Common Reasons Why Some People Don’t Travel

This post may contain affiliate links. We may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase. Read Disclosure.

I hear it all the time; “I want to travel, but…” There is always something in the way for some people, and while their intentions may be to one day take that dream trip, for many it’s a pipe dream or a luxury that they can’t have.

We’ve been very fortunate to live a life of travel the way we have, and in some ways, we take it for granted.

mother and two daughters posing for selfie in front of grand canyon views
Grand Canyon South Rim

Some people do not have the privilege of traveling when they want, be it time constraints, financial reasons, of personal. There are many reasons why people don’t travel, and it’s not always a simple fix.

Some people don’t want to travel, which is fine. We have to live what is in our hearts.

If you’ve every wondered why some people don’t travel, then below I will share some of the biggest road blocks that people have shared with me when it comes to travel.

Reasons Why People Don’t Travel

1. Fear of leaving friends and family

friends at the bar posing to camera
With friends and my sister in Margaret River

The fear of leaving people behind is a real struggle for a lot of people. I totally understand, we’ve left our friends and family in Australia to move to the USA, so I can relate to those people.

What those people are really afraid of is leaving the comforts of what you know.

We love our friends and family and enjoy their company, which is what makes leaving them hard, but if you have a burning desire, you’ll do it regardless.

The real reason you’re afraid to leave your friend and family behind is that you are afraid of who you are when you are not attached to these people.


Quite often, we define who we are by the people we surround ourselves with. Once they’re gone, we can feel lost as to how to think, plan, dream, and be.

Leaving the known for the unknown is terrifying, BUT thousands of people have done it before you, survived AND created the life they really love. There is no greater gift you can give to yourself, hence other people.

Live the best life you possibly can so they know all their sacrifices have been worth it.

How to overcome this fear

  • Keep your friends and family as an important part of your life and continue to share your joys and pain with them.
  • Technology is wonderful. They can be with you through Skype, and Facebook and text messages. Even a hand written letter will reach out and touch their soul.
  • Continue to lean on them for support, ask for their advice, and let them know how grateful you are for all they have given you.
  • Involve your parents and siblings in your travels. Have them to meet you somewhere in the world and create wonderful travel memories with them.
  • Come home for a surprise visit and watch them cry and then hug them straight away.
  • Show them how much travel has changed you for the better. They will be so glad that you decided to follow your heart and leave them.

How to tell your friends and family you want to travel

I know it is frightening when you think of what your parents will say. No one wants to let their parents down. When explaining you want to travel, remember to:

  • Be honest. Explain what you want to do and why.
  • Have answers prepared for when they ask you what are you going to do about your future. They’ll be worried you are throwing away a future career. Show them how your travels will actually help you learn and grow.
  • Show them what other long-term travellers are doing, and how their life has changed. Get them to read our blog to see how our career prospects never suffered, how we have travelled with our family, and we are so happy living the life we really want.
  • Show them you are serious by sharing with them your plans, your research, your savings preparation, and your budget.
  • Don’t forget to share your back up plans in case anything goes wrong. What do you plan to do should you run out of money, your things get stolen, you get into trouble. Let them see you have researched how to stay safe on the road. Trust me, they’ll be worried about those damn crocodiles.
  • Tell them why you want to travel and what you hope to get out of it at the end. It’s hard to not support someone when you see how they won’t be complete until they fulfill their burning desires.
  • Let them know how much they mean to you and will still be a part of your life. (You might just inspire them to finally live the travel dreams they have always had).

Here is some advice on how to deal with Solo Travel Negativity from Family & Friends

2. Too many responsibilities

cat sitting on cat tree inside house
Our precious Ivy

A lot of people will tell themselves; “I want to travel, but I have to take care of…” whatever it is, there is always something in the way.

Whether you have a dog to care for (a common responsibility for why people don’t travel) or a house, a garden, a parent whose getting on a bit – whatever the reason, they are valid reasons, but not an excuse not to travel.

