5 Things to Consider Before Making Travel Plans if You Have Anxiety
Anxiety is debilitating, but the desire to see the beauty of the outside world may overcome that. I am an anxious traveler. I constantly deal with inflight panic attacks and hyperventilating in crowded places. But I still choose to travel, because I believe it’s worth it. Here are some ways that help me deal with my anxiety while I travel.
Making a trip plan is essential to all travelers, and I believe it is even more crucial for travelers with anxiety. These are things to consider when you make a trip plan:
1. Time of visit.
When you Google a famous tourist attraction, on the right side you can see the time of the day and the relative number of visitors. Plan your visit when the crowds are lighter. Aside from the fact that it is nicer in pictures, crowds can trigger anxiety and claustrophobia.
2. Time of the year.
Some people are bothered by the cold or are easily exhausted by the heat. Plan your trip according to the season. Know your body and remember to dress accordingly.
3. Number of attractions.
Anxiety can be triggered by exhaustion. Backpacking around a city may mean you could get lost. Confusion in another country is quite tiring and may trigger anxiety. My advice is to make sure you won’t get exhausted. When you feel you already have less than 25 percent of energy left, then it’s time to recharge! If you get tired in the middle of the afternoon, rest inside a coffee shop and read about the city you are exploring. If it’s already late in the afternoon, call it a day and just start early the next day.
4. Kinds of attractions.
There are some upsetting places that may cause anxiety. Examples of these may include war memorials, caves, tunnels and underground attractions. Make sure to avoid these on your first travel if they could trigger anxiety.
Small spaces may trigger anxiety. Capsule hotels and dormitory type rooms are quite popular these days, but they might need to be avoided as closed spaces may induce claustrophobia. I recommend Airbnb accommodations, which is usually cheaper than hostels (but you have to be smart about booking).
Finally, here’s what I put in my anti anxiety travel pack!
1. Something that calms me
2. Something to keep my mind off things
3. Offline maps and walking guides app
4. Train stations and train routes app
5. Pocket wifi
6. handy travel guide book
8. Roaming sim (for emergency calls)
I hope this helps! I wish you good luck on your travels and may you courageously embark on wonderful adventures!
A version of this post originally appeared on Medium.
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Unsplash photo via Suhyeon Choi.