How To Handle Pre-Trip Travel Anxiety
By Bianca Lambert
Prepping for a trip, no matter how big or small, can trigger anxiety in the calmest of people. There is always so much to think about before leaving home. Did I pack enough clothes? How do I get all of my work obligations met before I go? Did I hire the right house sitter? Are the kids going to be okay while I’m gone?
Add on the stress of getting to the airport on time, travel delays, and whatever else might get thrown your way, can lead many of us to feel like we’ll need a vacation after our vacation. We want you to take a deep breath or two and know that travel anxiety is normal.
You might experience travel anxiety in one of these two ways. One happens during your travels when things aren’t going as planned, and the other can affect you before you even take off or hit the road. We have some good news, with a few tips — you can take control of your travel anxiety.
Planning ahead of your trip can take away some of the stress you’re feeling. If you know you have work deadlines, get ahead the weekend before. It’s not ideal to spend your weekends working, but if it means getting your to-dos done faster, it will be worth it. If you’re a traveler that always shows up at airport security with no time to spare, leave an hour earlier than usual to ensure you’re not frantically running through the airport to reach the boarding door. Anything that you can get a head-start on before your departure date, do it.
Do Your Research
If you’re heading to a country you’ve never been before, read articles, get advice from well-traveled friends, and even talk to your Airbnb hosts before your land. Every question you’re asking yourself can likely be answered any of those three ways. You also have to remember traveling gives us an opportunity to learn in the process even if we make mistakes along the way.
Take Some Me Time
Everyone needs time (even if its 10 minutes) to take for themselves. If mediating helps you focus your nervous energy or calms your anxiety, set aside 10 minutes to recenter. Thanks to apps like Headspace, all you need is a quiet space, and you’re good to go. In need of a few extra minutes of sleep, take a nap — or get those endorphins going and go for a walk. No matter what you do, take some time to sit still, breath, and regroup.
Allow Your Vacation To Be Less Than Perfect
You’ve planned every second of your trip down to the time you’ll get in a good night’s sleep. We know that planning can help get things in order and keep your trip on track, but you can’t predict how your trip is going to go every second. If something comes up that you hadn’t planned for, don’t freak out. You know you can do this!
Talk To Someone
We want to note that anxiety is normal and can be a good thing in certain situations, as it is a reaction to a situation we perceive as stressful or dangerous, and can save our lives when we’re in trouble. But, If you find that your anxiety is affecting your ability to move forward with your travel plans or causes you to pause your life in general, you may want to take time to talk with someone. Thanks to resources like Therapy For Black Girls, Black Therapists Rock, and apps like Talkspace, you can find the support you need to take control of your anxiety and keep traveling the world.