25 Ways to Overcome Travel Anxiety

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Is travel anxiety keeping you at home when you want to go out and explore the world?

Believe it or not, I can relate. Once upon a time, I struggled with anxiety that kept me from being able to do some of the most basic things. I can’t even count the number of times I got in my car and drove somewhere only to turn around and go home without completing my errand because I was too overwhelmed. I wanted so badly to go out and travel the world, but how was I going to be able to do that when I could barely handle driving to the post office to mail a package?


My first solo trip was kind of a disaster because of my anxiety- and maybe because I decided to go to Myanmar against the advice of the US State Department instead of somewhere a little more beginner-friendly. I don’t regret it at all, though, because I learned a lot of coping mechanisms and travel anxiety remedies (most of them the hard way, because I’m frequently an idiot.)

Over a decade later, I’m happy to say that I no longer have any severe anxiety around traveling at all. I’ve traveled all over the world by myself and had some amazing experiences, from standing face to face with a wild mountain gorilla to spending three incredible months exploring ancient temples in Sri Lanka. None of that would have been possible if I hadn’t learned to overcome my paralyzing travel anxiety.

Because I’ve talked to a lot of other people who want to travel but have varying degrees of anxiety about it, I’ve put together a list of 25 ways I’ve found to overcome travel anxiety in hopes that they’ll be helpful to other people who are eager to get out and start adventuring, too.

Ways to Overcome Travel Anxiety #1- What Are You Really Afraid Of?

First things first. I like to think I’m pretty good at helping walk people through their fears and come up with a game plan for tackling them, but I can’t do that if I don’t know what you’re afraid of. You might say, “Everything!” Maybe that’s true, but most likely there are one or two things that are really freaking you out about taking your first trip. Maybe you’re worried about not being able to navigate a foreign subway system, or you’re worried about wandering into a bad neighborhood in a strange city, or you’re worried about getting food poisoning.

Imagine yourself traveling in your dream destination and make a note of which aspects of the trip freak you out the most. Once you’ve made a list, you might be surprised to see that it’s not as overwhelming as you originally thought.

Is travel anxiety keeping you at home when you want to go out and explore the world? You’re not alone! Many people put off their travel dreams due to panic attacks, social anxiety, and other worries about leaving home. Once upon a time, I was one of them, but 10 years later I’ve overcome my fears so I can travel the world. These are my 25 best tips that I hope will help you, too.

Ways to Overcome Travel Anxiety #2- What’s the Worst Case Scenario?

This probably sounds completely counterintuitive, right? I mean, when you have anxiety, people are always telling you to stop imagining the worst case scenario. But when you have travel anxiety, I think imagining the worst case scenario is one the best things you can do… if you do it correctly. What I mean by that is: once you figure out what exactly you’re afraid of, ask yourself, “What’s the worst thing that could happen in this situation?” And then prepare a contingency plan.

For example, say you’re planning a trip to Greece and you’re nervous about taking the bus alone from Athens to Delphi. What’s the worst thing that could happen?

  • I miss the bus.
    • Contingency plan: Book an early departure so there’s time to get on the next one.
  • I get lost and can’t find the bus station.
    • Contingency plan: Go the day before to make sure you know how to get there. Maybe buy your ticket ahead of time so you know they won’t sell out.
  • I get on the wrong bus.
    • Contingency plan: Install a translation app on your phone so you know you’ll be able to ask someone if you’re in the right place. You can also have a few questions written out in the native language (“Is this the bus to Delphi?”) that you can point to.

If your fear is that you’ll get sick in a strange country, your contingency plan might be to carry a first aid kit and make sure that you have travel insurance before you go.

Ways to Overcome Travel Anxiety #3-  YouTube is Your Friend

The great thing about living in this day and age is that everyone is carrying around mobile phones everywhere, snapping photos and uploading videos of everything. Some people think this behavior is frivolous, but if you have travel anxiety, the proliferation of video documentation is a godsend. Whatever spot on the planet you’re worried about navigating, someone has probably uploaded a video of it.

