Tips for travel anxiety
Traveling can be an exciting and exhilarating experience, but for those who experience travel anxiety it can sometimes feel overwhelming and uncomfortable. These anxious feelings can often overshadow our experience and make traveling less appealing. I am still working on making traveling more seamless for myself, but I have some tips for those seeking some ways to help and possibly eliminate travel anxiety.
My first tip goes for any kind of travel, whether by car or plane. Carrying around large and heavy luggage can slow you down, making getting through TSA or even in and out of your lodging more difficult. I recently traveled to California and did not account for the amount of moving around we would have. We stayed in three different places over a 6-day period. My suitcase weighed nearly 50 pounds and at one point my fiancé had to carry it up and down 65 outdoor steps to get in and out of one of our Airbnb’s. I barely wore half the outfits in my suitcase and ended up not needing most of what I packed… which leads me to tip number two.
Plan your outfits
My outfits depend strongly upon weather, atmosphere, occasion, and even my mood. All of that usually persuades me to overpack my clothing. Let’s be honest, you don’t need 5 pairs of jeans, 5 dresses, and 7 tops for 6 days. I ended up re-wearing a lot of my pieces over, leaving the others to remain folded.
Check TSA guidelines
The first time I traveled alone I was 15 and I was returning home and I was stopped at TSA for my liquids. I sat there for 20 minutes as a TSA employee explained why each of my liquids was too large in size and I watched as he threw each of them in the trash. I was devastated… all of the money I had earned went mostly to hair and skincare products, now all of them were in the trash. Needless to say, I’ve been pretty meticulous about my liquids ever since. I check the guidelines before each trip just in case something had been updated. You can find TSA approved bags with empty bottles for purchase almost anywhere these days. I have recently found one I love and just use this to transfer all of my favorite full-size products.
Have a plan
Some trips are fueled with spontaneity and that is totally okay, but even a loose idea of a possible plan can make things a lot easier. If you are traveling through Europe or driving through the states pin point some states or specific landmarks you want to see and use those to form a plan. Do your research and identify areas you want to be in and book your hotels or Airbnb’s accordingly.
Set a budget
Nothing is worse than running out of money on your trip or when you arrive home afterwards. Keep track of your expenses in your phone’s notes, or your favorite budget app, and have a general idea of how much you can spend. You can break it down by category: transportation (uber, rental car, flights), lodging (hotel, Airbnb), food, fun, other, etc. Also remember to call your bank to let them know you are traveling, especially if it’s out of the country to let them know how long you will be away to ensure your accounts aren’t frozen for fraudulent activity.
Pack some travel essentials
I always load my carry on or backpack with things to distract me during a flight or long car ride. Fully charged air pods, portable phone charger, a book, sheet masks, and I always remember to download plenty of music, podcasts, & Netflix. Remember when we were kids and we would consistently ask our parents, “are we there yet?” Well, that phrase has now been transformed into anxiety for me. Having these essentials helps me to stay occupied so I can avoid anxiously anticipating my arrival.
Travel is a great way to spark curiosity and creativity. It can be full of adventure or provide some much-needed relaxation. I hope these tips help you travel with ease and grace. Ultimately, find a system that works for you. Do you need to have structure, so you know what to anticipate? Or is planning entirely overwhelming for you? Whatever system it may be, I hope you feed your wanderlust to its fullest capacity.