Pre-travel Anxiety: What It Is and How to Battle It

Anyone who tells you that traveling is all about stress relief has probably never had pre-travel anxiety. But this happens to everyone, and sure, people forget all about it once they’re full of fresh experiences from their trip. But why would you even bother with that nervous feeling that could cause you to be tired and edgy on the first day of your adventure? The good news is that you don’t have to.


You don’t have to have nightmares about missing your flight or remembering that you’ve left the iron on once you’re well on your way to a long journey. You don’t have to be afraid of getting lost once you arrive or being mugged at the airport. There are a few ways to beat or at least cope better with the pre-travel jitters and have the best experience without any disturbances.

Identify the symptoms

Not every negative thought can be called pre-travel anxiety, and you should learn to identify it before you get anxious over the idea of being anxious. While each of us has a different experience of the jitters, there are some common symptoms you can identify:

  • Excessive worrying
  • Panic
  • Upset stomach
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Hyperventilating
  • Headaches
  • Body pain
  • Racing negative thoughts

Try to address some of them

There is no magic button you can press to make all the symptoms disappear. However, you can try to tackle the ones you can fight individually. Most of the physical symptoms can be healed with natural anxiety relievers. According to Medical News Today, you can treat anxiety symptoms with aromatherapy, CBD oil, exercise, herbal teas, and herbal supplements.

There are also some natural remedies for headaches, such as magnesium, essential oils, B-complex vitamins, cold compress, and ginger tea.

Prevent the most-feared outcomes by being organised

Grab a notebook. Write down all of your fears and doubts related to the trip and try to prevent them. For example, most people fear that they will forget to pack something important. Make a list of all the things you need and cross them out as you go.

If you’re travelling to a country that doesn’t have a reputation of being safe, or if you’re travelling to a big city where there’s a chance of getting mugged, you may fear that someone will try to rob you. There is no safe way to prevent someone from trying, but you can stop them from succeeding. There are many fantastic anti-theft travel bags to help you with that.

Perhaps you’re one of the numerous people who greatly fear getting food poisoning in a foreign country. Before you go, do your research about local food and reliable restaurants. Bottom line: for every problem you can imagine, you can imagine a solution too.

Share your thoughts

If you keep your fears for yourself, they may end up consuming you. Open up about what you’re thinking to your friends and family. When you do that, you will feel immediate relief. Saying your thoughts out loud will help make those worries feel less intimidating, and potentially even silly.

If you don’t feel like sharing your negative thoughts with your friends, you can write them all down. It will be just like writing a journal. Try doing that the moment these unwanted thoughts start invading your brain. Read them back to yourself to reflect and find some reasonable explanation.

Accept the things you cannot control

While there are many potential outcomes you can predict and prevent, there are some you can’t even imagine. But that’s the beauty of traveling.  Worrying about the things that could happen but probably won’t is just an enormous waste of energy. You could use that time and energy better by planning your newest adventure with enthusiasm. This might sound like an over-simplification, but if you can, whenever anxiety strikes you, take a deep breath, and remember it’s all going to pass.

Take care of yourself

Last but not least, a week or so before the big day, make sure to devote some time to self-care. Avoid unhealthy behaviors such as drinking alcohol and eating processed and fried foods.

Eat healthy foods, drink plenty of water, and get the necessary dose of physical activity. Go for a spa day, get a massage, pamper yourself. Do whatever you think you need in order to feel good, both physically and mentally.


Traveling is one of the best things you can do for yourself. It fills you with new experiences, hopes, and dreams. It changes you profoundly and for the better. Because it is such a huge thing, it asks for a lot of courage. And we all know that courage does not come without some fear on the side.

However, fear shouldn’t be the one to stop you or slow you down. On the contrary, it should be motivation to muster up the courage and embark on the road to progress. The tips above will help you transform the anxiety into positive jitters, and enjoy your adventure in every way possible.

Photos: Unsplash


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