Before my first trip to London, I was nervous about navigating the Tube. I’m a small town girl and I did not have a lot of experience maneuvering big city transportation. I was anxious about hauling my suitcase through the stations and getting lost and not finding the right exit and not making it to my hotel and… well. Let’s just say I was anxious about the whole ordeal.

YouTube changed everything. I searched for “Earls Court Tube Station” and came up with dozens of videos marvelously helpful people had shot in the station. Through these amateur videos I was able to virtually walk through the station, see how to swipe my Oyster Card to get in, memorize the layout of the station, see how the platforms were laid out, etc. I can’t even tell you what a confidence booster that was.

And when I got to London and stepped off the train in Earls Court Station, I felt like I had already been there a dozen times. I immediately got my bearings and walked out like I knew exactly where I was going- because I did!

How could you ever get tired of this view??

Give it a shot- go search for whatever place you’re nervous about maneuvering and see if you don’t feel better after watching someone else walk through it on video.

Ways to Overcome Travel Anxiety #4- Just Google It

Sometimes I think Google only exists to help me figure out the meanings of common words I’m paranoid about misusing. But when you’re planning a trip and you’ve got travel anxiety, Google is an absolute godsend.

Google Street View in particular has been a huge advantage. Not sure if you can trust that sweet hotel deal you found? Take a look at the neighborhood around it on Google and see if it looks sketchy. Worried you’ll get lost walking to your hotel from the subway station? Google Street View the route a few times and it’ll already be familiar once you get there.

Instead of wandering around lost and trying to figure out where the entrance to your Airbnb is, you’ll be able to walk right up like you’ve lived there forever. (This also goes a long way toward making you look like a local and not an easy-target tourist!)

Google is also great for the photos that accompany business listings. I love to explore the neighborhood I’ll be staying in ahead of time by virtually popping into surrounding businesses and having a look around, courtesy of the photos other visitors have uploaded. This is my favorite way to figure out where I want to eat, drink, shop, etc. once I get there.

Is travel anxiety keeping you at home when you want to go out and explore the world? You’re not alone! Many people put off their travel dreams due to panic attacks, social anxiety, and other worries about leaving home. Once upon a time, I was one of them, but 10 years later I’ve overcome my fears so I can travel the world. These are my 25 best tips that I hope will help you, too.

Ways to Overcome Travel Anxiety #5- Stay Connected

For me, one of the best ways to combat travel anxiety is to make sure I can stay connected to my family and friends back home. Being able to hop on WhatsApp or Facebook and message a friend goes such a long way toward staving off the dreadful feeling of being homesick and overwhelmed in a strange city.

On that first ever solo trip I took to Myanmar, tourists weren’t allowed to bring laptops or mobile phones into the country. Internet access was controlled by the government and extremely limited. I have dreadful memories of walking over a mile in the oppressive heat to get to the nearest Internet cafe only to be told, “Sorry, no Internet today. Maybe try back later?” and trudging back to my hotel in defeat.

On nearly every trip since that one, I’ve traveled with a portable WiFi from Tep to make sure that I’m never out of touch unless I want to be. The price is super reasonable and the peace of mind it gives is well worth it- no more trying to find a public hotspot when I’m having a homesick freakout moment or I’m lost and I desperately need to Google directions or find a phone number.

Is travel anxiety keeping you at home when you want to go out and explore the world? You’re not alone! Many people put off their travel dreams due to panic attacks, social anxiety, and other worries about leaving home. Once upon a time, I was one of them, but 10 years later I’ve overcome my fears so I can travel the world. These are my 25 best tips that I hope will help you, too.

Ways to Overcome Travel Anxiety #6- Travel With a More Experienced Friend

I’m almost always traveling solo. When I’m not, I’m the more experienced friend helping a new traveler navigate. The one time I got to rely on a more experienced traveler was my first ever international trip. I was on a foreign student exchange my junior year of high school and we had an excursion to Paris after our homestay with local students.

My French teacher/chaperon was the best travel guide imaginable- he spoke the language fluently and was so well versed in French culture that he blended in with the locals and made sure we did, too. His most impressive feat was convincing the ushers at Notre Dame that we were Parisians so we all got to experience Easter mass at the famous cathedral without another tourist in sight.

