How To Stay Grounded When Traveling

Travel is inherently uncomfortable! Long lines, longer waits, tight spaces, unfamiliar places, communication and language barriers, sleep and body routines changed just to name a few! We all can get a bit anxious considering all these things; some are even known to have a panic attack. What can we do to alleviate all this stress?


There are anxious traveler books written that I am sure you can find. For me the best is good planning. Can you imagine an actor walking on stage without several dress rehearsals? Or an athlete preforming without practice? Our lives need dress rehearsals too! Review your plans several times.  Think through your plans from beginning to end. Imagine being in each situation, so when something happens it will not be so uncomfortable. If small talk with a stranger makes you nervous, imagine the stranger sitting next to you on the plane. What might you say? If you open your book to read that usually indicates you do not want to talk much….I wear a noise cancelling head set. But then sometimes I find a very interesting person and we chat away!


Be present.  Get out of your head and think about what “might be” into a “what is!” If the line is long and the wait is even more, look about you.  Who looks interesting?  Imagine a story about them!


Stay connected. Ordinarily, this is something I never recommend since I want you all to get lost in the present but if not knowing what is going on back home makes you anxious then by all means call.


Keep perspectives. Remember what you accomplished the day before and congratulate yourself.  If something went a bit askew think what could be done better and plan to do so! Two years ago I arrived in Barcelona without my documents. I had no addresses or telephone numbers of where I was going but I had my office.  I called back and was sent everything I needed.  Remember I (we) are there for you! My Italian tour operator gives out her 24 hour number too!


Take something familiar. When I went to South Africa for six months 20 years ago I took a picture of my family and two best friends. They were at my bedside every night.

I also took a few stones a friend had given me.  Along with my trusted radio these items helped me feel grounded.  Each day began with familiarity even in a stranger’s home.


Lastly imagine the worst and then get over it.  If you imagine the worst and you know how to handle it then nothing else will seem difficult. 


Enjoy your holiday!

About alwaysharriet

With thirty years experience in corporate and leisure travel consulting, Harriet Ahouse has traveled extensively throughout the Caribbean and worldwide. An avid scuba diver, she understands the requirements of travelers both on land and in the water. On the European scene she has offered traditional and personalized travel itineraries throughout the continent--Italy, France, and England are some of her favorites. As a Virtuoso Agent, she also has extensive resources to enhance her expertise in designing individual destination travel itineraries--and honeymoons--worldwide!
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