Whether for pleasure or business, traveling can be a stressful process no matter where your destination may take you. The oftentimes dreadful task of preparing and packing for a trip can bring about stress, frustration, and travel anxiety for even the most experienced or enthusiastic traveler.
I personally keep my carry-on packed with things like stress balls, books/magazines and essential oils (I like the Pocket Pharmacy by Canadian brand Saje). Though, truth be told, I almost always end up dozing off to a playlist within 5 minutes of airtime, which automatically pauses the onset of my flying anxiety.
If you experience travel anxiety or are looking for ways to navigate the travel process with a bit more ease, here are a few travel tips to incorporate to help quell travel fears and redirect your energy to the more joyful aspects of traveling.
Invest in a Gel Eye Mask
Gel eye masks are often a popular short-term choice to treat dark circles and puffiness around the eye area. Designed to sooth dry and tired eyes, the gel masks contain a blue or greenish gel often comprised of a hydrating aloe vera-water-glycerin combination. In some cases, essential oils are also added to provide extra benefits to soothe inflammation.
Try and steer clear of a mask with heavy or synthetic oils like mineral oils to avoid irritation or flare-ups. Additionally, gel masks can also help alleviate allergy and sinus symptoms. Another option in lieu of the full mask is eye gels, which directly target the under-eye area.
Pack Essential Oils
There is no shortage of information and research on the stress-relieving effects of aromatherapy practice. A study published in 2015 concluded that essential oils like lavender, lemon, eucalyptus, and clary sage helped to reduce anxiety and stress and balance mood-stabilizing hormones. If you lean towards citrus scents, try citrus bergamot–a hybrid of bitter orange and lemon–which has been noted for its powerful effects on reducing heart rate, stress, and anxiety.
For a more floral-based oil, the aroma of ylang ylang has been proven to help calm the nervous system, lowering heart rate and blood pressure.
Reduce Caffeine Intake
Caffeine jitters are very real, and if you experience pre-travel nerves, that cup of coffee (or even matcha) may not do you any favors. While caffeine tends to be the substance of choice or mood-boosting effects, the side effects of caffeine run the gamut from irritability and nervousness to insomnia and rapid heartbeat.
Caffeine consumption can also trigger your body’s fight or flight response, doubling an individual’s level of stress hormones, cortisol, and epinephrine.
Another alternative to essential oils is calming herbal teas. Teas have helped circumnavigate my anxiety or travel nerves so much that I now travel with a ziplock bag full of tea bags. Try jasmine tea for promoting calmness or ginger tea to help keep the digestive system steady and stomach flurries at bay.
Make a Playlist
A playlist of soothing tracks and sounds meditation tracks in heavy rotation can help induce relaxation and calm travel anxiety. Trade-in your EDM and trap hits for jazz tracks, instrumental music for steady and sound travel. Both Apple Music and Spotify offer curated playlists for relaxation. Additionally, iOS app MindMetro offers meditation music relaxing sounds to help “cure insomnia anxiety and other symptoms of uneasiness.”
What are your wellness tips for easing travel anxiety?
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