I’ve always had anxiety before I travel, and becoming a travel blogger didn’t change that.
I LOVE to travel and I get so excited before a trip, but I also have a pit in my stomach that I can’t even pinpoint what’s wrong. I get it if I travel alone, mostly, but even when I travel with someone else.
Anxiety Before Traveling
An unexpected thing I’ve noticed is that not only do I get anxiety before I travel, but a lot of travel bloggers have written that they do, too. I think people think you’re either a traveler or you’re not, and if someone feels anxiety, they think they fall in the latter group.
But seeing the high percentage of travel bloggers who admit to getting anxiety when they travel, it makes you think most people must get a little anxiety, just statistically. Literally, thousands of results come up if you google traveling with anxiety and some of the top posts are from Adventurous Kate, Neverending Footsteps, and Living in Another Language.
If you search, you’ll find hundreds of articles which share tips on how to get over pre-trip anxiety. To be honest, I don’t have a lot of tips and I always feel anxiety before I go. I am mostly writing this just in case you didn’t realize it’s VERY common. Because, if you get anxiety too, it really does help to know you’re not alone.
So what causes the pre-trip anxiety?
I’m sure everyone has a different reason as to why they feel anxious before a trip.
For me, it’s only getting from point A to point B. The second I land at my final destination, I feel like a weight has been lifted off me. I don’t feel nervous about the actual trip I’m on, it’s just getting there and then again when I go home, or to the next place.
I am not afraid of flying. Not in the slightest!
I get really organized before a trip. I pack everything and go through a checklist in my head of what I need to not forget. I check in online when I remember, and choose a seat. I double-check that I’m allowed as much luggage as I’m bringing. I double-check what time I need to leave and that I am going to the right airport. I give 30 minutes extra for traffic.
Yet, I feel sick the night before. The day of, I watch the clock and worry all day. But, the WORST thing is I don’t know why I’m worrying! I cannot think of one reason!
So, that’s anxiety. It sucks. I deal with it because this is the only time I get anxiety, therefore I don’t believe I need medication for it – in fact, having anxiety when you travel is really normal.
How do I try to get past my anxiety?
I remind myself that most of the trips I had anxiety on, went fine.
I remind myself that the worst case is that my luggage gets lost (and gets sent to me the next day) or I miss a connection. The worst case is usually losing money essentially.
I run a checklist in my head to make sure I’ve done everything and packed everything. I also check my documents list to make sure I have all of that.
I talk about my worries out loud to whoever will listen lol, sorry.
I also don’t just sit around on days I have an evening flight. I go about my day and go to the beach or pool, whatever – I just make sure I’m back to my house WAY ahead of time to shower and leave. If I sat at home all day before a 7 PM flight, I’d go crazy. It’s good to distract yourself.
When I travel with someone else, especially Ben, I don’t worry at all and am so chill – but alone, is when I feel anxious. It’s not enough to stop me from traveling and I know it’ll be 24 hours of nerves then it’s over. If you have severe anxiety you might consider not traveling alone or taking medication to help.
People say that exercise, soothing music, and such will help. For me, I just have it and nothing helps so I just mentally prepare for it beforehand.
I don’t drink coffee before a trip, it makes your heart speed up which isn’t a good mix with anxiety. I try to stick to water and stay hydrated.
I really didn’t write this to give tips, though, but just to let you know that even though I’m always traveling, doesn’t mean that I’m always just carefree! I get nervous and if you do too, I hope it helps to know you’re not alone!
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Love this post lady! I get anxiety before a flight, or well mainly during actually, it’s strange after all these years and after working in aviation for so long! But I deal with it, because it’s so worth it! Sometimes it’s worse, but I feel like I feel best when I’m alone on the plane, then I can focus on music, views out the window etc!
You do, too!? You are the queen of flying. Maybe that is why you always get champagne when you fly hehe
Rachel & Veera, I have been studying anxiety and how to overcome it and also just listened to a documentary on overcoming “blockages” (for lack of better wording) in the brain to certain situations that over whelm and cause anxiety for us.
I suggest you to focus more on everyvthing you do rather then thinking about how you get there. I, for instance even like travelling ” anxiety” because I know that I will have time where no daily tasks will be included.I never worry bout getting there from here.But I get anxiety on the plane, sometimes I feel claustrophobic and fear if its not a smooth flight.I’ d rather not fly.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. Yes, it’s good to put your mind somewhere else.
haha, same thing happens to me always, almost everytime when I fly. Only KFC chicken can make me calm and relaxed at this situation, :) So I generally try to carry grilled chicken inside flight, haha.
Hahha, that’s too funny!
I feel this. Whenever I travel by plane I’m always so terrified at security control even though I know I’m not trying to smuggle anything in illegally :p. Coming to America was especially scary cos I was convinced the border controls were going to send me home even though again there wasn’t literally no reason for them to do so. Thanks for sharing your experiences, I’m glad it’s not just me :p
Yes, I get worried about it sometimes too (but usually cuz I have a 50 pound bag of snacks I’m bringing from USA to India lolol!)
I am also one of those people who get very anxious before taking a trip. Mostly it is because I am afraid of flying. Crossing the ocean on 12-13 hours flights are terrifing for me. But once at the destination, I feel comfortable and ready to explore. I haven’t found a solution yet on how to get rid of my anxiety unfortunately.
Oh wow can’t imagine being afraid of flying – that must be so hard for you! Thanks for sharing though, people will definitely be relieved to know they aren’t alone if they feel that way too
Such a refreshing read! I love when people get real and unmask all the instagrammable layers every once in a while. Travel is exhausting, it is always novelty over familiarity and can be pretty darn scary (my most recent breakdown was when I thought I arrived in paradise in Bali, but they lost my luggage and I didn’t bring ANYTHING on my hand luggage but my laptop). Luckily, Netflix and local food ordering services had me back in place pretty quickly ;)
Netflix saves the day!! Yep, I’m always a wreck the night before a trip – double checking and just stressing over nothing.. drives my boyfriend mad!
Thank you – this actually means a lot. I actually thought I was the only travel blogger who dealt with that kind of anxiety before travelling… like you said about flying, it’s not being afraid of something… but it’s just having everything under your control (or otherwise) that can be a bit stressful/terrifying.
Hey Tim, yes you are not alone! lol – it’s so annoying to feel like this before a trip!
Every time I go on a trip I get bad anxiety for about a month, I’m not afraid to fly at all, I just want to get there, because in my mind what if something bad happens and I don’t make it on my trip! I know it’s weird!!
I really resonate with this. I have been traveling for more than a decade, and still experience anxiety for a couple of weeks before getting on the plane. Once I’m at the airport, the nerves magically disappear for the most part. Similar anxiety sometimes arises when changing locations during a trip as well. Something to do with the unknown, and realizing how ephemeral any situation can be–I think it has an existential component, this kind of anxiety. Thanks for the article.
Love your post!
I get anxiety before every trip I take, solo and with friends! And unless I remember to take care of myself properly it can get out of control whilst I’m away.
Knowing other people get anxious too really helps. And I’ve found that just being honest about it really takes the pressure off meeting new people.
Anxiety is such a common condition, and we can’t let it stop us living our travel dreams
Thank you. I feel “not as weird” about not wanting to go to Hawaii tomorrow… From Alaska… In january. My anxiety is that bad.