Many people get pre-trip travel anxiety which is relieved when they land in their destination, but others carry that anxiety while they are on vacation making it so they cannot truly relax and enjoy the moment. I want to talk about being nervous to travel or fly, being afraid to travel, and how to travel calmer so you can enjoy the moment.
You might see these carefree chilled-out travelers on Instagram or IRL on your trip and think “I wish I could feel that stress-free”. You can! If you are Type A and not naturally chilled out, you just have to prepare a bit so you can get to that zen state.
How to Travel Calmer and Avoid Travel Anxiety So You Can Actually Enjoy Your Trip
I have written about how I get anxiety before I travel which seemed to surprise a lot of people, but actually, it’s very common and many people feel uneasy before a trip. Some people even feel sick to their stomach from the nerves.
Travel anxiety is a mental thing, so for me, it’s all about calming my mind before a trip. To do that, I organize my mind first.
I know that sounds really weird but stick with me. I organize my mind then I organize my stuff for the trip. I start with running through the anxious thoughts I’m having and write them down. Am I worried I don’t have enough connection time at my layover? Am I worried that my luggage is overweight? Am I worried that the Airbnb I’m staying at isn’t in a safe part of town?
Basically, the way that I get over my anxiety and travel calmer is by addressing everything that is bothering me head-on. I use a luggage weigher and make sure my luggage is the right weight. I read forums to see if the area my Airbnb is in is safe and message my host to make sure someone will be there to meet me and let me in.
Preparation is key.
- Make sure your flight and hotel bookings are saved on your phone.
- Double check all the dates and timings.
- Make a list of what to pack. I love using the KonMari method to pack in an organized way.
- I make sure my travel documents are accessible like my travel insurance, my passport isn’t going to expire, and see if I need a visa.
- Have I done the things at home I need to do before I leave for the trip? Do I have a ride to the airport and did I give extra time in case there is traffic?
- Are you nervous to go alone? Consider planning the trip with a friend even if that means waiting until your friend is able to travel.
- Keep all the important stuff in one place so you know they are there. If you suddenly think “omg did I pack my passport?!”, you can quickly look in that pocket and see all your most important items.
- Do it all the day before you leave, not the day you leave.
- I also make sure my house is clean and in order before I leave so I don’t have to stress about that near the end of the trip.
Those are really the key things you need to have sorted out. Your paperwork, lodging, flights, and packing what you need. Somehow just going through it like a list will help you feel more relaxed because your mind will realize that you’ve DONE the things you need to do.
In severe cases of travel anxiety, you could even take photos of the things you are afraid you’ll forget to do at the house like turn on your curling iron. Then you can look at the photo later and know YES, I did turn it off. This is quite extreme, but if you worry that much then definitely try this out.
While you’re on the trip, having the things you needed packed and ready to go will make getting started with your day easier. You should pack only what you need and actually think about each outfit – pack the outfits that you love. Make sure your personal item tote bag on the plane has the things you need in it.
The more you plan, the less stress you’ll have. Here are my tips to plan a trip. Try to compartmentalize your trip into pieces and make a list. Start going through it all so that you can clearly see you ARE on top of things.
Read about your destination. Read personal blogs. Read safety tips. Download apps that will help you like Uber. Make sure you have internet access abroad by buying a SIM card at the airport or renting a hotspot to take with you on your trip.
Once you have gone through this and know that you are prepared, then STOP. Don’t keep going over it. Don’t keep checking your luggage or flight time. Do it once, and stop.
It’s time to enjoy the moment. Read a book you’ve been putting off while you’re on the plane. Watch a movie you’ve been dying to see. Try to enjoy the flight journey as part of the adventure. I recommend avoiding alcohol and coffee on the plane as well as excessive sugar. Some people swear by using weighted travel blankets and I bet that does work considering being under a heavy duvet is the best feeling ever.
Focus on anything other than the trip and if you feel anxious, take deep breaths and go back to reading your book, listening to your favorite music, or whatever you are distracting yourself with. Some people say you can tense every part of your body one by one for 10 seconds then release starting at your feet and working your way up to ease anxiety or distract yourself. You can also snack which for me cures everything, haha.
On the trip, once you arrive, you’ll already have everything sorted and most of the stress behind you. It’s time to TRY to relax. If you are an anxious person, avoid coffee. Meet friends and get out of your hotel room. If you are worried about getting lost, use Google maps and if you don’t have internet take a screenshot of the map, download the offline version, and carry a business card with the address of the hotel on it.
Always carry $50 USD with you so that in any case, you can hop into a taxi and get back to your hotel. Knowing that you can just get back to your hotel at any time is a nice way to relax!
These are some tips I use to ease travel anxiety and be able to enjoy the moment while I’m abroad. I hope these will help you travel calmer, too! When you travel while feeling totally carefree it’s pure bliss! Pin how to travel calmer for later:
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