I love traveling but I also find it a bit stressful sometimes. Like I wrote about recently, I’m someone who really loves the comforts of home, so when I’m traveling and out of my daily routine, it can throw me for a loop.
Do you deal with travel anxiety too? Let me guess:
- You wake up extra early on the day of your flight because you’re terrified you’ll miss it
- You get to the airport way earlier than necessary
- You rehearse in your head your strategy for taking your shoes off and getting out your quart baggie of liquids before the security checkpoint so you don’t hold up the line
- You try not to look suspicious as you pass through security even though you have nothing to hide (lol)
- You don’t drink much water so you don’t have to get up to pee on the flight and disturb your row-mates but then you regret it because you’re dehydrated
I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point. Travel anxiety is a reality and if you have it, you’re not the only one. But don’t let it get in the way of future travel plans. Instead, look for small ways to simplify and give yourself fewer things to worry about.
Pack early and use a packing list
Try to finish packing your clothes a few days prior to your trip so you don’t have to worry about anything but toiletries on the day you leave.
It might sound elementary, but using a packing list should not be underestimated! My friend Sara made a packing list template in Excel that can be customized based on the weather at her destination and then printed out to use as she packs. I’m not quite on her level, but I do use a different app for packing — more on that later in the post.
Bring healthy snacks and a refillable water bottle
You won’t always have access to affordable food while you’re traveling, so bring some snacks you know you enjoy. You can munch on them at the airport instead of buying overpriced junk food, bring them with you as you traipse around a new city, and have them to fall back on in your hotel room for when you don’t feel like going out or ordering room service. I always bring dried fruit and nuts with me, and here are some of my other fave travel snack ideas.
And a refillable water bottle is a given — just make sure to dump it out before security!
Wear comfortable clothes
Don’t be a hero. If you pack cute but pinchy shoes, you’re either going to wear them and regret it or not wear them at all and regret wasting the suitcase space.
Just leave the heels out altogether and focus on bringing versatile footwear like sneakers that can go from streetwear to gymwear. These are the ones I like lately.
Use apps to your advantage
Apps are a godsend for staying organized while traveling. As I mentioned above, I use an app called Todoist to create packing lists for my trips. Actually, I use Todoist for everything.
To keep track of travel details like flight times, directions, hotel information, and dinner reservations, I use the app TripIt. I’ve also talked about TripIt before, but I bring it up whenever I can because it’s truly indispensable to me.
Travel confirmations received via email can be forwarded to a special TripIt email address to be magically whipped up into a neat little trip outline. The best perk is having easy access to your flight confirmation number!
Don’t be embarrassed to have a travel folder
If apps aren’t your thing, I’d recommend bringing a special folder or binder for all your trip details. In it, you should keep passports (if necessary), tickets, reservation confirmations, and directions you anticipate needing.
Whoever you’re traveling with might laugh, but you’ll be the one laughing when printed directions get you out of a bind in a cell data-less area!
Get a scan-friendly carryon bag
This is a new development in my travel life and I’m obsessed. My mom got me this backpack that has a special mesh laptop section and can be zipped open to 180 degrees to go through the security scanner. That way I don’t have to remove my laptop from my bag and put it in a plastic bin!
Do you usually do yoga or work out? Does it make you feel crappy when you’re out of your usual routine for a few days in a row? Try to do yoga or work out while you’re away. Bring your yoga mat with you, load your tablet up with quick workout videos, or look for a hotel with a fitness center.
Unless of course you’re taking a vacation from everything about daily life. In that case, by all means lounge away and get some balance! 🙂
Are you an anxious traveler too? Any other helpful travel tips you use to deal with travel anxiety?