8 Ways to Tell if You’re a Travel Junkie

See recent posts by Rachel Klein

Do you spend hours reading about potential bucket list trips? Stand any pricey purchase you make up against how much you could otherwise be spending on a plane ticket? What about booking flights just for the sake maintaining airline status? If any of this sounds familiar, believe us, we get it. Check out this list below to see if you fit the travel junkie profile. 

Marco Nürnberger/Flickr

Marco Nürnberger/Flickr

1. You obsessively check flights and fares — to everywhere.

Consider this the primary indication that you’re a member of the club. Think about how many times you get a cheap fare alert from Airfare Watchdog and stop anything else you might be doing. Right up there with checking your email and Instagram account in spare moments, you find yourself looking up flights — sometimes just for fun, or because you’re bored, or to boost your mood. It’s a tough habit to temper, and those sites that allow you to enter your home airport and choose “take me anywhere” as a destination are enablers. Have you ever seen an amazing deal, hemmed and hawed and decided to sleep on it, then gotten up in the middle of the night to book? Yeah, you’re in good company. 

2. You plan your next trip while you're still on vacation.

Sure, you’re always thinking about your next journey, but it can take awhile to commit when you’re considering a few options. Sit on the fence too long and you’re bound to get distracted by other things…like trying to wrap everything up because you’re about to take off on a trip. Enter the scenario where you’re already in giddy travel mode, and your time away is waning, when suddenly it hits you: you’re about to be ticketless. The only cure for post-vacay blues is to never leave yourself without a getaway plan. If you’re a travel junkie, you won’t subject yourself to being in this awful state of limbo for more than 24 hours after you land.

3. You're a self-proclaimed expert on luggage and packing.

Hard-side, leather, or soft-side? Compression kits or old-school roll technique? Capsule wardrobe or hell-no and check? Even if you aren’t otherwise gear-obsessed or someone with an ultra-organized closet, it’s easy to geek out on these details. Get a few seasoned travelers in a room and the debate is bound to get a little heated. The takeaway here is that the average Joe won’t go rounds debating such trivialities, but you’re willing to go to the mat. And, of course, we have our own (superior) thoughts on these topics.

4. You have an incurable case of travel envy.

You’re out running errands and overhear someone gushing to her friend about an awesome recent trip to [insert personal desirable destination]. Or a coworker comes into the office rolling a suitcase, and it puts you in a terrible mood until you find out he’s going to his cousin’s wedding in [insert personal undesirable destination]. The truth is that even in the latter situation, you’re green-eyed because that person has a more recent “just-back-from” or sooner “I’m-off-to” than you, and the destination is irrelevant. Also, a lack of vacation days and/or funds — likely due to your travel habit — can make the moment feel even more desperate. 

5. You keep up with travel news.

After slogging through depressing and scary headline news, everyone has his or her feature section of diversion. Yours is travel, of course. New airline routes and hubs, major hotel renovations and openings, the best in-flight entertainment, and changes in security requirements are all top of mind. And your knowledge base drills down to the realm of total fluff and super-nerdy, from following designers who create clothing lines for flight attendants to memorizing airport codes. 

6. You believe you know how to beat jet lag.

For some travel junkies, jet lag (officially called desynchronosis) is a badge of honor. To others, showing any sign of being phased by a 14-hour time difference and 21-hour flight is amateurish. Whichever camp you fall into, your years of experience dealing with it has amounted to devising a surefire method of survival. Like cures for hangovers, some fixes border on far-fetched (taking Viagra and time zone-altering glasses come to mind). Then there are the more plausible homeopathic remedies. A few mainstream ones include taking melatonin, kicking the caffeine habit the day before, and never taking a nap when you arrive at your hotel. The list goes on. 

7. You have a romantic attachment to airports and flying.

You may whine with the masses about massive delays, oversold flights, and sitting in uncomfortable economy seats, but even with the inevitable annoyances that come with travel, you romanticize the experience. The narrative is fueled by an era when travel was indeed glamorous and a luxury — circa 1950s to mid-60s — rather than a necessary slog. You picture sitting in the sexy, Eero Saarinen-designed TWA terminal at JFK after it opened. Take a mental leap back in time when people dressed up and had matching monogrammed luggage rather than throwing on sweats and carrying a bed pillow and an overstuffed backpack. Intellectually, you know there isn’t going to be a revival, but for the most part, you manage to stay happily inside your bubble. 

8. You consider yourself a global citizen.

When you boil it down, your love of travel comes from a strong desire of, and commitment to, immersing yourself in a different culture. It’s about finding common ground with people across the globe, sharing experiences, and supporting economies with your tourist dollars. At home, you go out of your way to help travelers figure out where they’re going, and share local tips and advice when you can. Your actions alone won’t fix any of the huge problems in our world, but it’s a place to start. 

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