(Hey Mr. Bellion, if you’re reading this, you were the best!)

If you’re not sold on traveling solo and you’ve got a globetrotting buddy willing to take you under their wing and show you the ropes, that can be a great way to get your feet wet and take a lot of the anxiety out of travel.


Ways to Overcome Travel Anxiety #7- Meet People Ahead of Time

I’m sure it was possible to meet people before the Internet, right? Probably, but I don’t remember how. Luckily, you don’t need to worry about that. If you want to make friends at your destination before you leave home, all you have to do is get online.

The Cruise Critic message board is famous for this- people have been getting to know future cruise buddies for ages by posting about their plans and seeing who else is going to be on their ship. Boom, ready made tablemates and bridge partners.

This modern phenomenon isn’t limited to cruise travelers. If you’re a solo female traveler, disabled traveler, senior traveler, etc., there are Facebook groups galore dedicated to people just like you. Once you join a few you’ll see that it’s super common for travelers to post about their plans and see who in the group is going to be in the same place and wants to meet up for lunch or drinks or helping each other stage cute Instagram photos.

If you’re anxious about being all alone in a foreign city, it can be reassuring to know that you have plans to meet up with other travelers like you.

Ways to Overcome Travel Anxiety #8- Put Locals on the Itinerary

The only thing better than traveling with a more experienced friend is getting the local scoop from someone who actually lives in the place you’re visiting. But how do you do that if you’re too freaked out to chat up the person on the bar stool next to you? Plan for it, of course.

While you’ve been checking out apartments on Airbnb, did you notice their Experiences tab? From guided hikes in Cuba to street art walks in New York City to croissant baking lessons in Paris, locals all over the world are eager to share their local knowledge and culture with visitors.

Many cities around the world are also jumping on the “free walking tour” bandwagon. Local residents (usually students) lead informative and colorful walks around the city in exchange for tips. In addition to the pre-set tour, they’re usually a wealth of information about places for you to eat and drink and explore after the tour.

Group of local musicians

Ways to Overcome Travel Anxiety #9- Consider a Group Tour

I get it, not everyone is going to head to Myanmar for their first solo trip. If you’re not quite as crazy as I am, it’s probably a good idea to ease into travel with something a bit less daunting. Group tours have always been popular for this exact reason. You have built-in companionship if you want it but you don’t have to badger your friends to travel with you. There’s no itinerary planning stress and you can just relax and enjoy the trip.

Because I’ve always been a solo traveler, I never thought group tours were my thing. I really like obsessing over itinerary details and I love solitude. But I recently had the opportunity to go to Cuba with Intrepid and it was such a nice change of pace. All I did was step off the plane and someone was there waiting to usher me off to my hotel. I didn’t have to plan a single thing, and the tour guide made sure we all knew where we had to be and when. I had interesting dinner companions to talk to at night and people to hand my camera to so all of my photos wouldn’t be selfies.

I’m a solitary creature by nature, so I’m never going to completely give up traveling by myself, but having experienced the complete lack of stress that comes with a good group tour, I’m definitely a fan. If you’re really anxious about traveling and not sure you want to jump in with both feet, I’d highly recommend you check out a group tour to test the waters.

women on tour bus

Group tours have the reputation of being more expensive than solo travel, but there are plenty of deals to be had. If you’re considering booking one, make sure you’ve signed up for the weekly Travelzoo newsletter. I see killer deals on group trips all the time, like an Ireland 3-city tour including flights for $699 and a China 8-night tour including flights for an unbelievable $299.

Ways to Overcome Travel Anxiety #10- Insurance, Insurance, Insurance

You know I’m never going to stop nagging you guys about travel insurance. Sorry not sorry. I guarantee at least half of the things you’ve got anxiety about are covered by insurance. Getting sick in a foreign country? Missing a flight and losing out on a planned (and paid for) activity? Having your trip canceled because of a natural disaster? Covered, covered, covered. Insurance is peace of mind, period.

