I LOVE to travel. I LOVE airports. And I love the excitement of waking up early to catch a flight to somewhere new. I’ve always been this way, ever since the first time I went to Disney when I was 4. I was fascinated by the orchestration of the whole thing. But as I got older I realized not everyone shared my love for chaotic airports and long security lines.
See, to me, those things all represent the adventure. The good with the bad.
The way I look at it is that in order for me to have this epic adventure, I have to pay some tolls first.
Now when the airports empty and there’s no one on the security lines, that’s a bonus! But for the most part I expect long lines, lots of people, babies crying, lost children, people running, etc.
My most recent trip this past week to Jamaica, I got to thinking how airports effect people all kinds of ways and I started to think why my experience is the way it is. So I thought I’d share with you some tips I’ve picked up over years of traveling that have helped me have an anxiety free travel experience. They may or may not work for you, but if you’re someone who finds themselves a little frazzled before a big trip maybe these could help you out!
1. NO CAFFEINE.
Caffeine for anyone with even the slightest bit of anxiety is no good, let alone before an anxiety filled trip to the airport. Even if your flight is early in the morning + you think you need your morning coffee to function, I promise you will not fall asleep + face plant while checking your bag.
The adrenaline + excitement for the trip ahead is enough to keep you awake + alert until you’re on the plane. I can see some of you shaking your head already saying “no, no I NEED my coffee,” well, just FYI when you can’t sit still (+ you're antsy AF) + keep complaining about how the line isn’t moving fast enough you might be annoying the rest of your party. Believe me, we’re all much more tolerant AND tolerable without coffee. Myself TOTALLY included.
Be like Kermit, “be more TEA”. **coffee before any excitement, nerve inducing activity is never a good idea** Try it once + feel the difference.
2. KNOW THE ONE THING YOU MUST NOT FORGET
This has helped me tremendously over the years. You know that feeling right before you leave where you feel like you’ve literally forgotten everything?? That fleeting moment where you’re like “What am I forgetting, I know I’m forgetting something?!”.
Most likely, you aren’t forgetting anything. You’ve probably packed enough for an extra six days for wherever you’re going anyway, so instead think of the ONE thing you absolutely need in order to get where you’re going. Usually, it’s an ID. Its either your passport or driver’s license.
You can get your boarding pass at check-in but you can’t go ANYWHERE without ID + ya def can’t leave the country without your passport. Making this crazy list of things to remember boil down to ONE thing makes leaving the house a breeze. You check, make sure you have your passport or ID and you go.
Everything else is either purchasable or my new favorite word, “figureoutable”. You brought four pairs of underwear instead of six. It’s ok, you can hand wash ‘em. You left shampoo/body wash/toothpaste, it’s ok you can buy it there. You forgot a child, it’s ok you wanted alone time anyway. Everything from that point forward is minutiae, it don’t matter!
3. FIND A BAR
This seems like a no brainer right?! I mean, c’mon half the fun of travel is sitting in the bar chatting up random fellow passengers + finding out where they’re headed off to. Grab something to drink while you’re at it. If you’re a nervous flyer, something to take the edge off BEFORE you get on the plane might make you feel more at ease. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with it. I’m not a nervous flyer but I still love me a pre-flight cocktail, or three.
Just be sure to drink lots of water as flying in general is dehydrating even without the extra help from the alcohol.
If you’re not into drinking pre-flight (snoozefest!) pick yourself up a bottle of Lemon Balm Extract. You can find it at most health food stores + it helps calms the nerves. Sorta like a natural Xanax. You can put it in tea or just some drops under your tongue. Works wonders for tons of stuff. My TV hosting coach suggested it. People who do a lot of public speaking use it to help take the nervous jitters away! Look it up. Good stuff!
4. GO WITH THE FLOW
This can be hard for a lot of people, as many people like to oppose the flow completely. Before you get to the airport, accept the fact there are many things that are out of your control. Things like flight delays + cancellations, gate changes, terminal changes, missed flights, lost luggage, you name it. At any given moment something can change. It’s how you react to it that will determine the outcome.
If your flights delayed…look at you! You get to go back to the bar! Different terminal? Who said you weren’t gonna workout this vacation?? Missed flight?? Try to upgrade on the next plane you’re booked on! The more you roll with the punches the more fun the experience can be. These things happen everyday. There’s no reason to let it throw your whole vibe off!
Hope you'll keep in mind some of these ideas the next time you head out of town! Traveling doesn't have to be stressful if you let it. Its a wonderful experience + if you have any moments of anxiety, take a step back + remember how lucky you are to be going where you're going!
“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” – Anonymous
"You can tell a lot about a person by the way they handle three things: a rainy day, lost luggage and tangled Christmas tree lights." – Maya Angelou
Cheers to your next adventure!
BIG Hug + Lots of Love!