How I Deal with Travel Anxiety

Madewell Oversized Shirt & Away Luggage

the details: shirt, denim, flats, aviators, lipstick, suitcase


Madewell Oversize Boyshirt & American Eagle Jeans

casual travel outfit

Casual White Button Down

Ray Ban Aviators & J.Crew Factory Flats

Casual Travel Style

Casual Travel Outfit

Skinny jeans and casual white button down

I’ve always loved the idea of traveling around the world – experiencing new places, eating new foods, meeting new people. Although it’s doable, traveling requires a lot of time, money, and planning. Thanks to all three of these factors, I figured starting small and local (aka within the continental U.S.) was a great place to start and what I’ve noticed is that no matter where I’m going or how excited I am, my travel anxiety is a real downer. But can you blame me? Flying at 35,000 feet with over a hundred strangers, going through security, and all of the terrible events going on in the world, traveling can be scary AF.

If you’re in the same boat as me, here are 5 tips on how I handle my travel anxiety:

1. Breathe

Even though it’s a terrible habit, I always overthink everything when I travel and sometimes I have a hard time controlling it. The one thing that’s made a difference? Breathing. It might be the simplest thing but oftentimes we forget to breathe when we’re anxious, overwhelmed, and scared. Whether you utilize a breathing technique, turn to meditation, or simple kick the habit of clenching your jaw to the curb, finding a way to relax is key.

If you find yourself feeling anxious during travel, close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and remind yourself that everything is going to be okay. You are in control.

2. Dress comfortably

Dressing comfortably automatically brings my stress levels down. There’s nothing worse than going through security and fidgeting with your clothing. If you’re not into wearing extremely comfy clothing when traveling (i.e. leggings, oversized, t-shirts, etc.), go for easy pieces that look put together but are still comfortable.

My go-to travel uniform is a comfy pair of flats or slip on sneakers, a casual top, and my favorite leather jacket. During my trip to Nashville, I opted for a casual white button down (totally obsessed btw) to avoid any fidgeting during my travels.

3. Use a suitcase that works for you

I recently purchased the bigger carry-on from Away and one word: obsessed. Although there are a few cons to the suitcase (review coming soon!), the overall suitcase works for me and it makes travel that much easier. When you’re walking around the airport, trying to get your bag into the overhead compartment and it doesn’t fit, something is broken, or it’s just an over hot mess, it can be extremely stressful. Especially when there are people behind you that are in a rush!

4. Be prepared

My main trigger for travel anxiety is the fear of the unknown. Granted, anything can happen to you at any time, no matter where you are but there is just something about traveling and being away from home that makes it that much scarier. When I travel, I go through all of the things I am planning on bringing with me and putting them in a specific spot to ensure nothing is misplaced. I also try to give myself three hours before boarding at the airport to eliminate the anxiety of missing of flight. Are you looking at me like I have three heads? Better to be early than late! Plus, this means extra time at the bar!

If there are certain items you utilize as part of your every day schedule, pack the travel sized version to keep you cool, calm, and collected. My go-to is dramamine (I get *super* motion sickness – *ugh*), a few magazines, a good book, and gum for when my ears pop. Don’t forget headphones!

5. Share your travel itinerary with a loved one

Even as I get older, I always let someone in my family or even a close friend know what my travel itinerary is. That way, if anything happens (even if they can’t do anything about it), they at least know where I am. This in itself usually helps keep my anxiety at bay.

How do you handle your travel anxiety?



Photography by: Southwell Photo

Leave a Reply


  1. 3.29.18
    Lauren said:

    First of all, your outfit is BOMB. I need a pair of leopard print flats ASAP! I am exactly like you, I love the idea of traveling but when it actually happens I’m a mess. It’s so important to be prepared for everything. I really want to try one of the Away bags but let’s be real I am broke haha. Love this post, Rachel!


    • 3.31.18
      Rachel said:

      AH thanks Lauren! This pair is SUPER comfy (I have them in black, too!) and you can pass on the price. Have you seen the new Away travel accessories? So obsessed!

  2. 3.29.18
    Anna English said:

    Luckily I don’t have travel anxiety, but I’m all about dressing comfy!

    • 3.31.18
      Rachel said:

      Ahhh so jealous, lady! Dressing comfy is my jam!

  3. 3.29.18
    Emily Wilkinson said:

    Totally love all these tips! I always try to dress comfortable and listen to music or podcasts!

    • 3.31.18
      Rachel said:

      Podcasts are the best when you’re traveling – especially alone! It makes it feel like someone is with you.

  4. 3.30.18
    Liz said:

    These are great tips! Will definitely refer to this post before my trip!


    • 3.31.18
      Rachel said:

      Thanks Liz!

  5. 3.30.18
    Stesha said:

    great tips, traveling can be so hard sometimes!


    • 3.31.18
      Rachel said:

      Thanks Stesha! It can definitely take a toll on you.

  6. 3.30.18
    Jamaria Johnson said:

    These are great tips! I don’t really get travel anxiety, but some of these I can include in my routine anyway! Xo


    • 3.31.18
      Rachel said:

      Thanks Jamaria!

  7. 3.30.18
    Laura said:

    I always dress super comfortably when I travel. And I love your tip about sharing your itinerary with someone who isn’t traveling with you.

    xo, Laura

    • 3.31.18
      Rachel said:

      Even if you’re wearing jeans, it’s so important to be comfortable in what you wear! Makes such a difference.

  8. 3.30.18
    Shira said:

    I’m allll about every single tip! Especially breathing and comfy clothes- 100%!

    • 3.31.18
      Rachel said:

      Being comfortable is the first step!

  9. 3.31.18
    roxy said:

    I’m so with you, I love to travel but HATE to fly. Landings fill me with such fear. I have noticed that the further up in the plane I sit the more comfy I feel during the ride. I love your tips! I agree the bigger Away carry-on is a must-have.

  10. 4.4.18
    Amanda said:

    Traveling can definitely be nerve-wracking– especially if you’re not keen on flying. These are all such good tips to make the trip go smoother– great read!

  11. 4.5.18

    Great post! I love your travel outfit too… so classic and chic!

  12. 4.5.18
    Lacey Faeh said:

    Love these tips!

    A Lacey Perspective