Ways to Overcome Travel Anxiety #11- Take Your Maps Offline

I don’t know about you, but I’m always way less stressed on a trip when I know exactly where I am. One of the reasons I almost always travel with a Tep mifi is to have access to Google maps in case I get lost. Sometimes that’s not possible, though, like on my recent Cuba trip. Internet infrastructure is still pretty primitive there, so I had to rely on offline maps. I found the app Maps.me to be an absolute lifesaver. You can download the maps for your destination before you get there and have everything you need even if you can’t get online.

Maps.me uses your phone’s GPS, so it doesn’t need any network access to work. You can leave your phone in airplane mode if you’re worried about roaming charges and still have real time maps and directions. I’d recommend having an app like this on your phone with the local maps downloaded just in case- even if you’re traveling with WiFi or you expect to use local SIM cards for communication, you never know when a network is going to be down and you’ll have to have something offline.

men standing on a map

Ways to Overcome Travel Anxiety #12- Put It in Writing

Yes, like actual paper. I know.

Before every foreign trip, I take a piece of notebook paper and write out the name, address, and phone number of my hotel so I can hand it to the taxi driver if that’s how I’m getting there. Don’t skip the phone number- many times the driver will call the hotel and get directions if they’re not familiar with it.

I used to screenshot and print the Google maps directions from the airport to the hotel to hand to the driver, but I’ve found that most of the time they prefer to just call the hotel and get directions in their own language.

When you get to the hotel, grab a few of their business cards if they have them available. When you’re out exploring, you can just hand one to a taxi driver to get you back if you get turned around.

While we’re on the subject, I also have my flight information printed out before I leave home. I know it’s all on my phone, but if my battery dies (because I left my charger in yet another hotel) or something happens to my phone, I don’t want the panic of trying to remember my flight number and departure time.

Also, I’ve been in many foreign cities that won’t even allow you into the airport until you show them your booking confirmation- it’s a pretty common security measure. If you don’t have WiFi outside the airport to pull up your booking email, you won’t be let in.

Technology is great, but paper is reassurance. You’ll feel better if you have your itinerary and important booking info printed out and tucked securely in a folder in your carry-on. I love these folders because they’re durable and waterproof and can be tied shut and also provide a great place for you to toss ticket stubs and maps and brochures and other little paper souvenirs that you might want to take home.

a mug of coffee next to a notebook

Ways to Overcome Travel Anxiety #13- Down to the Minute

Hi, my name is Leslie and I’m a chronic overplanner.

Wave Hi Oh Hello GIF by Originals - Find & Share on GIPHY

I don’t, however, consider this a flaw. When you have travel anxiety, knowledge is power. Imagine being super freaked out about a trip to a foreign city and some non-anxious traveler tells you, “Yeah just hop on the subway and get off at such-and-such stop and then walk four blocks and you can’t miss it.”

I’m sorry, what? How do I get to the subway? Which platform? How do I get *onto* the platform? Where do I buy a ticket? Which line, which direction? Will the subway even be running when I need to go? How do I know where to go when I get off? Which exit do I take? Which direction am I walking? Okay nevermind, I’m just staying home.

This is the kind of anxiety that takes all the fun out of travel for me. I need to know *exactly* where I’m going. When I start planning a trip, I create an itinerary in Google Docs that has *everything* I will need to know, especially for the first and last days of the trip. It’s totally cool to leave some open/spontaneous time if you’re not a super-planner, but you will never regret going overboard with the point A to point B instructions.

Here’s the first day of the itinerary I planned for myself for my 3 month Sri Lanka trip:

Sri Lanka itinerary

The note about ATMs in the arrivals hall reminds me that I need to get cash before leaving the airport. When you’re tired and disoriented from flying, that’s easy to forget.

I looked up the WiFi password on Foursquare before leaving home. Even if you took my advice and rented a Tep, this is still a good idea, at least for one or two places, in case you have trouble connecting right off the bat.

I’ve got the address and phone number for my Airbnb, along with the landmarks the host emailed to me before my trip. The taxi driver was super appreciative because the house was hard to find otherwise.

