have had no say in the matter should you transmit the virus to them. In case that comes to pass, your “Sorry” would hardly do any good. 

2. “The vaccines don’t solve everything.”

One reason to rejoice in 2021 is that we finally have vaccines that can help us end this pandemic once and for all — but the keyword here is “help”. The Pfizer, Moderna, and Sinovac vaccines, unfortunately, don’t solve all medical problems surrounding COVID-19. According to Hopkins Medicine, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines present 95% effectiveness in preventing mild and severe COVID-19 symptoms. That means, 1 out of 20 people may still contract COVID-19 even after vaccination. 

What’s more, we barely have studies proving that these vaccines prevent us from becoming carriers of the virus and transmitting it to others. Besides, it’s not like vaccines are accessible to everyone all at the same time. Some countries and cities are going to receive the vaccines at a later date. These circumstances are also why doctors still advise everyone to keep wearing their face masks and practise social distancing. Although the vaccines offer a certain level of protection and comfort, this pandemic is barely over. 

Also read: Travel After the COVID-19 Vaccine: 5 Key Things to Keep in Mind 

3. “I will do things at my own pace.”

travel envy during pandemic

There are definitely countries and places that are doing far better handling the pandemic than others. So it isn’t a surprise that these destinations are welcoming tourists once again, with safety and sanitation protocols in place, of course. In fact, your travel envy might have been triggered by your connections who have taken advantage of the reopening of these safer destinations. The thing is, just as much as you feel travel envy, you’ve also felt fear and hesitation about pursuing your travel plans during the pandemic. 

Well, you’re not alone. Everyone’s travel envy is triggered by their friends’ social media posts. Don’t let that pressure you into feeling comfortable about travel when you clearly aren’t ready. Do things at your own pace. Travel will feel much more fulfilling if you don’t force things. 

4. “I will look at someone else’s travels as inspiration rather than feed my travel envy.”

Want to know the secret to good vibes? Get inspired. You can allow yourself to feel travel envy during this pandemic; but when it’s getting too much, turn that negativity into something positive. If you see that your friends are able to travel out of town or even out of the country, let that give you insight on how your future travels might turn out. 

Look at the places they’re visiting, the safety measures they needed to follow, and the activities that they can and cannot yet do. Someone else’s travel experience can add to your own bank of knowledge while you’re staying safe at home. It’s still a winning scenario if you ask me. 

5. “The destinations I want to visit aren’t going anywhere.”

This is pretty self-explanatory. But believe me, I know the feeling of wanting to visit places right here and now as if they’d be gone tomorrow or next week. I even have a close friend who constantly asks herself and me when she’d be able to visit South Korea — the destination of her dreams — as if she was going through an existential crisis. 

If you catch yourself feeling this way, I want you to take a deep breath and tell yourself that your dream destinations aren’t going anywhere. They will be there tomorrow, and they’ll be there one year hence. We just have to get through this pandemic!

6. “There’s no need to compete with other travellers.”

travel envy during pandemic

Travel envy can spark a few more unproductive feelings, such as (unnecessary) competitiveness or fear of missing out. If you let yourself fall victim to such emotions and make these your sole motivation to travel during the pandemic, you might find yourself a victim of COVID-19 instead (I’m looking at you, stubborn travellers who fake their PCR results). Good for you if you come out unscathed. But would you have travelled for the right and responsible reasons? We’ll let you decide. 

7.  “I can use this time to be productive with other things.”

In case you’re really finding it hard dealing with travel envy during this pandemic, then block all your travelling social media friends. Kidding, of course (or maybe not). 

All jokes aside, in the past year, there has been a surge of quarantine trends that people around the world have gotten into because they had nowhere else to go. For instance, my dad started learning how to speak Spanish and now takes classes online. Some of my relatives became plant parents, some of my friends redecorated their rooms, while others tapped into their inner chef and started a small culinary business. 

The same can still apply this year. Find a new hobby or perhaps finish a task you’ve been delaying for the longest time. Although most of us are sick of staying at home by now, there are always productive things we can dip our feet in, which can help distract us from the travel envy or negative vibes altogether!

Also read: 12 Fun Things to Do at Home to Cure Your Quarantine Blues

8. “Travel envy is temporary, but getting sick can change your life for the worst.”

travel envy during pandemic

When all is said and done, travel envy is merely a fleeting emotion that will eventually fade. But if you allow it to carry you away and make rash decisions, you might jeopardise not only yours but also someone else’s health. This could alter the course of one’s life for the absolute worst. There are so many possibilities: You could become a carrier and infect a stranger. If that person survives COVID-19, who’s to say they won’t experience permanent health damages caused by the virus? So on and so forth!

If suffering from travel envy is one of the small prices to pay for keeping one another safe through this global health crisis, so be it. In the end, it’s just that — a small price to pay. 

Also read: Don’t Hate: There are Healthy Ways to Deal with Travel Envy

That about wraps it up for my tips on the practical things you can tell yourself when you’re feeling travel envy during the pandemic. Do you have more tricks to share when conquering travel envy at a time like this? Let us know in the comments!

About Author

Therese Sta. Maria
Therese Sta. Maria

Therese's close friends know that if they haven’t seen her around recently, then she’s probably having an adventure with her luggage and camera in hand. Though she loves staying at home and spending lazy afternoons with friends, there are times when she has to be "away from home to feel at home," — that’s when she’s bitten by the travel bug. See her travels on Instagram @reesstamaria.


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