The world has been opening up more and more in the past few months which I think is truly amazing! However, this means more people moving around the globe which can cause some of us to feel anxious. Anxiety could spike for many reasons, it could be rooted to previous trauma, social aspects, worries about homesickness, sensory and so many other triggers. I’d love to share some of my tips and tricks that have really helped me through some tough travels including solo traveling.
- Healthy Lifestyle
- Comfy Clothes
- Organise and Research
- Understand Triggers
I personally believe that communication is key in almost EVERY situation, proper communication with someone you trust can help settle your mind and ground you. It can also bring a different perspective to the situation which can help you see the bigger picture. Something that I always try and plan before travelling is a way to communicate so I always purchase a SIM card and ensure I have it set up!
This can mean different things for each person, for me personally I love to create a special playlist on my phone to listen to if I get overwhelmed. I also ensure I pack my noise cancelling headphones to drown out any other sounds while travelling. A great book is also an option or even a handheld device such as a DS/Switch. Even if you end up over preparing or bringing more entertainment than you needed may still help as at least you have something for each situation. Also remember to charge all the devices!
This can link well with the entertainment option, I like to have a couple of playlists, one including music that I can mediate to or guided mindfulness/mediation sessions. Social media has really romanticised mediation lately and I’ll be honest I’m loving it! It can be really beneficial even in our day to day lives. Even if it’s just a simple 5 minutes while you wait for your coffee to cool down. Why not try a bit of mindfulness while doing the dishes, or when you go for a walk, really focus on what’s going on around you and what you’re doing! If your surroundings are too stimulating try closing your eyes and focusing on your breathing and body, focus on your chest and stomach moving while you breathe in and out.
Seems like a strange idea at first but I know that before I travel I tend to try and eat healthily to reduce risks of tummy upsets. Sometimes I’ll pick my known safe foods (which aren’t that healthy but reduce my anxiety). A bit of exercise on the day or day before the travelling is also good, it’ll help with sleep and we all know what lack of sleep can do to someone who is already anxious. Avoiding stimulants is also something I attempt to do on the day of travel. I struggle to live without caffeine and it does not make me jittery however, it can upset the stomach especially if you’re someone who is sensitive to caffeine.
Comfort should be one of the most important points on the list. I understand that some of us want to look great even when travelling but sometimes wearing sweats and a hoodie can really help make traveling more…comfortable. Comfort can also mean bringing a blanket if you think it’ll get cold or a fidget toy to keep your hands busy in lines.
Travelling can sometimes make you feel out of control and useless so why not research/organise your trip. Knowing where you have to go or what you have to do before, during and when you arrive at your destination can really ease the whole experience. This can also work on distracting you from the travelling itself as your mind is focused on the beautiful beach or spa you know you’re going to end up seeing. Also come up with some plan B’s and even C’s just in case your initial plans don’t work out!
I understand solo travelling is a thing…I’ve done it myself and while its very gratifying it can also be very daunting. Sometimes you can’t bring anyone with you but perhaps asking a friend or loved one to meet you at the destination or even FaceTime/Call before and after the travel can help you feel at ease.
Starting to sound a bit like a video game, getting a reward after a quest! But this can honestly help a lot, give yourself a goal or a reward for after you’ve done the hard part! Go to your favourite fast food place, or watch your comfort show when you get to your location!
This can be one of the more difficult ways to reduce travel anxiety but I believe it can certainly help you understand yourself. What makes you anxious?
Is it the mode of transport? If you fear planes why not see if you can get a boat to your location or even drive; make it a road trip. You can stop in a few places and make it a whole adventure!
Are you uncomfortable around groups of people? I personally use noise cancelling headphones and distract myself. Or perhaps find out the best times to travel where there are less people around, for example calling an airline in advance can be helpful; they can help you get onto a plane before or after everyone else which can make the process a little more relaxing.
Identifying what can trigger you can be really beneficial; you are able to establish ways of coping before you have to interact with the trigger itself. Being more prepared in anyway will always make things easier and more comfortable.
I didn’t want to include this option initially…But for some people this may be their only option and that’s ok. Make sure you have all medication ready and if you’re holding off on picking up that prescription, then don’t, go now and pick it up! Go and get it in advance so it’s one less thing to think and worry about! Maybe put some in hand luggage and some in your case just in case one goes missing. If you’re new to the medication maybe try it out before you go away to ensure you’re happy with any possible side effects. I personally enjoy using herbal options, a calming tea, rescue sprays etc (I will be writing up my favourite alternatives in a future blog).
If you got this far, thank you, I really appreciate you reading up to here! Let me know what your must haves and must dos for travel 🙂