July 5th 2019
Don’t be afraid to see the world~
Travel anxiety is something that is all too real for many people. The thought of venturing out and traveling somewhere new can be enough to make some people’s skin crawl. Whether it be a fear of flying, a dislike for hotels, or separation anxiety from your home, family, or pets, there are many roadblocks that can prevent people who have the desire to travel their opportunity to see all the places they hope to see.
For me, as much as I love traveling and exploring new places, my travel anxiety manifests when thinking about getting from point A to point B. I am not afraid of driving or flying or any forms of transportation, but instead, I find myself most anxious about things like boarding passes working, finding my way, and not getting stranded. However, if I let those fears rule me, I would miss out on so many travel opportunities. So, to prevent myself from saying no to things I find uncomfortable or scary, I have developed a list of tips to ease travel anxiety!
- Focus on the payoff, not your anxiety- For me, when I feel my travel anxieties kick in, I choose to focus on my Pinterest boards of fun places I want to go. I don’t focus on flights or long drives or what could go wrong, but instead, I envision myself in the places I am most excited to experience. Spending a long flight looking at pictures you’ve saved of the place you’re going, keeps your mind focused on the fun stuff to come, not your current anxieties.
- Stay somewhere you’re comfortable- With sites like Airbnb, there are more ways to customize your trip than ever before. If you don’t like standard hotels, try renting a house that offers you the comfort and stability of home even when you’re away. That added little bit of structure and privacy can do a lot to ease anxiety and it also gives you the chance to explore places in a new way.
- Bring something that reminds you of home- If homesickness makes you anxious, bring something that comforts you and reminds you of home. For me, one thing that has really been a game changers on trips is bringing my own blanket. Although I am never really homesick on trips, having my own blanket helps me sleep better than using hotel blankets so I trip to bring my own blanket whenever possible.
- Remind yourself that the anxiety is only temporary- When I went to Florida with my friend, Angie, in October of last year (a flight I have done many times, from an airport I was very familiar with), I was still incredibly anxious about actually getting boarded on the plane and ready to go. I told Angie that I would be completely fine once we were in our seats and ready to go, and I was right. I didn’t really say that for her benefit, but more for my own. I need that little extra reminder that whatever is making me anxious is very temporary and will be over once I get in the groove of my trip.
- “Don’t cry over anything money can fix”- This is a piece of advice from my Poppy that I feel applies well to my specific form of travel anxiety. I constantly fear getting from point A to point B and I realize how silly that is because even if something went wrong and I missed a flight or had to cancel and book a new one, it isn’t an be-all-end-all of the trip. It is something I can fix and I shouldn’t overwhelm myself with worse case scenarios unless it is 100% necessary.
- Don’t push yourself too hard- Nothing ruins a trip quicker than overdoing it. If you are feeling anxious and you want to hang out in your room a bit after reaching your destination, do it! Don’t feel like overcoming your anxiety means immediately throwing yourself at everything that makes you anxious just to prove to yourself that you can do it. Traveling is supposed to be a fun opportunity to explore somewhere new, don’t taint the experience by trying to force yourself to do more than makes you comfortable.
Travel anxiety doesn’t need to keep you from exploring the world. By finding ways to make a new experience more comfortable, you are allowing yourself to see the world on your own terms without sacrificing your sanity!
PS- I am hoping to have a new travel post up sometime in August and maybe another one or two for the rest of the year after that! With the move, I have been more focused on learning more about where I am and getting settled in than I have been focused on booking trips!
However, just know I have a lot of fun travel content (both local and out of state) planned for the next year!