Keep your mind grounded while your dreams soar, with these tools for combatting travel anxiety
You may feel it brewing before you’ve even finished packing, or it might come into full effect as you step onto a plane, or when you arrive at your accommodation. It could be a fear of getting on planes, trains, or boats; anxiety around new places and crowded areas; or a general sense of dread around the idea of going away – whichever form it takes, travel anxiety can put a real dampener on our journeys away.
Now, if your travel anxiety prevents you from being able to go about your normal routine, it’s always worth speaking to a mental health professional or your GP. But there are also lots of other ways that you can try soothing it as you go.
Here, we’ve rounded up seven of our favourite products for you to add to your own anti-anxiety travel toolkit.
1. Lavender Relaxation Eye Pillow, Calm & Collective
Lavender is one of those plants that has been used throughout history to aid relaxation, and this eye pillow from Calm & Collective brings those soothing qualities to a portable, and beautiful, product. Place it over your eyes, and let the scent envelop you as you block out the world around you for a moment of peace and quiet reflection, or meditation.
2. Google Translate app
If you’re going somewhere where the locals speak a different language, working your way through language barriers can add to your feelings of anxiety. Whether it’s not being able to navigate new places safely, getting lost, or being unsure how to ask for help when you need it, there are many scenarios on your travels that can be fuel for an anxious mind. Being able to say a few key phrases, particularly those that you might need in an emergency, is a good idea, and can help you feel more confident as you navigate your time away. There are many apps on the market that can help you do this, but the Google Translate app is free, fast, and can translate from 108 languages – making it a great option.
(Free, available on Android and iOS)
3. De-stress Aroma-Roll, Absolute Aromas
Aromatherapy uses the power of our senses to support our wellbeing, and the aroma rolls from Absolute Aromas mean you can slip a blend designed specifically for de-stressing into your bag. Using a blend of lavender, jasmine, Roman chamomile, and bergamot, simply roll the oil blend onto your pulse points – such as your wrists, neck, and inside of your elbows – and breathe them in deeply when you feel the anxiety start to rise.
4. Sleep Dharma Calm Balm, Mauli Rituals
Travel anxiety can have a knock-on effect on other parts of our wellbeing, not least our sleep. And with poor sleep can come more anxiety, as our resilience levels drop and our mood can take a turn for the worse. The Sleep Dharma Calm Balm from Mauli Rituals is a little luxury designed to help you find calm. You can smooth it on before bed to help you get that much-needed sleep, or you can use it during meditation and mindfulness, to help you relax even further. Take time to indulge in a before-bed ritual, giving yourself the self-love that you need during times of heightened anxiety.
5. Affirmation app, ThinkUP
Affirmations are short phrases that we can repeat to ourselves which are designed to help us achieve a certain mindset. They can be a great tool for finding calm in the middle of anxiety, and for helping us to ground ourselves. The ThinkUp app provides you with daily affirmations, but it also allows you to record affirmations yourself, add background music, and include soothing images. The premium, paid-for, level gives you unlimited spots for affirmations, and more customisation options but, even with the free version, you’ll still be able to create a digital retreat that’s perfectly aligned to your wellbeing needs.
(Free, find it in the App Store and Google Play Store)
6. Instant Eye Relief Spray, Peep Club
Created by optometrists for the eye care brand Peep Club, the Instant Eye Relief Spray uses sea buckthorn oil to lock in moisture and provide some relief for tired and sore eyes. The perfect thing to use on a flight, where the aircon does our eyes no favours, this product can also be used to help bring you back to the present, and refresh your anxious mind. Spritz this blend onto closed eyes, and let its scent and soothing properties rejuvenate you.
7. Audiobooks and ebooks, Libby
Distraction can be a great tool for dealing with anxiety, and escaping into a great story is the perfect way to let the stress of travel dissolve – plus, it can make the time fly by! Did you know that you can borrow ebooks and audiobooks for free? Libby is the library reading app that helps you discover new stories, and borrow them from your local library. All you need to do is make sure you have your library card, then download the Libby app.
(Free, find the Libby app in the App Store and Google Play store)
Travel anxiety is something that can affect us at any point, but with the right support, you can shake off the weight, and let your dreams take flight.