I love traveling but I also find it a bit stressful sometimes. Like I wrote about recently, I’m someone who really loves the comforts of home, so when I’m traveling and out of my daily routine, it can throw me for a loop.
Do you deal with travel anxiety too? Let me guess:
- You wake up extra early on the day of your flight because you’re terrified you’ll miss it
- You get to the airport way earlier than necessary
- You rehearse in your head your strategy for taking your shoes off and getting out your quart baggie of liquids before the security checkpoint so you don’t hold up the line
- You try not to look suspicious as you pass through security even though you have nothing to hide (lol)
- You don’t drink much water so you don’t have to get up to pee on the flight and disturb your row-mates but then you regret it because you’re dehydrated
I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point. Travel anxiety is a reality and if you have it, you’re not the only one. But don’t let it get in the way of future travel plans. Instead, look for small ways to simplify and give yourself fewer things to worry about.
Pack early and use a packing list
Try to finish packing your clothes a few days prior to your trip so you don’t have to worry about anything but toiletries on the day you leave.
It might sound elementary, but using a packing list should not be underestimated! My friend Sara made a packing list template in Excel that can be customized based on the weather at her destination and then printed out to use as she packs. I’m not quite on her level, but I do use a different app for packing — more on that later in the post.
Bring healthy snacks and a refillable water bottle
You won’t always have access to affordable food while you’re traveling, so bring some snacks you know you enjoy. You can munch on them at the airport instead of buying overpriced junk food, bring them with you as you traipse around a new city, and have them to fall back on in your hotel room for when you don’t feel like going out or ordering room service. I always bring dried fruit and nuts with me, and here are some of my other fave travel snack ideas.
And a refillable water bottle is a given — just make sure to dump it out before security!
Wear comfortable clothes
Don’t be a hero. If you pack cute but pinchy shoes, you’re either going to wear them and regret it or not wear them at all and regret wasting the suitcase space.
Just leave the heels out altogether and focus on bringing versatile footwear like sneakers that can go from streetwear to gymwear.
Use apps to your advantage
Apps are a godsend for staying organized while traveling. As I mentioned above, I use an app called Todoist to create packing lists for my trips. Actually, I use Todoist for everything.
To keep track of travel details like flight times, directions, hotel information, and dinner reservations, I use the app TripIt. I’ve also talked about TripIt before, but I bring it up whenever I can because it’s truly indispensable to me.
Travel confirmations received via email can be forwarded to a special TripIt email address to be magically whipped up into a neat little trip outline. The best perk is having easy access to your flight confirmation number!
Don’t be embarrassed to have a travel folder
If apps aren’t your thing, I’d recommend bringing a special folder or binder for all your trip details. In it, you should keep passports (if necessary), tickets, reservation confirmations, and directions you anticipate needing.
Whoever you’re traveling with might laugh, but you’ll be the one laughing when printed directions get you out of a bind in a cell data-less area!
Get a scan-friendly carryon bag
This is a new development in my travel life and I’m obsessed. My mom got me this backpack that has a special mesh laptop section and can be zipped open to 180 degrees to go through the security scanner. That way I don’t have to remove my laptop from my bag and put it in a plastic bin!
Stick to as much of your regular fitness routine as you can
Do you usually do yoga or work out? Does it make you feel crappy when you’re out of your usual routine for a few days in a row? Try to do yoga or work out while you’re away. Bring your yoga mat with you, load your tablet up with quick workout videos, or look for a hotel with a fitness center.
Unless of course you’re taking a vacation from everything about daily life. In that case, by all means lounge away and get some balance! 🙂
Are you an anxious traveler too? Any other helpful travel tips you use to deal with travel anxiety?
Comments & Reviews
Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle says
These are great tips. I don’t suffer from travel anxiety, but I still do all of these things. That might be why I don’t!
Vera Sweeney says
I use every possible travel tool available to me to help keep travel smooth. Even if you’re not prone to anxiety, travel can really tweak you out.
Our Family World says
I like that carry on bag. I love that it is scan friendly. I hate it when I have to open my bag and dump its contents in a basket and then put them back in again. This bag will not only be convenient for me but for the other people in line too.
Hali @daytodayMOMents says
Ha..that is funny. I was like “travel anxiety”?! Me? Nah..then you listed all the things I do, so I guess I do. LOL. Great tips on not losing it and having everything work out. 🙂
Robin Rue says
My husband has BAD travel anxiety. He would get to the airport 5-6 hours early. Lucky I broke him of that…..
Mama to 6 Blessings says
Those are great tips. Most of my travel is with my family and my anxiety is do I have everything for my kids packed and ready. A check list helps!
I use whatever I can at my disposal so that I can make the trip much easier and smoother running. These are some great tips also. I’m going to use a couple of them on my next trip.
I get really bad travel anxiety and some of these tips I never even considered but would help so much! Thank you for this post! I think my next trip will be a lot easier now.
I never knew there was a name for it but I guess have travel anxiety. I always need to get to the airport super early and want to get through that airport security as fast as possible. Those tips are great to remember for my next trip.
Dawn McAlexander says
These are all wonderful travel ideas. I travel a lot and I am always filled with anxiety when it comes time to leave. I think I could use these tips.
