Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

If you’re the type of person that gets sweaty palms, elevated heart rate, and a shaky leg when the plane takes off, you’ve come to the right place. I have always been an anxious traveler, especially when it comes to flying. Throughout the years I have developed several tactics and stress-coping mechanisms that have helped me travel more easily. 

Travel Prepared and do your research

Traveling to a new place you’ve never been before can be nerve-racking. Not having much knowledge about the culture, people and atmosphere is overwhelming. Conducting research and being prepared for anything that could occur while traveling is step one to feeling comfortable in the new setting. Understanding the environment you’re entering will also help with the packing process! Being prepared for all weather conditions and cultural experiences will ease any anxiety you may have about entering a new place.

Practice Breathing Exercises

Meditating and slowing my breathing has completely changed my life. If you are someone who experiences a raised heart rate when feeling anxious, I highly encourage you to try these based on my own experience. I enjoy closing my eyes, inhaling for four seconds, holding my breath for eight seconds, and then exhaling for six seconds. Practicing stillness can really help in times of high stress. Check out this awesome website for additional breathing tips!

Go With the Flow

This is much easier said than done, and it took me a while to accept! Accepting the fact that we as human beings don’t always have control over everything is a difficult feat. Once this is accepted, it becomes a whole lot easier to be okay with letting different situations play out the way they were meant to. Delayed flight? I’ll get on the next one! The resort is overbooked? I’ll go to the one down the beach (and yes, this did actually happen to me)! There are only so many things we as humans have control over and it’s helpful to let go of the things we don’t!

Manifest Good Vibes

Although I am not the biggest believer in manifestation, envisioning exactly how you want a situation to go is a great way to get in the right mindset. When I was younger and playing sports, I used to envision myself scoring a goal, or winning a meet. Even though these events didn’t always work out the way I pictured them, it put me in such a good frame of mind and always helped me do better. The same applies to travel. Picturing myself having a smooth travel day and a relaxing vacation does wonders for me and my travel anxiety.

Distract Yourself

Having simple distractions like a coloring book, a friend to talk to, social media to scroll through, or having games on hand can be great for easing the mind. Not focusing on the immediate situation causing anxiety helps take the worry away. Personally, when I have long travel days I try to download as many movies and TV shows as possible so that I have something to pay attention to when in my most anxious moments. 

Avoid Stimulants

I am a huge coffee drinker. I need it to wake myself up in the mornings and afternoons. However, on my travel days, it is essential that I avoid any substance that could elevate my heart rate more than it already will be. Instead of drinking coffee, I will enjoy decaffeinated tea. This tends to give me the placebo effect of being awake without affecting my bodily functions. 

Although these methods help me, there are many resources and tactics to ease travel anxiety! It is all about finding the strategies that work for you. Being able to travel is a privilege, and I am proud of myself every day for not letting my anxieties and fears stop me from it. 

Can’t get enough of HC UMass Amherst? Be sure to follow us on Instagram, listen to us on Spotify, like us on Facebook, and read our latest Tweets

Haley LaKind

U Mass Amherst '23

Haley LaKind is a junior Communication and Journalism double major on the Public Relations Track. She enjoys writing biweekly articles for Her Campus as well as running the chapter instagram page @hcumassamherst. Her hobbies include exercise, travel, journaling, and spending time with friends and family. At UMass she is also involved with UMass CHAARG and the Public Relations Club.