I was just asked yesterday by my uncle, "Do you ever experience any hassles?" Answer: YES! I choose to not talk about hassles because the reason for this blog was to convey how I feel about certain places, not so much step by step every minute of the trip. Hassles happen every trip for me, and I always have a little (or a lot of) anxiety. I wanted to touch on some tips I would give any traveler feeling anxious. I am no expert, so far from it, but I hope this helps one person to get over any anxiety they have and book the trip.- A
Travel anxiety is real. I get it. I have it. Before my recent trip to Slovenia there was, for about 10 days, a strong threat that we might be cancelled due to snow IN MARCH. We missed Storm Stella by a few days, but we were still expecting more Nor'easter weather that Saturday we were to fly out. I had planned this trip for 6 months, and I was so upset that it could all be pushed back due to unlikely weather for the season. In the middle of the multiple hours of complaining to everyone, I was told me, "There is nothing you can do about it, so just focus on how excited you are." Honestly great sentiment and I will probably use it for someone else in my same position. But just not helpful. That's the thing I have a hard time accepting. None of it is in my control. And that is scary.
People decide not to travel for this very reason. I want to say it is sad, but I have been plagued by it and it is not fun. Airports are the worst, a delayed flight is the worst way to waste your life, spending the money can be daunting, what will I do if I can't speak the language? So may questions and uncertainties when traveling, so I put together a list of tips I (try) to use. I hope it helps someone else along the way.
- Decide what you want out of a trip- if you want to visit some cherry blossoms but on more of a budget, book a trip to DC! If the cherry blossoms in Japan has always been on your bucket list, then plan in advance. Start saving money for 6 months to a few years. I am heading to Seoul next February and it has been planned for 4 years, so the cost of buying the ticket later this year will not be as much of a burden.
- Save money on things that aren't important in a vacation for you- The emergence of airbnb is a lifesaver. They are so much cheaper than a hotel, but nicer than a hostel. I love NICE hotels, but I know it is not always feasible. On my last trip I airbnb'd and hosteled most nights but made sure to stay somewhere nice for one. I love to eat and shop when on vacation, so lodging is where I usually choose to save money. If you don't consider spending money on a restaurant experience a priority, save the money by eating cheap (but still yummy) street food!
- Cash- I use cash on vacation way more than I do in real life. I'm the person that puts the $1.16 Duane Reade purchase on my credit card. When on vacation I know I will be spending more that usual, so I try to use cash as much as possible so I can quickly calculate what I have been spending.
- Nothing is in your control- I hate saying that, but it is the truth. Delays will happen, cancellations will happen. All I can say is be prepared. Stalk the weather. Have alerts to your phone from your airline. If the weather isn't great, try to get to the airport early just to asses the situation.
- Check in on line- I also rarely check bags, I try to avoid as many lines and people as possible. It just helps me calm my nerves when I can avoid extra steps. When traveling abroad it is harder to avoid this, but I always give myself extra time....
- BE EARLY- My God, are you trying to kill me? If you are traveling abroad be at the airport at the very least 2 hours early. AT THE AIRPORT. Not leaving your apartment 2 hours early. If you are flying domestically, give your self 90 minutes. It is the least you can do for your health. The stress of chasing after your plane will take years off anyone's life.
One last point I want to touch on is travel with people you want to travel with. I am usually the one planning, which is something I choose and love to do (except if I am traveling with family, then I just lay back and let them lead). I have been lucky and cannot remember a time that I was traveling with someone who I am not comfortable with, but I have enough anxiety with people I am conformable with not enjoying the trip or plans. It is completely made up anxiety, I just want everyone to have a great time. Always travel with people who will have a great time no matter what, because you all are together.
Travel Anxiety- When you drop your phone in water and have to carry it around in a bag of rice for a day.