The note about how much the taxi ride is supposed to cost (2600 Sri Lankan rupees or $14USD) is a reminder in case I wind up with a shady taxi driver who tries to overcharge me. (But for the record, I don’t think I met a single dishonest person the entire time I was there.)

If I were taking public transportation instead of a taxi, my itinerary would have all the subway stops and line changes and which exit to take out of the station, etc. Most cities with good public transportation systems have a journey planning function on their website that will tell you how to get from Point A to Point B.

I always look up my routes ahead of time and save them. This doesn’t have to be a complicated endeavor- I frequently just look them up on my phone and take a screen shot so I can refer to it discreetly en route without having to pull out a map or a guidebook in public and hang a giant neon TOURIST sign over my head.

Ways to Overcome Travel Anxiety #14- Learn the Language

One of the most stressful parts of traveling to a foreign country is not being able to communicate with the locals. What if you can’t figure out how to order food or ask for help or find a bathroom? With the sheer number of language and translation apps available today, this is an easy fear to conquer.

I love DuoLingo for practicing languages. It’s free, it’s fun, there’s a cute little owl who cheers you on. Honestly, what more do you need? You’ll probably never pass for a native speaker, but you’ll at least be able to cover the basics.

There are also a ton of translation apps that you can put on your phone for backup and peace of mind. It’s a bit impersonal to use an app to communicate with someone standing in front of you, but in an emergency, it could be a lifesaver.

Most guidebooks, including my fave Lonely Planet series, have a language section in the back with commonly used words and phrases.

Ways to Overcome Travel Anxiety #15- Get Some Sleep

Sleep deprivation makes anxiety so much worse. I never travel without melatonin, for several reasons. Being able to sleep on the plane makes the flight go by faster, which means less time to be anxious about flying.

The same goes for being able to quickly adapt to my new time zone- lying awake at night and being a zombie during the day just turns me into an anxious mess and makes me forget why I was traveling in the first place. Being well rested goes a long way toward silencing those anxious thoughts.

Ways to Overcome Travel Anxiety #16- Preview the Food

Freaked out about exotic food? You’re not alone. Anxiety about unfamiliar cuisine is one of the most common worries I hear about from nervous travelers. Every time my picky eater friends hear I’ve gone to any country where there isn’t a McDonald’s on every corner, I can hear the thinly veiled horror in their voices as they ask, “But what did you EAT?”

The answer is almost always something awesome, but I understand that the lack of familiar comfort food can be really stressful to some travelers.

When I’m planning a trip, I love immersing myself in the music and food and culture of the place I’ll be visiting, just because I think it adds to my excitement. But apart from that, I think getting familiar with the local food ahead of time is a great way to ease your travel anxiety around foreign mealtimes.

Visiting a local Thai restaurant to get familiar with some of the foods you’re likely to find in Bangkok will make you much more confident once you actually get there and start ordering. Not to mention, you’ll have an idea of the spice level you can handle!

If you aren’t fortunate enough to have a restaurant nearby where you can preview the local cuisine (or even if you are) there’s always your own kitchen. I love checking out local cookbooks from my upcoming travel destinations because I think you can learn so much about the culture by reading about their attitudes toward food and drink and hospitality.

And once you’ve mastered bibimbap in your own kitchen, how intimidating can it be once you get to Seoul?

Amazon is the obvious choice for finding foreign cookbooks, with lots of them available in your Kindle Unlimited subscription, but don’t forget about Pinterest and your local library as well.

Ways to Overcome Travel Anxiety #17- Get a Prescription

There’s travel anxiety and then there’s TRAVEL ANXIETY. If you’ve tried some of these solutions and they’re just not working for you, there’s no shame in talking to your doctor about a prescription anti anxiety medication.

Just make sure you understand what the potential side effects are before you take anything, especially if you’re traveling alone and you take something that’s prone to make you drowsy, etc.

prescription with a pill bottle

Also, if part of your travel anxiety comes from the fact that you’re traveling with a chronic illness, check out my guide 12 Tips for Traveling With a Chronic Illness.

