I have traveled since I was a little kid. My summers and Christmas breaks were filled with flights with Granny to California and road trips to everywhere from Disney World to National Parks. As I got older, I kept traveling and eventually went on my first international trip the summer after I graduated high school.
For as long as I can remember, I have struggled with pre-travel anxiety. I have zero fears of anything related to flying, I don’t mind airports or large crowds, and I find the best trips are the ones where you wander around and just go where the day and the city take you. But for some reason, I am a walking blob of scattered Skittles in the days/weeks leading up to a trip. It doesn’t matter if I’m traveling alone, meeting someone, or have been there before. I can’t quite pinpoint what the feelings are but I will check my lists, pack and repack, stare at my mobile boarding pass, and continuously “feel” like I’m still trying to get ready for the trip.
I’m the kind of person that sets multiple alarms. I prefer getting my workouts done in the morning but you better believe I have 7 alarms set for any given day and 9 on my early days. On early travel days, you’ll find me bounding out of bed on the very first alarm. I hardly sleep the night before but I wake up and feel completely rested and ready to go.
I have no qualifications that would allow me to speculate the basis of my anxiety but if I HAD to guess, it all comes down to packing. Not even the act of packing itself so much as the beginning of packing and the next few days/hours (depending on when I pack) is when I really feel anxious. The weird thing is as soon as I’m through security and headed to my gate, or in the car headed to my destination, I’m fine.
I always try to plan out my packing list and have an ongoing list of things related to that particular trip that I can check off as I go to help me feel as prepared as possible. I travel with a carry-on so I already have chosen my outfits ahead of time, I pack my tote with as little as possible so I can easily access my liquids for security, and I keep my phone and charger handy. I’m organized and yet I still feel like maybe I forgot something or whatever that “something” is constantly weighs my brain down.
While I have no insight into what would truly help with pre-travel anxiety (if that’s the proper term) I do hope that anyone else who feels this way knows you’re not alone! It’s absolutely baffling to love traveling but to lead up to every trip with unexplained anxiety. So far, the only thing that has ever had a positive impact in redirecting my focus for a time, is being SO BUSY in the weeks and days leading up to the trip that I literally can’t even make time to think about it. This has its own issues of flat-out exhaustion but that’s for another post and another day.
If you have pre-travel anxiety I would love to hear your tips on how you manage it in the weeks and days leading up to your trips! Email me or drop by on Instagram.
Thanks for stopping by!