The Deal Mommy

Affluenza for Travelers: Gilded Cage Syndrome

I’ve fallen and I can’t get up. I’ve come down with traveler’s Affluenza.

GCS: Gilded Cage Syndrome

Guilded Cage Syndrome strikes when the allure of the 5 star bed is so strong it overwhelms all else. No matter what wonderful attraction, city, gourmet meal or cultural treasure awaits you, all your body wants to do is crash into that bed that feels like no other bed you have ever felt, ever, ever, ever.


GCS is an offshoot of affluenza- defined as a psychological malaise, symptoms of which include a lack of motivation, feelings of guilt, and a sense of isolation. We usually think of affluenza as a disease of the wealthy. I think miles/points collectors are uniquely susceptible due to our ability to book five star hotels for a song.

Therefore it’s not GCS if you want to be left alone in a five star hotel room: it’s a restful respite. The cage defines GCS: the guilt you feel that you should be doing something else.

GCS has ruined many a day of vacation. Since we know about GCS in advance, the best treatment is to understand when you’re most susceptible:

  • Guilded Cage Syndrome goes hand in hand with jet lag- therefore 1st days of red-eye vacations are chock full of victims who are confined to their 1000 thread count sheets.
  • GCS claims many on the 7th straight day of touring. Plan a down day every week to head it off at the pass.  After all: if rest is planned, there’s no guilt!
  • Stress goes hand and hand with guilt. If you have booked the five star hotel because you are stressed out, don’t plan anything but time at the hotel. What you need is rest- not guilt! No guilt, hence no GCS.

Please share your GCS stories. With awareness, we can beat this disease.

The Deal Mommy is a proud member of the Saverocity network. 


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