How to beat homesickness

How to beat homesickness when traveling alone

Traveling can be a wonderful, mind-changing experience. It can also mess with your head and make you feel homesick when traveling alone. It took me quite a while to find strategies on how to make myself feel better when I’m alone in a hostel and need to beat homesickness.

Here are a few things that I do, so that I won’t feel lonely when I’m traveling alone:

1. Get out and explore!

Even if you feel tired and jet lagged and alone in a city that just feels different: Get out and explore your surroundings. I often that fresh air is the best for me and that seeing other people and new places takes my mind off feeling lonely. I get some coffee and start walking or I sit down in a nice cafΓ© and just enjoy some people-watching!

2. Enjoy the peace and quiet around you.

Life is busy all the time. Being away from home is an opportunity to sit down, put your feet up and enjoy a few moments of silence. Choose a nice spot or use your hostel bed for that, in no case, do ever feel bad for doing so. It’s your time, and you should spend it the way you want! Make yourself feel relaxed and beat this dreadful homesickness!



3. Stay in contact with your loved ones.

Time difference and distance can be a bummer! Thanks to social media and skype you are still able to keep up with your loved ones! I find it helpful to text or skype with family and friends if I start to get homesick. Just talking about what I have seen and been doing, helps and always makes me realize just how lucky I am and how much I like traveling!

4. Step outside your comfort zone!

As a very introvert and quiet person myself, this is always the hardest part for me: Getting to know other people. I usually start by introducing myself to the girls in my dorm, making small talk and asking about their destinations. Many of them are solo travelers as well and appreciate a chat. Very often this has led to great company for dinner, a drink or even longer parts of my travel.

5. Find a good streaming service!

Most hostels and hotels provide free Wifi which often works quite well. For me, I prefer to have a streaming service such as Netflix and/or Amazon Prime Video set up on my Macbook or iPad. Netflix is great in the US, whereas when you are coming to Germany you might want to get Amazon Prime Video instead! In case that I feel exhausted or lonely, I simply watch one of my favorite shows or start a new one. You’ll often see people doing the exact same thing and there is no better way to start talking to people than about a TV show!

What are your tips and tricks against that dreadful feeling that sometimes comes up? How would you beat homesickness? Feel free to share!

How to beat homesickness when traveling alone. Traveling can be the most amazing experience, but it can also leave you lonely in an unknown place. I'll share with you my secrets of how to beat homesickness when traveling alone. | www.travelthewholewideworld.com

23 thoughts on “How to beat homesickness when traveling alone

  1. RosiEscapes says:

    I love whatsapp. i use that and there is a microphone part so we call hear their voice. also booking day tours is great so i do not feel alone. and definitely just smiling and saying hi works all the time. oh carry photo album but i guess that’s old school πŸ™‚ lol

    • Eva says:

      Not at all, I took lots of pictures with me when I went abroad for a year. Sometimes a hard copy is better than the digital files. Booking tours is a really good idea, too, I never tried that though.

  2. Diana Chen says:

    Great tips! As much as I love traveling alone, I’d be lying if I said I’ve NEVER gotten lonely while traveling alone. I love the tip about enjoying the peace and quiet. At home, there is always someone who wants to hang out and do things, which is great, but it’s also nice to be able to get away from all of that and enjoy some quiet time alone.

    • Eva says:

      That is a good advice as well, I always feel weird going out to a restaurant alone for a few days, but after some time I start to enjoy it – people watching is always fun!

  3. Meg says:

    Great tips! I liked the one about taking time to appreciate your alone time. Although some people may wonder why, as it sounds a little counter intuitive, I agree that embracing your alone time leads you to feel more comfortable and therefore empowered.

    • Eva says:

      Exactly, after a bit it always makes me feel empowered to be able to travel alone. It’s not something everyone does and can do.

  4. Pinay Flying High says:

    Believe it or not, I’ve never felt homesick specially during a holiday since the longest time I am on one is three weeks. But as an expat for 9 years, I’ve never felt homesickness. I don’t really know why but maybe because I know that my family is just one skype call away. πŸ™‚

    Good for you that even if you’re an introvert you make an effort to meet people and befriend them. πŸ™‚

    • Eva says:

      That is awesome for you! Of course it totally helps to have many ways to stay in contact!
      It can be really devastating to feel homesick. But then I was worse as a child and now I love to travel. So feeling like that occasionally and knowing how to deal with it, is fine, I guess.

  5. Kassie says:

    These are great tips! It’s definitely a struggle sometimes to fight off homesickness when traveling solo but these are all good ways to fend it off. I totally agree with the video streaming. I keep up with my shows while I’m on the road because it gives me a sense of normalcy and routine so I don’t feel too untethered πŸ™‚

    • Eva says:

      Exactly, also sometimes one needs to have a relaxing moment and just watch a show πŸ˜€ They make such good talking pieces! As does traveling, of course.

  6. Christina from Happy to Wander says:

    I’m really lucky (or perhaps made of stone??), but I rarely get homesick! I think what’s key is to live in the moment and realize that you should make the most of your experience while you’re abroad so tip #1 and #4 really resonate with me πŸ™‚

    • Eva says:

      That is so true – what you say about living in the moment and making the most of our experiences. I think this is the reason why I travel at all and why I made that list (first inside my head) to make my experiences even better. Because in a way being homesick is an experience on its own.

  7. Caroline (www.packthesuitcases.com) says:

    I think where you stay while travelling is another point – if you’re in a hostel there’ll be other people perhaps travelling alone who you can get to know to distract from any loneliness/missing home. But in a normal hotel or B&B it would be harder. I feel like I’m a bit old for hostels and everyone would be in their early 20s so I’d probably struggle! Haha. Really good post πŸ™‚

    • Eva says:

      I agree, it’s so much easier to meet people in a hostel.
      I used to stay in dorms happily but this year I began to feel old in a hostel. The good thing is that you’re never alone with that as well: I wasn’t the only one in my late twenties. I also wasn’t the only one who wanted to explore rather than party-all-night-long. Still torn on that issue – whether I’m too old for a hostel or not. πŸ™‚

  8. NextStopAbroad.com says:

    “….in no case, do ever feel bad for doing so. It’s your time, and you should spend it the way you want!”
    what a great reminder, Eva! I often feel miserable for not managing to see everything I wanted on my trips, for not getting up way to early and going out to explore as soon as the sun goes out.
    I will keep reminding this statement to myself more often. Thank you!

    • Eva says:

      You’re welcome! It took me quite some time to crasp that thought. When we travel, we need to remind ourselves that is still a holiday and should be relaxing.

  9. Eva Casey says:

    Wow, I really really feel this post! I have been away from home for over three months now, the longest ever for me. I find what I miss the most is having people around who really know and love me. Meeting new friends is fun, but after a while I miss having my people around! These are some great tips that you put together here, many of which I use as well!

    • Eva says:

      Hi Eva! I absolutely get how you are feeling. When friends and family know us for longer, for certain things no explanation is needed. Which makes it comfortable to be together. I once spent a year abroad and I felt like that a lot. I hope you feel better soon! It gets better after some time!

  10. Lavina says:

    Great tips here Eva! I agree, no matter how much you love traveling sometimes you yearn for a day back home with loved ones πŸ™‚

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