Travelling can make anyone anxious and for those that suffer with anxiety it can be an incredibly daunting experience. Whether I’m travelling by car, train or plane I tend to get anxious. The way I combat this anxiety is to plan and to be prepared for everything. I usually pack every thing and anything (including the kitchen sink), however I thought I would narrow my packing down and share with you my travel essentials for an anxious traveller.
If you’re a minimalist packer then this list is not for you!
Hand Sanitiser –
As someone who suffers from emetophobia travelling can make me very anxious due to all the germs that I might come in contact with. One of the ways I tackle this worry is to carry some hand sanitiser with me. When travelling, especially by car, I often find that many public toilets don’t have soap. Thankfully when I have my little pot of hand sanitiser with me I know I can somewhat clean my hands.
If you have the space you could always pop a bar of soap in a sandwich bag and bring that with you.
Tissues are another handy thing to have with you when travelling. Whether you need to blow your nose, dry your hands or if there’s no toilet paper in the loo they will always come in handy! Sometimes when feeling anxious when travelling I have a little cry and so these tissues are vital.
Boots sell a travel packet of tissues which has lots of tissues but takes up a relatively small amount of room.
Eating whilst travelling can be the best or the worst experience, depending on many varying factors. More often than not I have had bad experiences – especially with me being a gluten free vegetarian. In addition to this my emetophobia prevents me from eating in places that don’t appear to be sanitary. All-in-all I find it a lot less stressful to pack lots of snacks for my travels and just know that at the end I can enjoy a good meal.
The type of journey you are embarking on will greatly influence the kind of snacks you bring. For long car journeys I pack lots of foods that are easy to handle – such as crisps, breakfast bars and sweets.
Earplugs can be great for a number of reasons, whether you want to sleep during your travels or just to block out the sound of your fellow passengers. Earplugs are my saviour when we travel long distances in the car, I pop them in to drown out the sound of the radio and the road – this usually leads to me falling asleep. I know for some of us who suffer with anxiety we retreat into ourselves during stressful situations and so these ear plugs help to block out the outside world.
Blankets can work in a number of different ways whilst travelling. They can simply be used to keep you warm on your travels, however they can also offer an element of safety. Being wrapped in a blanket can create the illusion of being protected. I also find that a blanket can help me to fall asleep as it mimics the feeling of being in bed with a duvet over me.
A book –
A good book is perfect to lose yourself in and let time whizz by without you even noticing. If you get travel sick then I would advise you not to read whilst travelling as it can worsen the effects. When travelling on a plane I tend to lose myself in my book so that time passes quicker than normal and the journey will be over quicker.
This can also be a great way to getting yourself interested in your chosen holiday book.
I’m a little bit of a self-confessed hypochondriac, mixed with my anxiety it means I often convince myself that a slight discomfort is the beginnings of an illness. When at home I try to just be sensible and ignore it, however I know that whilst travelling my anxiety is already heightened and so I give in to it. Because of this I always travel with a variety of medicines – from paracetamol to cough sweets. Whatever you could wish for I have it.
The benefit of this is that when any of us are actually unwell I have tablets for our various ailments. I would recommend always bringing along some basic medicines with you, such as; paracetamol, Imodium and indigestion tablets.
Also pack some plasters and antiseptic cream as someone always gets a blister or hurts themselves.
A bottle of water –
I never travel without a bottle of water. When that anxiousness comes over me and I begin to feel overwhelmed and clammy I take a step back and have a sip of water. In addition to this there are numerous health benefits to staying hydrated whilst travelling. For example if you’re dehydrated you are more likely to feel tired and for anyone who suffers from anxiety I’m sure you’re aware that tiredness can be a trigger.
A fan –
Whenever I panic I tend to get really hot, which then leads to me panicking even more. When I travel I’m already on edge and so I like to take precautions to prevent myself from being hit with a panic attack. Taking a fan with you can be a great way of cooling yourself down and eliminating one of the symptoms of a panic attack. There are a wide range of fans out there from handheld, battery operated or even ones that plug into your phone.
I hope my list of travel essentials has been of some use to you!
What travel essentials do you rely on to get you through the journey?