These are awesome tips! I love traveling, wish I could do it ore often, but I totally get the anxiety part. Traveling with my 3 little ones is crazy stressful. This post will help out a lot 🙂
Catherine Sargent says
Thanks for the great trips. I don’t stress too much unless I have to fly. I need to start packing early and making a check list.
Fantastic tips to share, I have seen so many get stressed out and anxious because they have little time and need to pack quickly to travel. I hope this helps everyone who suffers from that!
Alissa Apel says
I need to make a list every time I go somewhere. I totally feel like I’m going to forget something major.
Neely Moldovan says
Pcaking list are my lifelines! Seriously how do people travel without them? Also! If I can stick to workouts or at least be active I feel so much better!
Wow this is so me. Great info for me too since I am traveling next week!
Marcie W. says
I am an anxious person in general, but especially while traveling. I appreciate these helpful suggestions and it’s nice to know I am not alone.
This is such great advice… i remember my first trip to Vegas… in my mind… all airports were the size of my state’s airport but was i wrong… i almost had an asthma attack in Chicago running to try to make my flight and on top of that… the air wasn’t working in the plane… and i had to sit in the middle seat… the lady that was sitting next to me gave me some baby wipes and that helped me to cool off… now i carry baby wipes with me whereever i travel!
I suffer from horrible travel anxiety and all I can say is be prepared. Make an actual packing list, take it with you, if you think of something you don’t have, add it to the list. I print out a new list anytime we have to go anywhere and check it off like a child would. It definitely takes the anxiety away knowing you are not forgetting anything.
This post is spot on! As someone who has been on a plane or in a car for the last 8 weeks, I give you a heart HEAR! HEAR! Great advice, and I love that you included not bringing unnecessary shoes.
I am getting ready to travel now and there’s so much to get done before I head out. These tips are quite useful for me, thank you!
Saidah Washington says
WHen traveling im not really anxious as much as I am excited so i have a hadr time sleeping the night before. I love the organization tips and apps you shared.
valmg @ Mom Knows It All says
I love Todoist!!! These are all good suggestions. I don’t get anxious before I travel but I know a few people that do. I know one man that needs to take an Ambien before he flies.
These are all really great tips. I deal with a touch of travel anxiety myself. I am definitely one to not sleep all night due to feeling like I’ll miss my flight!
Mardene Carr says
These days everyone has a right to be anxious when travelling. I used to enjoy travelling but now I pretty much dread it.
Pam Wattenbarger says
Travel can be so anxiety-inducing. These are great tips for dealing with travel anxiety and staying on the go.P
Claudia Krusch says
I suffer from travel anxiety at times. I am usually okay once I am off and on my way. Thanks for the great tips.
Dawn Lopez says
I think I worry about just about all of the things you mentioned when I travel. I dread going through security. I’m going to keep your tips in mind for next time!
Adriana Lopez says
I don’t get anxious it is just stressful as nowadays when you travel unexpected things can happen. We just have to be calm and make a list to not forget the essentials. Then pray that all that we cannot control will be fine. That’s my practice.
These are all great tips to dealing with travel anxiety. I am a big fan of having a list to go through.
I start packing a few days in advance so we’re not rushing around last minute. Using a refillable water bottle is a great idea.
Toni | Boulder Locavore says
Really great tips! I always love travel but there are times when I feel this travel anxiety. Will have to try these tips next time we travel.
I might have travel anxiety! This is really helpful! I will save your tips in here!
Amanda Love says
I was anxious when I first traveled but I got used to it. I think it’s good to have everything in order before you leave so you won’t feel overwhelmed or worried. This is a pretty good guide!
I don’t travel much but these are great tips. I went home in April to visit family and friends and I had bad anxiety about the whole thing, especially being on the train!
I’ve been getting such bad anxiety these days. These are great tips i will have to use!
katrina gehman says
we are traveling next week and i have medical equiptment to take with. i’m really hoping we won’t have issues.
Amy Desrosiers says
My travel anxiety is so bad that I rarely travel, I make myself sick to my stomach for month before I went on a huge press trip. I basically need a miracle.
I didn’t think I had travel anxiety until I read your symptoms, lol. I fit quite a few of those areas. I like the idea of wearing comfy shoes. I wore heels once and took them off during the flight, only to have one travel about five rows back while I was sleeping. Embarrassing.
Kita Bryant says
This is such amazing advice. I struggle badly with travel anxiety, which sucks because I travel all the time.
Louise Bishop says
I am always SO busy. When we’re traveling I get a lot of anxiety. The comfortable clothes tip is my favorite one because that always makes a huge difference for me.
Wendy Polisi says
I, for one, am glad that I sit lower on the anxiety scale when it comes to travel. I’ve struggled in the past with it and these tips are on point.
Travel anxiety can definitely be an issue for some people. It’s important to have a plan in place to cope with it before traveling.
Dana Vento says
Travel can be stressful and disorienting, and it’s often the lack of routine that increases your risk of anxiety. In order to feel like you have some control over your life, create a routine so that there’s always a part of your day when you’ll know exactly what will happen. This post really good and the tips really helpful.
Janella Panchamsingh says
I always pack early because I am scared of forgetting something and my hubby laughs at me everytime