16 Signs You’re Addicted to Travel

Travel is a bit like a drug. Once you start, it can be difficult to stop, and the more you do it, the more you want to keep doing it. Go without it for long enough, and you may just find yourself in a pawn shop with your significant other’s fancy watch and a fistful of Great Aunt Gertrude’s silver in an effort to plan your next escape.

What are the symptoms of addiction? Besides hoarding travel shampoo, packing a suitcase to go grocery shopping and dealing with “the shakes” when you’re grounded for too long, we wanted to know what qualifies you as a travel addict. So we put out a call to our loyal readers to come up with common signs that someone may need to stage an intervention on your behalf. Here’s how they filled in the following blank:

“You know you’re addicted to travel when ___.”

1. “… you have more miles in the air than you have on all your vehicles combined!” — Janet K.

Helloooo, upgrades!

2. “… the projected period of your next big trip is slated to be longer than the amount of time you anticipate being retired.” — Mike

Holy cow! How long is his trip?

3. “… you sleep with your passport.” — @kasiainparis on Twitter

Does it have its own pillow?

4. “… you live out of your suitcase even when ‘home.'” — Judi E.

Closets are overrated … and who needs hangers, anyway?

5. “… you can and have given tourists directions in London, Paris, Tokyo — or any other places you don’t live in.” — Bruce

Bonus points if you can do it in the official language.

6. “… you’re planning one trip while on another!” — @missyfarrenPR on Twitter


7. “… you already know the airport codes for airports you’ve not yet visited.” — Jo Ann Slate

It helps to make flashcards.

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8. “… you can pick up your luggage and guess, within a few ounces, the weight.” — Barbara Calder

Great news! She just saved a lot of money on her baggage fees.

9. “… you start collecting small, clear plastic bags for check-in.” — @MonicaSarkar on Twitter

Next week, on “Hoarders”…

10. “… you sit down at your desk and reach for the seatbelt.” — Alan G.

Imagine his confusion if he actually found it.

11. “… waking up at home feels strange.” — Jeff

Only if you went to sleep elsewhere.

12. “… your cubicle at work is covered in postcards.” — @DanielleRauch on Twitter

Because a little coworker jealousy never hurt anyone.

13. “… you think about getting a small airplane tattoo for your ankle.” — Diane

But did she go through with it?

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14. “… you always have at least two bags at home: one in ‘unpack’ mode and one in ‘packed and ready to go’ mode.” — Bruce

Let’s just hope he never accidentally grabs the wrong one.

15. “… you know which customs agents to avoid!” — @MayDayTravel on Twitter

One too many Cuban cigars, eh?

16. “… the only reason you work is so you can afford to upgrade your next trip.” — Marvin

And cash in your “sick” time so you can actually go on it.

We want to know which symptoms you’ve experienced and how you’re planning to get your next fix. Post your answer in the comments.

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–written by Ashley Kosciolek


By Sarah Schlichter

Deputy Executive Editor Sarah Schlichter's idea of a perfect trip includes spotting exotic animals, hiking through pristine landscapes, exploring new neighborhoods on foot, and soaking up as much art as she can. She often attempts to recreate recipes from her international travels after she gets home (which has twice resulted in accidental kitchen fires—no humans or animals were harmed).

Sarah joined the SmarterTravel team in 2017 after more than a decade at the helm of Sarah's practical travel advice has been featured in dozens of news outlets including the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, USA Today, Budget Travel, and Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio. Follow her on Twitter @TravelEditor.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "A journal. Even years later, reading my notes from a trip can bring back incredibly vivid memories."

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: "Road tripping and hiking through the rugged mountains of Patagonia."

Travel Motto: "'To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.'—Freya Stark"

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: "Aisle. I get restless on long flights and like to be able to move around without disturbing anyone else."

Email Sarah at

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