How To Travel When You're An Anxious Mess

Monday, April 29, 2019

Hello people of the internet! If you didn't already know, I went to Paris in March. And I, Meggan, am an absolute anxious mess. I pretty much deal with anxiety every single day of my life but, planning a trip with two of my friends made my anxiety shoot through the roof. Honestly, I think a huge reason behind that was not travelling out of the country for so long (nearly 7 years to be exact). So I took to Instagram, Twitter, and basically anyone I knew who has travelled recently for advice. After I came back from France I was feeling pretty proud of myself for how I handled everything. Which means, I need to share all the advice I received and how I personally decided to manage my travel anxiety.

How I Handled Things

I decided on the morning of our flight to Paris that I was going to take every single thing that scares me one step at a time. That meant telling myself that I was proud of myself and that "I did it" at each little step. Got to the airport on time? Check! Went through security? Check! Made it through take off without crying? Ya did it! Instead of piling on each thing I was scared of I made sure to pat myself on the back for the small things. And, then just focus on the next thing. That doesn't mean I wasn't scared but focusing on a bite-sized amount of fear is easier than trying to stuff the whole metaphorical plate in your mouth at once. 


Some of the advice I got instantly put me at ease. Like - "no matter what happens you can be home in 24 hours." Putting that into perspective was very helpful. As well as - if you have your phone, passport, charger, and wallet everything will be fine. Realistically you can buy anything else you need. Once I realized that I stopped stressing about bringing my whole damn house with me in a carry on bag.

I think I've been more than a little worried about not having enough of anything. But, if you remind yourself that you can always pick up a spare USB, underwear, socks, etc you find yourself not shoving the kitchen sink in your bag. I would also like to add I was probably lucky because I came home with money in the end. So, I brought "too much" aka €300 for three days. But, that made me feel a lot more at ease. 

How To Travel When You're An Anxious Mess

Another great bit of advice was from my (future) mother-in-law. She told me a lot of my anxiety was probably me misplacing my excitement. Which I 100% believe was true. Because quite a bit of the side-effects of being excited (heart racing, mind racing, etc.)are what happens when I'm anxious. I also felt like I hadn't been excited about this trip for more than a minute at a time. I definitely think that when I was actually getting excited those symptoms instantly triggered my anxiety and sent me down a spiral. Going forward I'm going to take the time to ground myself to figure out if I'm really feeling excited before I "let" my anxiety take over. 

I also wanted to add the normal advice that I got/would give myself. Pack a few days before and make some damn lists. Not everyone gets some satisfaction off of ticking things off their to-do list but I do. Make a list of things to pack, things to do the week before you go, the day before you go, and maybe even the morning you're leaving. Not all at once. But, that way you can prioritise what really needs to be done at the time. That's something I really wish I had done. I kind of left everything until the day before because I was dealing with all of my painful anxiety around the situation. But, I made a list of things-to-do/pack two days before and the night before.  

How To Travel When You're An Anxious Mess

Packing a week before would have been great too. Because I literally packed my bag and then re-packed it two minutes before my friends picked me up. I will say that I think packing a whole week ahead can be great for things like makeup/toiletries. But clothing wise it might be a bit of a gamble. Part of the reason I put it off for so long was that I had no clue what to wear because the weather can be so all over the place. And, I needed to wash stuff. So keep that in mind!

Travelling is hands down one of the best things we can experience. Whether that's going on a staycation in the city you live in, driving a few hours away, or flying for hours into a land completely unknown. If you're an anxious person these amazing experiences can be completely clouded by your own worries and anxieties. Here are the three things I would recommend if you're travelling while an anxious mess. anxiety 

One - Make sure you take everything that scares you one step at a time.

Two - If you're travelling with people, let them know if you're feeling anxious. Let your voice be heard. (I told my friends that I was scared of taking off and landing in a plane. So one of my friends let me hold their hand while we did that).

Three - Fucking travel anyways and devour every bit of joy while you're doing it.

What's the best travel advice you've ever received?
Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter!

Let's Be Friends

You Might Also Like


  1. I love this!! My anxiety can get worse when travelling and the thing that helps me is to be prepared and make lists! What makes me worse is that my boyfriend is so disorganised that it stresses me out. I mean, if you're travelling with me, you have to be organised like me! Great post!

    Paige x


Search This Blog

Like us on Facebook