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We’ve all been there: those pre-trip nerves that loom as we pack our bags and re-check our flight info. For those of us whose travel anxiety hits a little harder than others, going on even a short trip can be a challenge. Check out the list below of some travel essentials for anxious travelers. These must-haves are items that have been handpicked to help you calm, relax, and hopefully enjoy your trip.
Travel Anxiety is Common
Travel anxiety is a common experience that affects a significant number of people. It can stem from various sources, such as the fear of flying, the stress of navigating unfamiliar places, or the general disruption of routine that comes with traveling. This anxiety isn’t limited to those with chronic anxiety disorders; it can also affect individuals who usually don’t experience anxiety in their daily lives. The uncertainty and lack of control associated with travel can trigger stress and nervousness, making what should be an exciting adventure feel overwhelming.
Tips for Calming Travel Anxiety
For those who suffer from travel anxiety, there are several strategies to help manage and alleviate these feelings. I have absolutely experienced a spectrum of anxiety related to travel throughout the years! Here are my biggest takeaways that can help you bring the stress-level down a notch or two:
- Preparation is key: Planning your itinerary in detail, organizing travel documents, and familiarizing yourself with your destination can greatly reduce anxiety caused by the unknown.
- Mindfulness and relaxation techniques: Deep breathing exercises, guided meditation, or yoga, can be very effective in managing in-the-moment anxiety. There are some great apps available (I love the Calm app!) that can help guide you through meditations and breathing exercises.
- Keep routines: Maintaining your typical routine as much as possible, like regular meal times and sleep schedules, can provide a sense of normalcy and control. Of course this can be difficult to do when traveling, but even a little routine is better than none.
- Comfort Items: Bringing along comforting items, such as a favorite book, a soft scarf, or a playlist of soothing music, can also create a sense of familiarity and comfort. Check out our list below with some wonderful comfort item suggestions!
Must-Haves for Anxiety Travelers: Our Favorite Comfort Items
Take a list at our must-haves for easing some stress and tension while traveling. You certainly won’t need everything on this list for every trip – pick and choose a handful of items for each trip. Consider whether you will be traveling by car, plane, train, ship, etc and make sure the items you pack are permitted on your transportation vehicle.
*Denotes that we received a free sample to check out for editorial consideration. No compensation was received and all opinions are 100% our own, as always.
- Portable Essential Oil Diffuser: Compact and USB-powered for ease of use in cars, hotel rooms, or even airplanes. If the diffuser is not practical for your method of travel, consider essential oil jewelry such as a necklace or a beaded bracelet.
- Weighted Travel Blanket: Offers the comforting pressure of a weighted blanket in a travel-friendly size.
- Aromatherapy Travel Tin Candle*: Small and compact, grab a candle in a scent that calms you such as lavender or eucalyptus. No need to light the candle – just pull it out for a deep breath as needed.
- Aromatherapy Stress Relief Rollerball: Perfect for on-the-go use; blends like lavender and chamomile can be soothing.
- Noise-Canceling Headphones: Ideal for reducing stressful travel noises, creating a personal oasis of calm.
- Travel-Sized Weighted Stuffed Animal: Offers a sense of security and comfort, especially during long journeys. (My kids have the dinosaur and cheetah weighted stuffies from Target and they LOVE them!)
- MyPillyPal*: Sleek and convenient, stores all medication and/or vitamins in their own compartments for easy access. Fits in your purse or traveling bag and comes with stickers to help label the different sections.
- Fidget Ring: Discreet and portable, perfect for restless hands.
- Silk Eye Mask with Lavender: Combines the benefits of complete darkness with the soothing scent of lavender.
- Guided Meditation App Subscription: Offers a range of guided meditations ideal for calming an anxious mind. (Again, I have used the Calm app for years and really like it. There are many options out there.)
- Compact Travel Journal with Prompts: Writing can be a cathartic way to process travel anxiety or simply give you a distraction!
- Ergonomic Neck Pillow: Provides physical comfort, which is especially important during long trips.
- Mindfulness Coloring Book with Colored Pencils: A mindful activity to focus and calm the mind.
- Portable Tea Infuser Bottle: Allows travelers to brew their calming teas on the go.
- Travel-Sized Skincare Kit: Self-care can be a soothing ritual.
Do you use any of the items on our list when you travel? Tell us about it! Drop us a comment and let us know what your must-haves go into your travel bag.
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