Travelling is one of my favourite things to do.
Discovering a new place, new culture, and of course, new food.
It’s incredibly exciting!
However, as much as I love to travel, it does come with it’s own set of anxieties which is a reality for a lot of other people out there.
For me personally, getting to the destination is pretty stressful starting from packing my suitcase. I get anxious I will forget something or not pack the correct clothing. I then hugely overcompensate for time just in case there is an issue on the way to the airport meaning I spend a lot of time in the lounge. Going through security makes my heart rate sky rocket even though I know I have nothing to concern them about.
I hate taking off in a plane – I know so many people love that feeling of the plane leaping into the air and stomach dropping, but to me it is really stressful and I feel totally out of control!
Organisation and planning have been the key factors that make me feel more at ease when I travel, so I thought I would share my tips with you:
ORGANISE TRANSPORT & PARKING
This is something that can be sorted relatively in advance, so why not get to it and tick it off the list as early as you can. If you are driving yourself to the airport sort out your route and parking options. If you are getting a cab work out when you need to leave and pre-order it. If you are catching public transport check th route times and keep an eye out for any planned disruptions.
Organising these things last minute can be stressful and frustrating as it is something that can be planned in advance. You’ll kick yourself if you don’t!
If you are super organised and hate the idea of leaving something at home accidentally, grab a notepad an pen and make a list of things you need to bring. Be sensible and try not to over-pack as you may have to pay extra if your suitcase ends up being too heavy.
Start with essentials, moving onto clothing, shoes, cosmetics and electrical items.
Also don’t forget to write a separate list for your carry-on luggage making sure you leave out any liquids over 100ml or over banned items, otherwise you will be leaving them behind I’m afraid.
I have had some really stressful trips where I have run out of medication a couple of days before and have had to fight to see a doctor to get some more. Completely my fault but it can be easily done.
A couple of weeks before you are due to leave, take a look at your medication stores and see if you need to be ordering any repeats for your trip.
If you are taking electrical items with you it is a good idea to fully charge them before packing. How frustrating would it be to go to use something on arrival and it be completely dead?
Taking a look at what is going on at the destination you are going to can make it seem less overwhelming for when you finally get there. I’m not one for making a strict itinerary, but I like to have an idea of what I would like to do so that you manage to do and see everything you want.
Going somewhere new is of course exciting, but it can be very overwhelming and anxiety provoking as you are not in familiar surroundings.
WORK OUT A BUDGET
Something I am not the greatest at but it is probably a good idea to have a rough idea of how much money to take with you. I am quite impulsive and will do something at the drop of a hat if it means I will experience something that will create amazing memories, but sometimes it doesn’t work out well for my bank balance.
It’s also worth remembering you can be charged for getting money out abroad or using your card, so try to get out as much currency as you think you will need before travelling. This way you won’t need to worry about running out of money.
PREPARE A PLAYLIST OR WATCH LIST
If you have a long plane journey coming up or you are on a business trip where you will be along for long periods of time, make an uplifting playlist or even create a watch list of TV shows or films to watch.
If you are a nervous flyer like me it can be really handy to have distractions like this ready to go when you are feeling anxious. Distractions won’t make anxiety go completely but it can be a great way to get out of your head and focus on something else for a little while.
LET OTHERS KNOW
If you are travelling with others, let them know you are feeling anxious and what they can do in order to help you when you need it. It may be a simple “how are you feeling?” or a reassuring smile that you need. They may even have some tips to feel calmer that you may not have considered.
I know it isn’t easy to talk to some people about mental health, but you don’t necessarily have to give them chapter and verse of your diagnosis. Simply saying you are a nervous flyer or being somewhere new stresses you out can give them enough information to help you feel more at ease.
I hope these tips help any other anxious travellers out there. If you have any tips I haven’t included please leave them below in the comments!