How to Stay Sane While Traveling

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What do you want to do before you die? Most people will say that they want to travel. There are few things as alluring as seeing new places and experiencing new things. Travel can be amazing and life-changing, but it is not always glamorous. Travel can be exhausting, stressful, anxiety-ridden, and annoying. Here are some tips that have helped me minimize the bad and maximize the good in my own travels:

1. If you are flying, pack your carry on like your luggage will get lost.

Trust me on this. Pack a hairbrush, deodorant, any medication you might need, socks, and at least one spare pair of underwear. This is from personal experience. Your future self will thank you.

2. Emergency snacks are important

I get hangry very easily so I always keep emergency cashews on me while traveling, and just in life in general. When your connection between flights is too short to get food or you can’t eat anything at a restaurant or you are just having too much fun to find food, you will be grateful to have your emergency snacks. I would recommend either being super picky about what constitutes an emergency or having multiple emergency snacks on you. Nothing is worse than having a real snack emergency and you have already eaten your emergency snacks.

3. Know what makes you cranky

I get cranky really easily. I think I spend about 40% of my life in a bad mood. I know what makes me cranky so when I travel I can act accordingly. Do you get hangry easily? Do you get cranky when you don’t have concrete plans? Do you get cranky when you have too many plans? Does spending too much time with people and not enough time alone make you cranky? Will going out every night make you cranky? Will never going out make you feel like you haven’t experienced your destination and thus make you cranky? Ask yourself these questions and keep the answers in mind when making plans. Be realistic with yourself! The more you can minimize situations that make you cranky, the more enjoyable your trip will be!

4. Keep a journal/ some other record of your travels

I know the memories you are making seem so vivid now but they will fade. Keep a journal and write in it every day. Write what you did that day, what you ate, and who you talked too. Don’t forget to write down how that place you are in makes you feel. Are you happy and energized? Are you calm and relaxed? Are you stressed and anxious? Recording these emotions will not only help you process them but will also help you remember the trip better in the future!

5. Don’t forget about all your friends and family at home!

It can be easy to get caught up in your travels and lose contact with people at home (again from personal experience). Set a reminder on your phone every day to check in with people if you need to. They want to hear about your travels and you will feel better if you have that little bit of home in your day. I am very guilty of getting halfway through my trip and realizing that I haven’t talked to my parents and that I am extremely homesick. Be better than me!

6. Keep track of the money you are spending

This is really a suggestion for myself. Be prepared to spend more money while traveling than you would at home, but don’t go overboard. Experience your travels to the fullest, but don’t go broke in the process. Keep track of your spending somewhere (I suggest your phone). I would also suggest converting all prices into the currency of your home country. This really helps you get perspective on how much money you are spending!

Traveling is really as amazing as everyone makes it out to be. But it can be tiring, stressful, and annoying. My biggest advice is to know yourself and listen to yourself. Everyone travels differently and you need to do what’s right for you. And don’t feel bad if you are not having fun every second of every day! Some days will suck but, hopefully, but some days will be amazing and you will remember why you left home in the first place! Remember to stay safe and have fun!