I don’t think I’ve talked about it much on here yet but I unfortunately suffer from anxiety and have since childhood. Over the years I’ve gotten a pretty good hold over my everyday anxiety however, I still struggle a lot and I plan on doing a lot of posts in the future about how I cope. For today I wanted to focus on travel anxiety.
The world is so vast with so many things to see and so many people to meet. I knew it would be such a shame if my anxiety stopped me from travelling because it’s something I’m really passionate about. I am fortunate enough that I don’t have a fear of flying so airplanes are not the issue for me. However, the thought and feeling of being in a new place FREAKS me out.
I have always been an adventure seeker and once I went away to college I made it a goal to travel at least once a year. Since then, I’ve made traveling a priority and had some amazing experiences. No matter what I do or how much I prepare I always have some type of anxiety especially on the first day of a trip. I recently came back from my first European trip which was a huge step in the right direction for me and I experienced some pretty bad anxiety while I was there. I thought I would compile what I’ve learned over the years so that if any of you are suffering this can maybe help. Please keep in mind that there are varying degrees of anxiety and this is just what worked for me. I understand there are people out there who fear flying or people who can’t even take long car trips. No matter what your level of anxiety is, I hope that this helps you in some way.
- Be prepared. Do errands ahead of time so that you’re not rushing the day before you leave. Start a week before and figure out what you need. This leaves time to pick up anything you may remember to bring as the week progresses. I usually start packing two days beforehand so I would definitely recommend not leaving that until the last minute either. Set reminders to print boarding passes or check in and charge your phone the night before.
- Make lists and stay organized. Mentally walk yourself through the days you’ll be away and figure out what you’ll be using. I like to make a list with good, old-fashioned pen and paper. I separate my packing list into toiletries, hair products, makeup, electronics, miscellaneous,etc. I also write out a general idea of what I’ll be wearing each day. I check the items off of my list AFTER they go in my suitcase and never before, to ensure that it’s really in my suitcase. I also bring the list with me so I can go over it before I go back home so that I know I haven’t left anything behind.
- Bring medicine if you need it. I’m not huge on taking anxiety medicines but sometimes it can be a helpful tool in getting you to calm down. There is a time and a place for taking these kinds of pills and I only take them if I’m having a serious meltdown. Your doctor can help you to better figure out what is right for you. You should also consider bringing ibuprofen and other meds in case you get sick. This is one mistake I made and I really regretted not bringing the medicine I needed.
- Find internet and contact family/friends. Once you get to a spot with Wifi, Facetime or message someone you love and trust. Knowing that they’re at home waiting for you will give you a sense of comfort. They can remind you home will still be there when you get back.
- Watch anti-anxiety videos or read articles on how to stop it. In Spain, at night, I would watch anti-anxiety, meditation videos. These helped me tremendously and allowed me to relax and calm my mind.
- Keep your routines as similar as you can. If you have a nighttime and morning routine try to follow it. This will help you to create a sense of home and give you some familiarity.
- Lastly, take deep breathes and now that it will pass 🙂
I wish you all a lifetime of worry free travels! Please comment down below and let me know if you have any tips or tricks on stopping travel anxiety.