In case you weren’t aware (although really, how couldn’t you be?), I am on my year abroad. So, I have spent the last seven months doing a fair bit of travelling across Spain, be that long weekends away that require a flight, or shorter breaks to cities accessible by a bus journey.
Despite being quite a nervous traveller, I think I’ve gotten pretty good at it, or as good as you can be at travelling, really. Also, my last couple of travel recommendation posts have gone down really well with you guys (I shall link them here and here, and thank you for that by the way), and I enjoy writing them, so why not keep it up?
Today I am sharing with you some of my top little travelling tips in the hope that, if any of you are anxious travellers too, you can evolve from a homebody to a travel bug sufferer like me, if you want to of course.
I’m unsure if I have always had a sort of travel anxiety, if not then it’s been at least since I have been struggling with IBS, so since I was 16. I have also always been prone to travel sickness/nausea, which may have something to do with it.
For me, it’s a bit of a cycle: I feel anxious about travelling, worried that my IBS might flare up whilst on a long journey (which has happened before and is an absolute nightmare), which then causes an IBS flare up and makes me associate that discomfort even more with taking trips than I already did.
It’s something that I’m working on and, actually, I have to say that flying by myself for the first time, which I did last year on a trip to Barcelona, was groundbreaking in terms of lowering my pre-travel nerves.
So, as someone who, despite regular journies, is still not a huge fan of the actual travelling part of a trip away, comfort is key. That means a cosy coat, scarf or jumper (especially in this weather) to curl up in during long trips, or if the place you end up staying is a little colder than hoped!
If you’re a nervous or nauseous traveller, I would always recommend doing anything and everything that you can to make yourself comfortable, whether that be incessant talking or total silence (I am a fan of the latter, personally). Don’t worry about seeming rude. One of the first things I told my housemate here in Spain, is that I have to wear headphones when I travel, especially on buses and planes; they take away background noise, stop me from feeling sick and I can use music to calm me down, or a podcast to distract me. This also means that I’m not a big fan of conversations when on a journey somewhere, so it’s pretty common to see us sat separately on buses so that we both get our space (and can nap in peace).
Additionally, those travel sickness wristbands that you can get are fab. They’re subtle, comfortable, easy to just throw in your bag, and the perfect alternative to tablets. They also really work. I find that if I’m already feeling a bit rough, taking a tablet doesn’t help me feel any better, so these bands (you can get them in any pharmacy/Boots/Superdrug type place) have been a God-send that I rarely travel without.
Next up, forget packing light. Obviously I don’t mean go crazy and take a 20kg suitcase for a one night stay (although equally, if you want to do that go for it), but if you are a nervous traveller overpacking a little can really help. Take everything you think you might want while you’re away, and write a list before you start packing so you can tick everything off as you go. This way you are so much less likely to forget something and can travel safe in the knowledge that you are ready for anything.
I have said before, in my Year Ahead post, that I have found planning, organising and just basically writing everything down to be so helpful when it comes to combating anxiety, and you can transfer this over to travelling too. I know that I feel much more comfortable when I have a plan, be that a specific list of everything that I want to do in a place, or just a general knowledge of the areas that we want to explore. This is such an easy one to do, but it can make such a difference, and will also ensure that you don’t miss out on anything that you were desperate to do!
I hope this post goes some way to helping some of you, and if you have any other tips or tricks for me I am all ears!