After the holidays end, the travel bug kicks in. Not only does the bug start to appear more and more, but Spring Break comes up quickly as well. For some traveling is exciting, but it can also be a pain. Do you want to learn how to ease into vacation better? Are you looking to actually relax and enjoy the trips you take? Whether you are alone or with your family it is possible to eliminate travel anxiety as your constant and primary companion.
- First and foremost, resist the urge to procrastinate. If you know that the budget is tight, and you need to be scoping out travel costs and hotel prices, make this a fun part of the planning process. It can be fun by making the time for it and not pushing it off until the last minute. So, try setting aside time in your schedule for planning around lodging and how you are going to get to your destination in a way that doesn’t break the bank. The more you put it off, the more it will feel like a burden as opposed to an exciting part of the trip.
- Try to keep in mind the times that you have successfully approached barriers and difficult situations during previous trips. You may not realize this, but you are already your own traveling expert! That’s right…you are your own expert! This is a good reminder for many different situations that can come up in daily life, and if you take the time to do this you will have a tool you can use forever. “How do I do start?” you might ask. Start by acknowledging that you are the primary expert on all things you! Therefore, take some time to reflect on difficult moments when you have had to approach anxiety-ridden situations and how you successfully got through those times. This exercise will help you come up with tools you can use if similar situations arise while you are away from home.
- Plan for 1-2 full days of an open schedule. This may seem strange, because most people think that pre-planning and itineraries are the most useful tools when preparing for a trip. However, as we all know, things come up that we don’t expect. When this inevitably happens, it can lead to the frustrating dance of attempting to reschedule something that you want to do amongst all the other activities planned. Thus, there can be little time to reschedule activities, tours, meals, etc. if you have a packed itinerary already. Another reason this is helpful is for allowing spontaneity and time for a relaxation day if need be. There is nothing wrong with doing “nothing” on vacation! In fact, creating space and time for no activity is a sure way feel rejuvenated before continuing on with more site seeing!
- Accept uncertainty of what is to come. This is the ultimate tip! Lean into the discomfort of “not knowing” and experience all the joy that can come of it. While it is a bit tempting to try and predict what can happen on vacation, try and focus on the here and now. Moment by moment is the motto to try here.
- Practice gratitude on your trip. When you work long hours and finally get time to relax and do something you enjoy, it might be hard to resist worrying about what it will feel like to return to work at the end of your vacation. Instead of looking ahead, and experiencing the natural feelings of worry that come with doing so, try to practice gratitude exercises. Think about all that you are grateful for throughout the trip and as your time away from home comes to an end. This can help you direct your mind toward something positive as opposed to stressing about the future. Gratitude quickly redirects your attention and mental energy onto a more sustainable path than worry will every take you down.