I’ve spent a good portion of my adult life traveling and it’s one of my proudest accomplishments. I’ve never had travel anxiety or stress once I step onto the airplane, but the moments leading up to crossing the threshold between airport and airplane are pure agony for me.
I’ve had this incredible Germany/France trip planned since the end of February of this year. And I’ve got to be honest with you…as the days pass and there’s less certainty on if I’ll be returning to my favorite places in July, my glimmer of hope for this year is lessening. As I’m trying to handle everything that’s being thrown at myself and the rest of the world, I’m struggling.
As I’m attempting to navigate anxiety and this pandemic meeting my planning capabilities, this is how I’m working through it:
Get Real: I feel so much better when I know what I’m realistically walking into. I’ve got everything planned to a t, from what outfit I’m wearing to each daily activity. More importantly, I have my bases covered when it comes to what could go wrong – do I have trip insurance? What does it cover? Is it going to truly assist me if there’s a COVID-19 cancellation? Even more importantly, I’m looking into each country’s current crisis plan and how they’re tackling the issues at hand.
Spreadsheet It Out: I live for my spreadsheets! Before I take any trip, I plan out the finances in one spreadsheet, outfits in another and activities in a third. I have an irrational fear that I’ll forget underwear for one day or not know what to do and miss out on something I’m super excited about. I spend hours getting prepared and organized for a trip. It may seem boring but it’s always successful and also assists me in remembering what I need and not doing excessive spending.
Money Meets Planning: I’ve mentioned finances and logistics which brings me to travel insurance. You may think you’ll never need it, and hopefully you won’t, but after working in Public Affairs for Disney, I will always purchase travel insurance. I’m especially grateful that I’ve purchased it for my July trip because I truly have no idea what’s going to happen in the next 90 days. I typically get mine through American Express because they have the best options! I don’t have to worry about medical expenses, cancellations or any emergencies like a pandemic. I typically only travel with carry-ons but in case I do need to check my bag, I can cover it as well.
Plan by Desire, Not Convenience: This sounds absurd and I totally get that. But there are always things I’m super passionate about, especially if I’m taking someone somewhere they’ve never been before and I’m familiar with. It’s super important to plan by priority because you don’t want to have any regrets, especially if you’re traveling abroad and don’t know when or if you’ll be able to return.
In true Hannah fashion, this might not work for you, but as a compulsive planner, this helps me sleep and prepare a little better for every trip.