The Cure for Post Trip Depression

The points and miles game can be euphoric. Finding that incredible bonus offer. Learning for the first time that you really can earn 500,000 miles just by signing up for credit cards. And, of course, planning your dream vacations.

And then there’s the aftermath.

MJCole labels it PTD – Post Trip Depression:

We just recently returned from an amazing 23 nights in Italy – a trip that I spent over 18 months planning for. And now that we are back, I’m so sad that it’s over! I literally spent almost all my free time over the last year and a half reading reviews, looking at pictures, and learning the history of the places we were going to visit. Now I don’t know what to do with myself! I’m going to start going through our 6,500 pictures, but I’m afraid that might make it worse!


Does anyone else have this problem?

You definitely aren’t alone MJCole.

Now, as many of you are frequent flyers, that next trip is often just around the corner thanks to all of the miles and points you have accumulated. Then again, the vacation time might be all used up for awhile and so even if you have the miles to spare it might be some time before you have a chance to cash ’em in.

Fellow travelers on the Slow Travel Talk forums can’t write a prescription for Prozac, but they do offer some homegrown cures:

…arrange to try out a recipe idea picked up from your travels a month after you get back. Even better if using ingredients bought there ~Ian Sutton

only one real cure, get planning for another trip. … Ive said a final goodbye to many of my favorite places so many times..but by some means found myself back there ~rnrman

Going through pictures, organizing and labeling, and writing a trip report will help ease the pain. ~Engred

American in Parigi offers a cure that relates to a previous post I wrote – Europe: Filmed on Location – about a thread in the Rick Steve’s Europe forums (proving once again we’re all ultimately just one big group of travel lovers, conversing away in our own little corners of cyberspace):

One thing that does help is to see movies that take place in the destination(s) that I love. Then, seeing all my old haunts, I feel a happiness and tenderness

Slow Travel Talk isn’t a community that focuses on points and miles and so it isn’t completely surprising that no one, at the time of this writing, has suggested replenishing mileage balances as a potential cure. Maybe MS is the best cure for PTD.

Do you suffer from PTD? What have you discovered to help ease the pain?

Read the thread – and all of the suggested cures – in its entirety: Post Trip Depression

Image: “Hello 2009” by Evil Erin. CC BY 2.0.



  1. I am proactively warding off PTD. We are 7 weeks in on a 10 week Europe trip and last night I booked first class award tickets for my wife and I to return next May. Got to love miles and points.

  2. Go through and organize the previous trip’s photos for sharing. Then, identify the next destination and watch YouTube travel videos for that destination…

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