Ever had that feeling in an airport that you would rather be anywhere else in the world than there? Us too. Travelling can be a major source of anxiety for most people. Plus, because it’s an unavoidable certainty if you want to head off on holiday, everyone is in the same boat (pun intended). We think your holiday mindset should start the moment you leave the house, so we have thrown together this super quick list of things you can do to ease your travel anxiety to make jetting off way less scary!
Before you head off
1) Research where you’re going like mad
To keep the anxiety at bay before your holiday adventures, do some research into the place. Take a look at restaurants and cafes, attractions, even things like where you can get hold of medicine if you need it. This a great way to take the pressure off, and if your anxiety can’t deal with the unknown, you won’t have to worry about it for much longer.
2) Carry all your important stuff close to hand
Get a handy folder for all your important travel bits like tickets, travel insurance, boarding passes and more. That way, you will definitely be avoiding that last-minute panic at boarding time when you can’t find any of it.
3) Have back up confirmations etc
If you are the kind of person who not only gets anxiety but has the tendency to lose stuff, print extra copies of travel documents and put them in your main luggage as well as your hand luggage folder. You can’t lose something twice, right?
4) Take pictures of stuff that makes you nervy before you leave
Ever got half way to the airport and suddenly thought you left the oven/straighteners/fire on, or the doors half open? Yeah so have we. A good trick is to take photos of everything as you do it: the cold oven, the unplugged appliances, the locked doors and windows. When you suddenly think you haven’t done something for whatever reason, you can flick through the photos to reassure yourself, and get on with the rest of your holiday.
5) Leave plenty of time for journeys
Make sure you have plenty time to spare for long journeys. Of course, this can mean you are covered if you get held up at security, but also so that you can factor in time for the toilet and some calm moments before boarding.
Once you get there
6) Screenshot Google Maps and bookings in case you run out of signal/data
Something that can be a major source of anxiety is the thought of getting lost. Screenshot your Google Maps route before you leave the solid WIFI connection of the hotel or Air BnB so you have a back-up photo of it if you run out of signal or don’t have the data. Now you just have to learn to read a map.
7) Put all the important stuff in one place before you unpack everything else
Remove any anxiety around losing your stuff by finding a safe place for it all to go in the hotel or accommodation before you unpack everything else. Otherwise, you are sure to end up with a wallet in the bin, a passport in the sink and money under the bed.
8) Make sure you have time to chill on arrival
Schedule in a bit of time to unwind when you get to where you’re going, so that you can have a moment lying on your bed with a cold drink and a big bag of crisps and just be present.
9) Have your first day planned
Whilst planning every single day might not be your thing, having a decent plan for the first day will help to take some of the stress out of your journey. Knowing that you are going to kick off your holiday in style gives you something great to look forward to, and focus on all the fun that is to come.
10) Take some self-care time when you need it
The most important thing through all of this is that you take care of you. If you need a moment of distance, if you need to eat snacks, if you need to take a break from travelling, do it. There is nothing worse than having travelling to or from a holiday leaving you feeling too drained to really enjoy yourself.
If you are dealing with anxiety and need someone to talk to, you can reach out to the Ditch the Label Community here, and we will listen to you.