What it is and how to get it
An extreme urge to get out and see stuff. This not-so-rare affliction displays symptoms similar to that of Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO). It is most often contracted by looking through friends’ photo albums, though cases have also been reportedly linked to researching ancestry, scuba diving, and post-honeymoon withdrawal.
Skyscanner is your home page
- Your screen savers are better than the ones that come with the computer
- You volunteer to plan other peoples’ trip itineraries
- Invariably you find yourself in the travel section of any bookstore you walk into
- None of your decorations at home match because it’s all from random countries
While unfortunately there is no known cure (other than visiting Baltimore), the CDC compiled a list of home remedies. Scientific studies have shown these remedies will make Travel Bug symptoms more tolerable:
- Sign up for as many loyalty programs as possible (I have 10 airlines, 7 hotel chains and 1 car rental loyalty program). Check out Travel Is Free to see what this looks like if you go down the rabbit hole.
- Put all your daily purchases on a credit card for frequent flyer miles on purchases. Omaha to Madrid in business class for $28? Not bad. Find a card that offers massive travel points just for signing up – Visit Travel is free, Johnny Jet or Nomadic Matt to keep tabs on these offers.
- Visit Travel Adventure Shows. I go to these whenever I can to wander around, listen to industry experts who travel constantly and chat with representatives from destinations I plan on traveling to get the real scoop.
- Find a travel buddy: My two favorite travel buddies are my wife, (who can put up with me for hours on end and tolerates listening to audio books at triple speed) and my dog, Mitch, who is always up for any adventure (to include Nebraska, Michigan, hiking in Utah, Colorado, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, ocean time in North Carolina, and a trip to Niagara falls).
- Set up travel alerts for your airport of choice: Kayak, Momondo, FareDealAlert or AirFareWatchDog can all keep track of special deals from your home airport and destination of choice.
- Travel. Do it. Go. Take two weeks, or quit your job and hike for two months. People do it more often than you think.
If you find yourself displaying these or other symptoms, do some homework, and make sure to read up on overseas safety before you go. A bad experience can be detrimental to the travel bug – get out there, but be smart about it. Finally, though some may tell you otherwise, I fully support donating half your stuff and putting the rest into storage while you explore the world!
How do you stoke your wanderlust?