Tomorrow I’m leaving for a two-week trip and I’m always pretty nervous before leaving. As soon as I have reached my destination, everything is fine. So, I’m actually not scared about visiting other countries, just the thought of how to get there stresses me out a little. I have already been on several trips now but everytime it’s the same: I’m thinking too much about what to take with me, if I have booked everything right, what could go wrong etc. To be fair, a lot of things went wrong on my last trips.. but anyway, I’m working on myself to worry less and I already got better. This is why I want to share some tips with you that help me to stay calmer before a trip:
- Make a packing list. Obviously, a lot of people already do this.. I myself didn’t always make lists though, I just started packing my bags and thought about what to take with me during the packing process. Making a list definitely helps to make sure that you don’t forget anything important. Plus, if you start your list soon enough, you can always add something to it. Often, what you should take with you on your trip comes to your mind in the weirdest moments and it’s so helpful when you can just write it down on your list in that moment.
- Start packing your bags early enough. It’s better to not start packing the night before. It causes so much more pressure and maybe something else will get in between. In this case, you might have to pack everything very quickly which increases the risk of forgetting something important. It’s also possible that you notice while packing that you forgot to buy something and that it’s not possible to buy it anymore before your trip because the shops are closed or because you would need to order it. In case you only travel with hand luggage, maybe not everything fits into your suitcase and you need to change your packing plans a little and think about what to leave at home, this all takes some more time.
- Make another list. I always make a list of my “travel route”. I write down exactly what train to take, where and at what time to switch the train, at what time my plane leaves, at what time it arrives, where to go once I’ve reached the other country etc. This really makes me feel so much more secure and I do not constantly have to worry about what to do next or how much time I have left while I’m on my way.
- Inform yourself. Before going to another country, inform yourself about what to expect there. In this case I don’t mean informing yourself about the culture and what you want to do and see there (which is important as well, of course) but about what shops there are, what you can do if you get sick, if you can get medicine there easily, how to get access to internet etc., just to know if and how you can cover all you need in your everyday life. Especially if you stay in one place, this should be possible. Maybe you can even ask if you know someone in the plaxe where you’re going. For example, I asked beforehand if there are the normal European power sockets in the place where I’m staying to know if I need to buy an adapter before my trip to make sure that I can charge my electronic devices.
- Imagine the worst case scenario. Just imagine what could happen in the worst case and you will realize that even if everything goes wrong in any way possible, it won’t be the end of the world. Life always goes on. Last time when I travelled alone, my flight was cancelled, I had to book a new plane and leave two days later, had no place to sleep, had to spent a lot more money, slept at a stranger’s place but hey – in the end everything worked out somehow. Today I’m grateful for this experience as it made me more relaxed when it comes to thinking about possible upcoming “catastrophes”. If you forget something important, you will probably be able to buy it in the other country or someone can lend you something. If you get lost in the streets, miss your train, can’t find your accommodation etc., I’m sure some locals will be happy to help you.
It is not possible to plan every little detail of your trip and if you think about it – wouldn’t this be kinda boring? I believe that one great thing about travelling is that you need to leave your comfort zone, be more spontaneous and learn how to deal with unexpected obstacles. Just see your travels as a big adventure and jump right into them with a positive attitude.