You can put your dog in a kennel or stay with a friend, you can get a house sitter, and I’m sure you can find a sibling or a care worker for a couple of weeks to keep mom and dad company.

Don’t let your life be dictated by things that can be easily fixed. Within each day, there are things that have to be done, but what can you do to minimize them?

Put yourself and your dreams first, because travel doesn’t have to be forever, and you can return to your responsibilities.

If you dedicate the largest chunk of your day to doing tasks associated with your dreams, you’ll slip into a zone of joy and flow where time seems to expand for you. You get more done and you feel happy, more capable, and in control.

Travel removes responsibilities

Responsibilities lessen when you travel. Your soul’s natural state is freedom; its purpose is to thrive and grow. It’s called evolution. You can’t expand and grow when you are placed in a box, which responsibilities do.

That is not to say we have to give up all responsibilities and do nothing. There are many tasks we have to do in order to progress. The soul gets that.

But, it abhors menial tasks that don’t contribute to its growth, like cleaning and attending meetings you can’t stand attending.

We understand about responsibility and time. We constantly hear people complain of no time to do things, which is why they can’t succeed. It’s not a lack of time, it’s a lack of prioritizing time and allowing fear to control everything instead.

3. My career will suffer

teaching english in bangkok
teaching English in Bangkok

When I returned home from living in the States, I reached a massive career road block.

The education system denied my right to teach in Australia. The rules had changed, and because I had a 3 year University degree instead of a 4 year degree, and had been out of the country for 5 years, I was not allowed to teach, unless I went back to Uni to do my fourth year.

I had 10 years teaching experience in 5 different countries across different grades and different positions, but it meant nothing without ticking off the bureaucratic box.

So I had to change careers in the middle of my life, with two small daughters and in a new country (USA). You know what? It worked out.

Travel doesn’t alter your career path, life does. Usually it’s bureaucratic nonsense like it was with me.

You can either return to your career after traveling, or you can find a new one. Travel does not lead you down one path, there are twists and turns and tributaries on this grand adventure that lead you to the right place, and it may even spark up a new career venture for you – like travel blogging!

woman holding camera looking at lake louise
Now a travel blogger!

You can’t make a decision now based on what you think will happen in the future.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with climbing the career ladder if this is clearly what you want to do for ever, but, if you really want to travel and you afraid to lose job opportunities, you need to listen up.

I know society expects you to go to college, get a good job, work hard and reward yourself for 2-4 weeks a year. There is nothing wrong with this, but it doesn’t mean this is the right path for everyone.

Employers are not going to look at a gap in your CV to travel and think “this person has taken a break and therefore hasn’t had enough work experience for this job” they’re more likely to think “wow, this person traveled for a year, I wonder what that was like? I wander what they learned?”

You’re going to return to the world of work with a happy heart and a clear mindset.

If a company are concerned about you taking time out to travel, that to me says they are too career demanding and are they really a company you want to work for?

4. It’s not safe

couple on sand dunes at soussesvlei watching sunrise
Safely enjoying Africa

Turn on your TV and switch over to your local news channel and pay attention. How many stories are you hearing about violent crime, theft and storms? You live in a pretty dangerous town, how do you even step outside your door each day?

Hmmm, you just swallow your fear and do it because if you don’t, then you’re not living.

What’s so sad about these sensationalized stories – which depict only a small truth to the reality – is that they prevent many people from having life-changing travel moments.

You can face just as much crime, natural disasters, illness and injury in your own backyard as you can traveling.

Sure, we wouldn’t recommend hitchhiking in Somalia, but most of the time, first time travelers will go somewhere considered pretty safe.

Always do your research on safety before any trip, but don’t let it put you off going.

A better idea is to focus instead on what is positive. Take inspiration from our travel stories, 25+ years travel to 50 countries with barely a scratch.

We’ve mostly only ever experienced kindness, helpfulness, compassion, friendliness and laughter in our interactions with others.

There is nothing fearful or unsafe about the world when you look at it through the right eyes.