Ways to Overcome Travel Anxiety #18- Keep a Travel Journal

Keeping a travel journal is helpful in combating anxiety for several reasons. One, it gives you something to do while you’re waiting in the airport or getting antsy on the plane or eating by yourself in a restaurant and trying not to wonder if anyone is staring at you. (They’re not, by the way.) Never underestimate the power of keeping yourself occupied.

Two, when you’re planning your next trip you can look back and remember how nervous you were and smile at the point in the journal where you stopped talking about your anxiety and started talking about all the awesome things you were doing.

Ways to Overcome Travel Anxiety #19- Bring a Bit of Home

I know, carry on space is at a premium and you’re looking for ways to lighten your load. I only travel with a small roller bag, even on months-long trips, so I get it. But I always, always, always make room for a few small tchotchkes that remind me of home and it makes all the difference in the world between a sterile hotel suite and a cozy home away from home.

What you bring with you is totally personal, but it makes sense to me to bring things I would have on my nightstand at home, since that’s typically where I’ll place the items in a hotel room. I always bring a small framed photo of my dog, a bottle of pillow spray to make the strange hotel bed smell like home, a miniature Ganesh statue, and a paperback copy of Stephen King’s On Writing.

Because I look at these things every day at home, it instantly comforts me to see them there when I wake up in the morning, whether I’m in a sleeper car on train through the Canadian Rockies or a jungle tree house in Sri Lanka.

statue with an alarm clock

Ways to Overcome Travel Anxiety #20- Stick to (Some of) Your Routine

Of course, the great thing about traveling is getting out of your routine and having new experiences, but your trip doesn’t have to be 100% new and novel undertakings. It’s totally okay to incorporate some of your daily familiarity into your trip if that will ease your anxiety.

If you drink a cup of Sleepytime tea every night before bed, bring a box with you. If you call your sister every Sunday afternoon, figure out the time difference so you can Skype her and keep up the tradition. Whatever will keep you feeling overwhelmed from all the new experiences is worth incorporating into your trip.

When I’m at home, I fall asleep to a Harry Potter audio book every night. All I need for this is the Audible app on my phone, so no suitcase space required. And it means I have zero trouble falling asleep in a strange hotel bed, which is absolutely priceless.

I also get a pedicure every Friday when I’m at home, so I try to keep up this tradition while I’m traveling. Sometimes I’m in a fancy spa in Bali, sometimes I’m just doing a quick treatment on a layover at an airport XpresSpa, but I never cancel Pedicure Friday unless I absolutely have to. Having that little bit of routine in my week keeps me from feeling overwhelmed by all of the unfamiliar experiences that come with travel.

spa in galle sri lanka
Trust me, there are worse ways to travel than to pamper yourself through the world’s spas.

Ways to Overcome Travel Anxiety #21- Don’t Miss Your Flight

Anxiety about flying and all of the hassles that come with modern air travels are some of the most common types of travel anxiety. If you have an early departure or you live far from the airport, consider staying at an airport hotel the night before your flight. Make sure they have an airport shuttle service that will be running at the time you need to leave for the airport.

Yes, it adds the expense of another hotel night to your trip, but you can always find deals with Groupon Getaways or use a free night you’ve probably accumulated with Hotels.com. I really like starting a trip this way because it relieves so much of the last minute getting-to-the-airport rush.

You’re (basically) already there. You’re not at home so you aren’t running around like crazy, trying to finish up last minute projects. Your bags are packed, you can lay out your travel outfit for the morning, ask the front desk for a wake up call, and rest easy knowing you won’t have to deal with traffic or parking in the morning.

Hotel room flowers fruit relaxation
Tell me this doesn’t look like a better start to your vacation than running late, fighting traffic, and stressing yourself out over airport parking.

As a bonus, many airport hotels will allow you to leave your car there if you’re staying the night before your trip, so the cost savings on airport parking may help offset the cost of the room.

Ways to Overcome Travel Anxiety #22- Get Comfortable with Money

When I first started traveling, one of the things that stressed me out the most was foreign currency. I was always anxious about it and felt like I stood out as a tourist when I had to take a few extra seconds to make sure I was handing over the right denominations and fumbling for the proper coins.

