Advice for Travel Related Anxiety
Travelling with Anxiety is HARDDDD. Between planning everything to the last detail and assuming the worst if anything changes, it can be exhausting AF. I’ve had my fair share of solo trips as well as my period of long term travel so it’s about time I shared some advice for minimising anxiety when it comes to travelling.
This post covers the “Planning and Transport” kinda areas and I’m going to write another post for Daily Anxiety Management while you’re travelling - I’ll post on insta and fb once it’s finished!
So let’s get into it!
Obviously the number one tip would be to PLAN your trip. When I plan, I go hard. Doing your research when it comes to the airports can chill you out and make you feel on top of your game. I always try to book direct flights because transfers stress me out so much… If you do need to transfer between stops, check out the different terminals you need to get to and make sure you give yourself loads of time to dodge the other passengers. Running for a flight is on my “do not want” list.
Weigh your baggage too! I always know my bag limits and weigh them using one of those simple bag weighing tools. Try to stay under your limit and you won’t start sweating when the check-in desk guy puts it on the scales. It’ll help with overweight baggage fees too – always save those pennies!
If you’re going out of the EU, you’ll probably need a Visa. I used to stress about this SO MUCH but it’s way simpler than you think. Just go to your governments website (https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice) and they should have a section on Visa requirements (the UK one does anyway!). It usually lists requirements for each country and how to apply for a visa. If you can’t find it on your governments website, go to your destination’s governments website instead. Knowing the fees, passport pictures or photocopies needed will make you feel super prepared when you’re waiting at immigration.
Also, I always practice my answers to any questions the immigration officer might ask me. The usual questions are:
- Where did you come from?
- Which cities are you going to visit?
- How long are you here for?
- What do you do for a living?
Some of them are chatty cathys and ask a ton of questions but luckily, Scott usually gets interrogated and I get through without being asked any questions!
Knowing where you’re going is a must, I’d say… When I was going to Rome, I was so nervous that I’d get lost in the city center, that I Google mapped my way from the train station to my hotel, countless times. I even “walked” there using Street View to make mental notes of any landmarks to help navigate once I was there. Never Unprepared!
Hostels can be the worst for someone with anxiety. Especially Social Anxiety. I wrote a whole post a while back on overcoming Hostel Anxiety here. Although, if you’re not prepared to use “exposure therapy”, booking a hotel or an AirBNB can help. It takes away the social aspect of sharing a room or feeling forced to socialise when you just want to be alone! After a long day seeing sights and being surrounded by people, there’s nothing better for an introvert than having their own space to wind down and recharge themselves.
If you’re new to AirBNB, you can sign up here and get £25 off. I love using it while I’m gallivanting around. A home away from home feels so good!
Doing your research when it comes to booking accommodation or tours is a given. I’ve made the mistake a few times of booking before reading reviews and had to quickly cancel because I didn’t fancy sharing a bed with cockroaches… Taking the time to read a few google reviews or posts on trip advisor can pay off and save your trip.
FEAR OF FLYING
I’m lucky that I don’t suffer from fear of flying but I have some friends that do and they recommended the following…
Take some calming medications. Keeping some “Kalms” or “St Johns Wort” tablets can help you to chill out and make you feel sleepy so you can slip off to the land of nod on the flight. Blocking out sound and sight can help distract you too. Ideally, you want to convince yourself that you’re somewhere else! Noise Cancelling Headphones can block out all of the normal clunks and whirls of the plane and screaming babies. These are the ones I use and they’re the best investment I’ve made since leaving home. Sleep masks can help too, and paired with the headphones and a meditation app (like Calm), can help you drift off and keep you chilled.
You can work toward conquering your fear using this fact-based training by a pilot called Stacey Chance: Visit the site.
BELIEVING IN YOURSELF
Anxiety is really common and loads of people still travel despite their worries (hiya 🖐). If those people can travel, so can you. If you’re convincing yourself that you can’t do it, focus on everything else you’ve told yourself you couldn’t do but have done anyway. Use that evidence to smack your anxiety in the face! If you still can’t convince yourself, start faking it until you make it and push that Fuck It button! It’s cliche but, you can do whatever you want to do - just convince yourself that you can.
Hopefully you’ve found the advice above helpful. If you’re planning a big trip, try to focus on how amazing it’ll be instead of the worries. We know the worries will always be there but dismissing them with thoughts of lovely beaches, interesting museums or warm sun can help keep the hype when it comes to travelling.
If you’ve got any other pieces of advice, stick them in a comment below to help other people out! You can read my other post on daily anxiety management whilst travelling here.
Have a great day and even better travels!