Friday, 23 September 2016

How To Deal with Travel Anxiety

Having travelled more this year than any other year in my life, my travel anxiety has pretty much been up there. A lot of people laugh or half smirk when they hear that I couldn't tell you the last time I sat on a plane without crying.

For some, travelling is incredible! Nothing but a joyous delight to take you to your destination. For others, an absolute nightmarish hell. I, being the latter, of course. Planes, trains, buses, doesn't matter. I can just about deal with a long car journey, as long as I'm the one not driving. This really does have an impact on your holiday. Not being able to look forward to the holiday itself because you know you have to travel to get there. Spending the entire holiday worrying about the travel home. 

It's awful and frustrating. And even more frustrating for most people travelling with you who have no idea whatsoever what or how travel anxiety feels.

Step #1 - Plan, plan and plan again!
Nothing helps me more than getting organised. I make a list of all the things I need to do. For example, checking in online, printing out boarding passes/train tickets, finding the passports out about 2 weeks in advance to save the day before freak-out, plan what things I need to take, find out your health insurance documents/card. Plan it all! Once you have all of these things sorted you will know everything you need to do.

Step #2 - Make the journey a comfortable one.
I always make sure I have 2 things sorted for the journey. Comfy clothes, and good music. Wear something loose and comfy to travel in, there is simply nothing worse than sitting on transport for long periods of time in your tight skinny jeans! Wear some cool, loose clothing to feel relaxed throughout the journey. Music is the best distraction for a journey. Update the music on your smartphone/device to the kind of things you will want to listen to. I even have a separate calming music playlist just in-case I'm not quite in the frame of mind for the latest Calvin Harris kinda' track. (Ludovico Einaudi is a great musician if you need some beaut' music to get you through a flight).

Step #3 - Do your research!
One thing that really helps me is to do lots of reading up about the place I'm visiting. Looking around the area you're staying on Google Earth is the best tip ever! You can get some kind of idea of the area, find hotspots where you want to go, and when you arrive, it doesn't all seem too unfamiliar!

Step #4 - Distraction
I find breaking the travel up into sections of 30 minutes is the best. If your journey is short, try 10 or 15 minutes. So, for example if my flight is 2 hours long, I will break it up into 4 half hours. The first half hour I will listen to music, the second half hour I will read a book, the third half hour I might play a game or watch something on my phone, and then I normally go back to reading my book again for the last half an hour. It helps to keep your mind busy and focused on how long you have until your next half hour.

Step #5 - Breathe and be honest
Never hide the fact that you are feeling slightly uneasy on a journey. Making the person you are travelling with aware that you don't feel great helps in itself. They know to keep an eye on you and they're there to comfort you if you have a moment! Take deep breaths, drink plenty of cold water and keep cool (although easier said than done if you're on a plane!)

Good luck and remember- you CAN do it! Try not to let the fear of anxiety stop you from visiting all of the beautiful places around the world.

Lots of love,

Chelsea x
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