Most people dream of traveling the world. When summer gets closer I love making lists of places I want to travel to and explore. For some people traveling can be a very anxiety inducing experience and I am one of those people. I love traveling and exploring new places with my family and friends but the action of traveling away from home is extremely exhausting emotionally and physically for me. I have an extreme fear of flying and being away from home gives me anxiety for a variety of reasons (you probably don’t want me to list them out for you.) Some people who have travel anxiety avoid traveling all together because they don’t like the feelings that they get when they travel.
I want everyone to have the opportunity to travel this summer and not let anxiety get in the way. Because of this, I want to share some travel anxiety hacks that I have learned over the years to help make the experience of traveling less stressful and more enjoyable!
Prepare before you go
This past summer I had the opportunity to travel to VidCon 2016 to meet some of my fellow mental health creators. It was one of the best experiences of my life and one of the hardest traveling experiences I have had. Before I left for my trip I packed everything I could possibly need to help reduce the amount of anxiety I would have during the trip. I packed things that I knew would help ease my anxiety including gum, extra clothes, medications, phone numbers, chargers, etc.
Pack things in your bag that you KNOW you would need if you start feeling anxious. If you need help creating a list, think back to another trip you have taken in the past. What were some things that helped reduce your anxiety? TAKE THEM!
Remind Yourself Why You Are Traveling
Last year I was so nervous to get on that flight to Orange County. When I started to feel anxious I took a deep breath and reminded myself why I was going. I was going to see friends, followers, and other people I have always wanted to meet. I found it extremely motivating and it helped get my butt on that plane! The next time you start feeling anxious about traveling remind yourself why you are traveling in the first place.
Have a travel buddy
Having a support system is extremely helpful when you have travel anxiety. A travel buddy can hold your hand when you are starting to feel bad or let you talk about the anxieties that you are feeling. Whenever I go on a trip where there are other people going with me, I always try and have someone there that I can talk to if I start feeling bad.
I love to explore and experience new things when I travel but sometimes it can be a little too much for me. If you start feeling overstimulated it is TOTALLY okay to take a break. Do something calm and relaxing after a rather big adventure. If you are traveling with your family maybe spend some time alone enjoying your vacation. This can be as simple as just taking a few more minutes to get ready alone in your room or taking a walk on the beach.
If you are scared of traveling in general, start by taking a small trip to get used to the idea of traveling. I am terrified of being up in the air for a long period of time. When I first started flying alone I started by taking a one hour flight from Sacramento to Orange County. Yes, I was still very anxious when I was flying but getting used to being up in the air was great experience for me. Now I can take 6 hour flights all by myself because I practiced a little at a time.
Remember that you always can go home.
If you start out small and then realize that traveling isn’t for you, you can always go home. Going home DOES NOT mean you are a failure. It just means you tried something and you didn’t like it. If you feel that your anxieties are making daily life hard I want you to know that there is no shame in reaching out for help. Reaching out for help DOES NOT make you weak. It makes you STRONG AS HELL!
What helps you when you start having anxiety while traveling? Let me know in the comments down below because what helps you could help someone else 🙂