The dos and don’ts of dealing with travel jitters

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I won’t lie, I have gotten cold feet on more than one occasion when it was time to go on a trip. While I have been flying since I was a child and I have traveled cross-country on multiple occasions, I still find myself chickening out when it is time to take wings and fly. I’m gripped with an ice cold bout of anxiety that results in me canceling the trip days or sometimes even hours before I am to scheduled to leave. It is one of the reasons that I started going on short jaunts via bus or train. Even then I have bought and forfeited bus tickets due to my annoying travel jitters. Here are 3 tips that I have found helpful when trying to overcome the dreaded travel jitters.

  1. Don’t overthink. 

    Overthinking is the enemy of progress. Decide what you want to do and like Nike, “just do it!” Book that trip and go. If you find that your mind is overthinking every detail then you need to shift your thoughts to something different. When we allow our thoughts to get ahead of us we can talk ourselves out of doing things that might  otherwise push us out of our comfort zone. So, the next time you find your mind wandering to a negative “what if…” change it to a positive “what if…” Which brings me to my second tip.

  2. Focus on the positive.

    Yes, I know it sounds cliché but it’s true. Leave Negative Nancy and Debbie Downer out of your travel plans. Find friends and relatives who will be supportive and encouraging of your travel adventures. If you have a worried relative or a jealous coworker lingering around then simply avoid talking to them about your travel plans until after the trip. People will sometimes project their anxiety onto you, or they will share negative experiences that might trigger you and cause you to start spinning. Which brings me to my last and final tip.

  3. Prepare, prepare, prepare.

    I find that I get overwhelmed when I am disorganized or I have too much to do before I go. Don’t procrastinate. Do everything to prepare for your trip at least a week in advance. That includes laundry, making your packing list, cleaning your apartment, transferring funds, exchanging money, forwarding mail, printing tickets, finding your passport, etc. I like to do a brain dump and put everything that I need to do onto a list. I then cross items off the list as they are completed so I feel a sense of accomplishment. I find that when I don’t write down what I need to do, the same thoughts will keep popping into my mind and it seems like I have more to do. When I write down what runs through my mind, I realize that I really only have 3-5 items that are high priority and I don’t feel as overwhelmed. So make that list, check it twice, and set yourself up for success.

So there you have it. Three tips for helping you overcome your travel jitters. What do you find helpful when you start to feel anxious about traveling? Share you tips in the comment section.


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