Updated: Aug 5, 2019
Don’t pack your anxious thoughts and worries with you while travelling this summer. Vacations are meant for rest and relaxation- not stress. No one wants to experience travel anxiety, but unfortunately many people do. There is no "cure all" solution that works for every single person. Instead, you and others must find the best strategies to manage and overcome your unique, specific travel anxiety!
How can you plan for the perfect summer getaway without worrying too much? Your mental health, and your vacation, will thank you after discovering the two best (and easiest!) strategies below.
What are some examples of travel anxiety?
The term ‘travel anxiety’ can umbrella many different moods, emotions, and mental states, but generally covers the anxiety/stress one may feel before, during, or after travel. Many people who experience travel anxiety worry about travelling safely, forgetting items they need, what lies ahead, etc. Others will stress about being on a plane/boat/train, have social anxiety, or worry about the financial aspects of travel.
Those with travel anxiety (and many others) can relate to the financial strain travel takes on their bank accounts, the work they missed, or even pets they left behind (like me). These stressors aren’t unusual, and often can prevent us from experiencing the best (and most relaxing) vacation possible. Leave the travel anxiety behind this summer and learn the best proactive and reactive strategies to help you on your way!
The two simple ways to overcoming your travel anxiety are proactive and reactive management strategies. What do these mean? Proactive strategies are steps you can take before travel (or before anxiety hits) to avoid, reduce, or manage your travel anxiety. Reactive strategies are the methods we can use to respond to travel anxiety after it’s begun. With these two simple steps to reduce, avoid, and/or overcome anxiety, you will have the best vacation ever!
Proactive Strategies to Reduce Travel Anxiety
Try any of these useful tips before you go on vacation to prevent extra stress or anxiety. Not every tip may apply to you and your trip, but browse the options below to find unique ways to decrease anxiety before travelling.
1. Create a personalized packing check-list. [Free download- example packing list]
2. Pack items you don’t use daily about a week (or a few days) in advance.
3. Keep all your medication in the same bag or use a pill organizer. [See example]
4. Have your travel outfit ready the day before you leave. Find my swimsuit top & high-waisted bottoms here!
5. Reply to all emails, texts, phone calls, etc. before you leave so you don’t have to worry about excess message “build-up”.
6. Set an automatic response message on your email account so others know you’re unavailable to respond right away.
7. Have a small bag of self-care supplies to bring with you on the plane/car/train.
8. Pack self-care supplies in your luggage as well, especially if you’re travelling on a plane or somewhere you may lose access to a bag temporarily.
9. If you suffer major anxiety or a panic attack during the transportation to your destination, have a pre-made plan of exercises you can perform to calm yourself down. You can do these before transporting as well, just to be safe! [See more: What To Do When You Have a Panic Attack]
10. If you get homesick easily, prepare a list of affirmations reminding you that home is still there, you will see it again, and it’s okay to sometimes be away.
11. If you suffer from mood alterations, download any of the 7 free mood trackers available here, as well as your free downloadable emotion chart!
Reactive Strategies to Overcome Travel Anxiety
Use these helpful tips while you’re on vacation to reduce or terminate extra stress or anxiety. Not every tip may apply to you and your trip, but browse the options below to find unique ways to decrease stressors while travelling.
12. If you feel anxious or nervous, use aromatherapy to ease your nerves.
13. Use the Mental Health Journal Guide for Anxiety while on vacation, either in the morning or at night. This will help you better understand your anxiety and how to treat it! Grab a couple free prompts from the Anxiety guide, or check out all 3 journal guides here.
14. If you begin to experience a panic attack, find the nearest place to sit or lay down. Count your breaths and attempt to take as deep of breaths as possible. When you’re able, drink a glass of water and talk to someone close to you. If you’re travelling alone, call a friend.
15. When you start to feel nervous, read a book or write in a journal. These activities can relieve your stress and get your mind off any stressors. [Discover the sassiest journal you didn't know you needed]
16. Write down a list of everything that calms you and review the list throughout your trip.
17. Check out poems about tranquility here, and if you’re feeling creative, write some of your own!
18. Save your favorite memes, vines, and funny YouTube videos on your phone to look at when you’re feeling stressed.
19. Massage your shoulders, neck, temples, and any places you feel tension. You can also find your pressure points here.
20. Bring a small, handheld fan with you (especially during summer vacations). Cool yourself down when feeling anxious, overwhelmed, or physically fatigued.
Use Expedia to search for cheap hotels while planning your next weekend getaway! When you sign up on their site (completely free) you get to use member prices, saving 10% or more on tons of hotels. Click here to use Expedia as a proactive strategy when you travel- you won't worry about your budget breaking.
Use the proactive and reactive strategies out of the options above for an awesome vacation! Rose-Minded includes affiliate links in this article to bring you relevant resources and ideas. For more on anxiety and anxiety-related disorders, check out the relevant information just below.
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