You would think with nearly 30 years of travel under my belt that I wouldn’t still get stressed out prior to a trip. But I do.
It turns out that after conversations with a number of friends, I discovered I wasn’t the only one who has a bit of panic that happens in the days before setting out on an adventure. It’s called trip anxiety.
My panic is more of an overwhelming feeling of how-can-I-possibly-get-everything-done-that-I-think-needs-to-get-done-before-I-leave? When this happens to me, I’m best left alone. That way, I can focus on packing, cleaning and organizing all the details of my trip.
Of course this overwhelming feeling dissipates once I’m on my way. But the time leading up to a trip is stressful. I know some people have such a strong sense of this that they are afraid to travel at all!
Here are some things I’ve identified as causes of the stress and how I manage my trip anxiety:
1. Trying to Do Too Much Prior to Departure
This includes everything from work-related tasks to making sure the house is ready for departure.
Most of my trips are planned far in advance, but it’s not uncommon for me to wait until the last minute to do things that must be done. I have been trying to train myself to get organized in advance in order to cut back on the amount of stress I have prior to leaving on a trip.
2. Completing Work Tasks
For those of us who work, it’s easy to feel a lot of pressure to get everything done prior to leaving. There will always be more work to do so this is really an impossible goal. But the trick is to prioritize and get done what really needs to be addressed while out of the office.
3. Packing and Preparing
I generally only travel with a carry-on bag. And while it makes traveling easier, it is a cause of stress as I make sure I have packed every conceivable item I *might* need while I’m on the road.
The reality is that there are only certain things I must have with me. Things I absolutely can’t do without. These items will be different for everyone but it might include an ID, cash or credit cards, medication and prescription glasses. Knowing that you can always purchase what you might need once you’re at your destination takes some of the stress off of packing.
4. Safety Issues
You might be worried about your personal safety during your trip. Some people have a debilitating fear of flying or simply don’t want to be in an unfamiliar place.
While some concerns might be valid, they shouldn’t debilitate you to the point you don’t travel. You can take precautions to stay safe while you’re on the road and to keep your personal items safe. You might also take a self-defense course which will build up your confidence and allow you to act like you know what you’re doing, even if you don’t!
The bottom line is that travel can be the most rewarding thing you do in your life. Don’t let fear, panic or stress stop you. Be Bold!
Beth Whitman, Wanderlust and Lipstick | March 17, 2017