How to Reduce the Stress of Traveling

Ever since I was a young child, airplane rides have been stereotypically tumultuous for me; I vomited, cried, and could never sleep a wink. Honestly, up until this past year, these symptoms were always a constant for me, never failing to embarrass me amongst crowds of travelers.

Most recently, I traveled to London to study abroad for a trimester. This experience was certainly rewarding, but after countless mistakes, I came to the realization that traveling does not have to be stressful.

After feeling powerless in the face of my flight anxiety, I did a bit of research and have narrowed down the most useful and cost-effective tips for those traveling.

Always pack snacks

Do you want to spend approximately twelve dollars on a small cup of oatmeal in the airport? Or would you rather crack open your can of La Croix and entire bag of cereal that you packed in advance? The answer here is clear unless you really savor twelve dollar oatmeal and twenty-minute lines. Save your money and nourish your body by bringing your absolute favorite snacks with you. It is best to avoid the crankiness that ensues when you forget to pack food and don’t have enough time to wait in the airport lines.

Ask for help

Ask for help when you can’t find the bathroom. Ask for help when you don’t know which gate your flight leaves from. Ask for help when you’re feeling sick on the plane. In all of these situations, asking for help is the only way to truly achieve any sort of resolution. Traveling is an individualistic experience for most people, but this does not necessarily mean that a person can’t reach out for assistance when they need to. Flight attendants, airport staff, and even fellow travelers can help you answer questions that may alter the course of your flight.

Find something that entertains you

Are you unhealthily obsessed with reading the same book over and over again? Bring it with you when you travel. Do you have a favorite podcast? Download it before your plane takes off. The point here is that you need to bring the things that comfort you and pass the time while you are traveling. Twiddling your thumbs for six hours on a plane because you can’t sleep is only entertaining to everyone but you. The movie and music selection on planes is often questionable and usually not that impressive, so be prepared to be bored if you don’t plan ahead.

Stock up on your favorite nausea treatments

Some people find comfort in a portable oil diffuser, prescription nausea medication, or simply chewing gum to ease flight anxiety. Finding your stress relief while traveling is arguably more important than the destination itself. No one wants to be the girl who has cried six separate times on the flight because she forgot to bring a snack and her anti-nausea tablets. Disclaimer: Yes, I am referring to myself.


While I can’t promise that these tips will make your travels absolutely perfect, they certainly are better than not taking any steps to ease your travel anxiety at all.