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The Ultimate Travel Checklist | Things to Do Before Your Next Trip

Ultimate Travel Checklist

How to overcome travel anxiety? Useful remedies:

Each of us tends to systematically repeat some behavior in the days leading up to the departure: a sign that we are in a different state of mind than usual and that perhaps we are trying to exorcise some latent departure anxiety.

For example, I have a sort of obsessive-compulsive pattern that I follow in the days and hours leading up to departure (almost without realizing it!). A list of things to bring, packing, tidying up the house, and… maniacal cleaning of the kitchen counter.

It’s my ritual to fight travel anxiety. If you suffer from it too, maybe you need to create your own. Here are some tips:

1. Plan the trip

Organizing the trip calmly and in advance is one of the best ways to combat departure anxiety.

Use a notebook or a Word document to define the itinerary, write down all your reminders, and write down all the steps of your trip: schedules means of transportation, names, and addresses of hotels, estimates, etc.

Using a travel diary before departure helps to collect all the information in one place and find it quickly when needed.

2. Focus on the destination

Especially in the days leading up to the trip (but also in the weeks before), to reduce departure anxiety, try to focus on the destination.

Read the travel guide you purchased, watch TV series, documentaries, or movies set in the places you are about to visit, or read a book written by a traveler or a local writer. This way you will focus your imagination on the experiences and places that await you on your journey, rather than worrying or catastrophic scenarios.

3. Prepare lists of things to do or bring on the trip

Making lists helps me a lot to combat travel anxiety because schematizing things and crossing them off once they are done have a clarifying power. So, let’s make lists of things to do before leaving!

For example, these are some of the things I write down:

. What to buy before leaving
. What to put in the suitcase, especially those small useful accessories that I could easily forget at home
. What to put in the backpack for hand luggage.

4. Prepare the suitcase with the KonMari method (the sushi suitcase)

Preparing the suitcase is naturally one of the hot topics of travel anxiety: before leaving, we often fear forgetting something important, exceeding the weight limit, or not being able to fit everything in the luggage.

A useful method for packing the best suitcase is the sushi suitcase method: rolling clothes or folding them with the Marie Kondo technique and arranging them well in order. This way, even when we are traveling, we won’t have to constantly struggle with the disorder in the suitcase, or constantly pack and unpack to find things – with the double risk of forgetting something along the way.

Take a look at the article on how to prepare the perfect suitcase and then download a practical list to prepare the suitcase from the reserved Download Area.”

5. Tidying up the house before leaving

As we approach the day of departure, let’s now talk about how to leave the house before leaving (another hot topic that often causes a lot of departure anxiety). In this case, too, I think it’s useful to tidy up, starting a few days before leaving: put away objects that you don’t need, clothes, and anything that isn’t essential until your return.

Take things slowly, focusing on what you’re putting in order, and mentally repeat what you just did (example: “I unplugged the sockets in the study; I put the plants in order and put the garden tools in the closet”). This exercise will help you the moment when you remember the classic phrase of someone who has just left: “Oh no, did I unplug the TV socket?”.

And if you’re afraid of forgetting something… make a list and cross off the items one by one 🙂

In the Download Area reserved for members, you can also download a PDF document with the most important things to do before leaving (for example: turn off the gas valve, disconnect the TV and computer, etc.) and blank spaces to add your own.

6. What to do on the day of departure

Well, it’s the day of departure. What can you do to keep travel anxiety under control?
After closing your bags, checking documents, wallet, credit cards, and plane tickets for the hundredth time (the only really necessary things, everything else has a solution), itinerary, guides, etc…

In my opinion, the best thing to do is to dedicate yourself to something pleasant and calm. Read, write, do some manual activity like arranging plants… things like that.

Forget last-minute second thoughts, don’t reopen your suitcase, and don’t mix things up in your backpack again. Surely you did everything more clearly in the preceding days.

7. Walking or doing physical activity to relieve departure anxiety

One last piece of advice, always valid in my opinion to relieve travel anxiety, and not only that: doing light physical activity (walking, doing yoga, stretching, and the like) is very useful for many reasons. It helps to focus on movements and breathing rather than departure anxiety, oxygenates the body and mind, and produces endorphins – those chemicals that give a feeling of well-being after physical activity.
Even if departure is imminent, give yourself 15-20 minutes of outdoor walking or stretching, you’ll see that it will go much better afterward!

Personal stories about pre-departure anxiety

At the end of the article, to lighten up the issue of pre-departure anxiety, I will share with you some notes from one of our travel journals – in which I wrote like crazy to exorcise it 😂 – so at least we can laugh about it together.

Travel anxiety is more common than one might imagine, so…misery loves company!

Pre-departure anxiety, as seen by her:

I look at the kitchen counter and fill myself with self-satisfaction. It shines like a mirror.

I’ve tidied up the whole house, which looks like a showroom. I dusted the living room shelves, threw out the garbage (all of it!), cleaned the kitchen floor, tidied up all the clothes, makeup, and creams in the bathroom, and… finished. Ready. I just need to put on my shoes.

But I still have TWO HOURS left. What should I do?

So I take out the computer that I had already put away in the study, check my emails again, pick up the pen – already perfectly aligned with the shopping notepad – this magnificent agenda and start writing uncontrollably.

Luca goes upstairs to work on his website material. Seeing him go up and down is making me nervous! Now I’ll find him a medium-long-term occupation.”

Pre-departure anxiety, as seen by him:

Pre-departure anxiety, as always.

Will I get used to it, sooner or later? It doesn’t seem so.

Maybe trips should be more frequent so that they become a habit.

Or maybe it’s not the departure itself, but the destination.

Nepal is far away, damn it. And what is far away is unknown. What is unknown…a little bit scares us. It’s a bit of that sense of alertness we have when we step out of our comfort zone.

But what the hell, we’re going to Nepal. To Nepal! Screw the comfort zone.

There are two hours left, I can manage to organize a couple of photos for the website.

This is what has been happening to us lately. And who knows, maybe while you were reading, you were nodding in agreement and letting out a little laugh?

If the hours before your departure are similar to ours, try some of the tips you’ve read in this article, they will help you overcome pre-departure anxiety.

And if instead you are not anxious at all and are always on top of things, even before a very long trip…leave a comment below and tell me how you managed it!

In conclusion, I hope this little list can be useful to you. Feel free to write to me if you have any other well-tried tips to overcome travel anxiety.


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