Now I totally understand how Arthur Weasley felt, trying to pay for his campsite with Muggle money at the Quidditch World Cup.

I won’t admit how long it took me to come to this realization, but you can use your old friend Google to look up photos of foreign money so you can get used to the way the bills and coins look before your trip.

Euro coins and currency

Well, I never claimed to be a genius.

If you don’t think photos will do the job for you, you can ask your bank to order you some of the currency you need before your trip. You’ll be able to get used to the way it looks and you won’t have to worry about finding an ATM or money exchange counter when you arrive. Win-win!

Ways to Overcome Travel Anxiety #23- Make a List, Check it Twice

Worried you’ll forget something important? Checklists, checklists, checklists. I make checklists for everything. A checklist of things I need to do around the house before I leave (drop the dog off at the pet resort, have the mail held, turn the thermostat all the way down, make sure the house is clean so I don’t walk into a disaster when I come home, take out the trash, etc.). A packing list. A checklist of souvenirs I want to bring back for myself and my close friends. If I need to remember it, it goes on a list.

I also love this checklist from Always5Star. Print it, laminate it, and put it in your suitcase so you never have that “oh my god I left _______ in the hotel room” moment while you’re on your way to the airport. I keep my laminated copy in my carry on bag at all times so I don’t forget it. Before I had that, I used to write myself notes on the hotel stationery reminding me not to leave without my phone charger.

Also if you’re as bad about leaving phone chargers behind as I am, just pack two.

Ways to Overcome Travel Anxiety #24- Plan, Overplan, Plan Some More

I’m usually really at ease when I travel now, because I know I’ve planned and researched and read everything I can get my hands on. Before I board my flight, I will know:

  • Exactly where to go when I leave the airport (taxi stand, bus stop, subway platform, shuttle stop, etc.) because I’ve looked at the airport map online and maybe watched a YouTube video on navigating it if it looks like it might be complicated.
  • That I already have my visa or I know where the visa counter is at the airport or that I’m sure I don’t need a visa for my trip. If I have the option to choose between getting a visa on arrival or sorting it ahead of time, I always choose to get it ahead of time, even if it costs a little more. It’s a small thing that makes me feel less anxious.
  • Where the airport ATMs are located so I can get local currency if I didn’t arrange it with my bank ahead of time.
  • What the electrical outlets look like because I’ve googled and made sure my plug adapters will work.
  • If I’m taking public transportation, I know the step-by-step directions for getting to my destination and I’ve looked at the Google Street View of the address so I know just what the outside of the building looks like.
  • I have planned out my entire itinerary for each day of the trip after hours of careful research so I know I’m going to be able to fit in all of the important sights and activities and still have relaxation and downtime. Some people will argue with me about this point because they want spontaneity on vacation, but for me that’s just an anxiety attack waiting to happen. Any time I’ve tried to travel without a detailed itinerary, I’ve ended up having an awful, stressful time and missing out on everything that was important to me because I didn’t carefully research opening hours and directions, etc. The great thing about having a detailed itinerary is that you can always abandon it if something better comes up. It’s not a jail sentence. But if you don’t have an itinerary to fall back on, you’re constantly on the spot trying to figure out what to do next.
  • An average daily budget because I’ve researched restaurants and activities and transportation costs.
  • That I’m set with travel insurance and portable WiFi and a contingency plan for every single thing I can imagine going wrong with my trip.
Okay, I think I’m set.

Ways to Overcome Travel Anxiety #25- Acknowledge Your Fear

Acknowledge your fear…and then move on. You don’t have to completely rid yourself of anxiety in order to have an enjoyable trip.

Remember- This feeling is real, but it may not be true.

It’s okay that you’re panicking, but keep it in perspective. Your fear is real to you and it’s valid, but the worst case scenario you’re imagining probably isn’t going to happen.

Remember why you’re traveling in the first place- you want to explore this amazing planet!

PS- if you have travel anxiety and you travel anyway, you are super brave and a huge badass and I’m proud of you!

Have you overcome travel anxiety and gone on to explore the world? Please share your tips below! Still stuck at home while you’re working to overcome your fears? Tell me about it in the comments and let me help!

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