Photo credit: Teresa Shaw / Working TravelingMom

We travel for many reasons: for work, for pleasure, and for life, but when we have anxiety over travel it can ruin the trip.

As often as I travel, it is hard for people to believe that I actually have travel anxiety, I probably have it worse than anyone in my household.  My kids know that Mom’s got it covered, so they have no worries – leaving me to hold it all on my shoulders.

The moment I know that I am going on a trip the anxiety kicks in, I worry about everything from finances to remembering to turn off the stove – truly it can ruin a trip.

I once got two and half hours away from home and could not remember if I shut my garage door. I was such a nervous wreck that I ended up calling my neighbor and having them drive by to check – all was well, it was just anxiety.

Over the past few years I have learned a few things that help me stay calm and lessen the anxiety while I travel.

1.  Make a list.

Everyone tells you to make a list before you travel, but make a list of those things that you normally freak out about.  My list includes: check the stove, unplug computer, lock back door, and check kitchen water faucet. These are things that I have never forgotten, but have often worried about, I simply write them down and as I walk out the door I check off my list.

2. Do not wait until last minute to plan, pack, or make arrangements.  

Sometimes you cannot help it, but often you can.  Be prompt with your plans; that way you have plenty of time to get your arrangements made.  It can be so stressful not know if your pet is being cared for, or if you yard is getting mowed while you are away.

3. Save money, but do not drive yourself crazy about finding the lowest price.  

I have found myself going crazy trying to save a few extra dollars, is it worth it?  NO, in fact now I would rather spend ten more dollars, than worry about my travel.  Give the discounts sites a look, but do not continuously fret and worry rather you are getting ripped off – in the end there is nothing you can do about it.

4. Remind yourself that everything will be okay. 

Does it really matter if I remembered to unplug the computer, or take out the trash?  Yes, the house may stink when I get home, but it will most likely still be standing.

5. Give yourself plenty of travel time.

One of the things I worry about is what if I miss my flight or lose my boarding pass.  Well being organized, calm, and having plenty of time can help prevent all those catastrophes, or at least give you time to deal with them if they do happen.  I always worry that I am going to lose my parking ticket, but if I am organized and remember where I always put it, then I will have one less thing to worry about – it is often the little things.

Travel is suppose to be fun, or at least it is suppose to feel different than being at home, so if you are like me and struggle with travel anxiety then try these steps.  I have found the more I stick to these ideas the better my trip is.