It is said that what you focus on you get. If you focus on danger and negativity then that is what you will attract.

If we discovered that the world is indeed beautiful and full of mostly good people, we might be more willing to do our bit to preserve this kind nature of our world and be the best person we can be.

To help you feel safer, here are some tips for safe travel, especially as a solo female traveler.

5. Not enough money

man and woman sitting at wine barrel cheersing with ocean view behind them
Kangaroo Island, South Australia

I have no money. I hear it all the time as to why people can’t travel. I even say it all the time as to why I can’t.

I’m not a fan of advising people to travel when they’re broke, it’s just not smart.

That being said, you don’t need a lot of money to travel. You can simply make money while you travel to overcome this barrier.

You can volunteer in hostels and exchange a few hours work for a bed for the night. You can take up fruit picking jobs, or teach English for a month, or try house sitting.

The ways in which you can make money on the road in this day and age is endless.

sand dunes

In September 2013 we left on an indefinite road trip around Australia. If you looked at our bank account, you’d laugh at the huge risk we have taken.

It wasn’t empty, there were reserves and no debt (thank God), but there was not enough to back us as a family traveling for a year-long road trip around one of the most expensive countries in the world.

It’s the scariest decision I’ve ever made and it it took all my strength to believe and trust.

Along the way we worked with brands and really worked hard on our blog and managed to make an income to keep us going. Our road trip lasted 18 months! Imagine the memories we would have missed if we didn’t go because we feared we wouldn’t have enough money. You just never know what might arrive and how you can create the money.

To help here are money saving tips for before and while on your trip.

6. Unfamiliar territory

group of people sitting in the back of a pickup driving through Wadi Rum
Exploring Wadi Rum Jordan

Travel puts people outside of their comfort zone. It’s one of the most exciting parts of travel, in my opinion, but it can lead to anxiety or fear for others.

It’s the fear of the unknown that holds a lot of people back.

But let me ask you this; do you know what will happen tomorrow? do you know what will happen in five years?

You can’t predict the future no matter where you are in the world.

Yes, travel can be unpredictable, but isn’t that just life?

If you live your life in fear of the unknown, you’re going to live a pretty boring life, wouldn’t you say? Do you really want to know everything that’s going to happen?

7. Genuine fear

caz hanging off side of mountain on via feratta banff
Overcoming fear on a via feratta in Banff

Of course, many people have a fear of travel. It’s called Hodophobia. Or some people refer to it as “trip-a-phobia.”

It’s usually associated with having a fear of flying, or a fear of boats – some form of transportation, rather than the fear of going away itself.

While this fear may feel overwhelming for a lot of people, it can also be overcome if you just gently ease into it.

Rather than jump on a plane, take a road trip. Rather than take a ferry across the English channel, take the Eurostar train instead.

Don’t put off traveling for fear, find a work around or try to overcome it.

I’ll be honest, I used to be terrified of flying, but I still did it anyway, because I knew getting to the other side was where the life changing moments were, and I did not want to let my fear get in the way and cause a regretful life.

It was only after at least 100 flights, and many hours of meditation, and reiki healings that the fear of flying slipped away. For a fun read, here are some flight rituals I have to keep the fear at bay.

Final Thoughts

caz posing in sunken seating area
I’m happy traveling solo in Greece

It makes me cry sometimes to see people put off traveling for these reasons, and I just want to scream from the rooftops for everyone to just trust more and do what is really in your heart.

The only reason you are not having the life you truly love is because you are saying to yourself you can’t. You are saying you can’t based on fear and not truth.

Say I don’t know how this is going to work, but I want to so I’ll do it and figure it out along the way. Let the Universe help you.

What are some reasons you’ve heard about why people don’t travel? Let us know in the comments!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

4 Powerful Ways to Travel More & Create Better Memories
Want to know how we've made a lifetime of travel for 25 years? In
This is what gives us incredible memories to share around the campfire. Join our community for insider tips and updates!
Scroll to Top