Limiting Travel Anxiety! My Pre-Travel Checklist

June 22, 2016

Amy Trumpeter

As you know, I’m not afraid to share my medical conditions with my readers. One of my main aims is to help others who suffer from unseen disabilities to still travel solo. Limiting travel anxiety will help you to avoid panic attacks and minimise other health risks when you travel abroad.

Don't Panic Featured

Travel with Asthma, Epilepsy and Anxiety IS Possible!

I’m not afraid to admit that in the past I’ve had a panic attack on an Easy Jet flight and an asthma attack at Comic Con! I’m also prone to hearing problems (Eustachian tube dysfunction) and epilepsy due to a frontal lobe Cavernoma, but I still TRAVEL SOLO!

I got some fantastic feedback on my blog about Airport Anxiety. I was over the moon to hear from a reader that I had encouraged her take take her first flight in years. This has spurred me on to keep on writing about my tips to help more of you to achieve your goals and live your dreams.

I want you to know that if you suffer from an unseen disability, solo travel is definitely still possible. I have found that by putting in ‘preventative measures’ it makes solo travel not only a possibility, but extremely manageable for me.

travelling solo

Limiting Travel Anxiety

Today, I have put together a step by spent guide to limiting travel anxiety. It will help you to feel more confident and more relaxed. And, if anxiety levels are low, there is less of a chance that other conditions, such as asthma or epilepsy, will be triggered. Extensive pre-planning is the key!

My step-by-step guide to limiting travel anxiety is broken down into what I should do to prepare…

  • 3 Months before travelling
  • 3 Weeks before travelling
  • 3 days before travelling AND
  • 3 hours before travelling

If these helps you, I’d love to hear your feedback.

Limiting Travel Anxiety – 3 Months Before I Go!

3 Months before I travel, I…

  • Book my flight online and select the box that says ‘special assistance required’. If my disabilities are not listed, I simply check the ‘hard of hearing’ and then follow up with a phone call to explain.
  • I phone the airline and say ‘I need to explain what special assistance I require, because I have the following medical conditions: Asthma, Epilepsy, Anxiety and hard of hearing in my right ear. I will need to board first or last, but not with everyone else, and I will need my hand luggage directly above me so that I can access my medication.’ I also ask if I can use the ‘Fast Lane’ security, and I have never been told that I can’t after declaring medical conditions.
  • I email my bookings to my gorgeous boyfriend, oops, fiance now actually! (He proposed to me at York Minster on New Years Eve!) This means that he knows when I’m away, which flight I am and my departure times.
  • I scan my passport and email it to myself.

Limiting Travel Anxiety – 3 Weeks Before I Go

  • I visit the GP for a health check up. I also ask my doctor to write me a letter to carry with me when I travel, outlining my conditions and medical needs.
  • I book my trains in advance using my Disabled Persons Railcard which gets me a third off 😉 When I book my train, I book it through Virgin East Coast to get the Nectar points for my next flight. I make sure that when I get to the final confirmation screen, I tick the box to have my tickets delivered first class NOT to collect from the train station ticket machine. This costs just £1.00 extra and is worth it to avoid the stress of waiting in queues just minutes before your train is due to depart.
  • I book an airport transfer with meet and greet at the airport. Most hostels or hotels will offer this service. When I go to Copenhagen I am being picked up by Blacklane in a Business class vehicle – oooooooooh, snazzy!
  • I email my train booking to my gorgeous Sy! He can then put me on it at the appropriate time if needs be!
  • I book my hostels through www.hostelworld.com, print out my bookings and put them in a clear folder.
  • I label my travel folder with my label maker and put all of my paperwork in it so far.
limiting travel anxiety
Booking my trains – I always select ‘first class post’ because the £1 is worth not having the stress of the queues and forgetting your code at the ticket machines!

Limiting Travel Anxiety – 3 Days Before I Go

  • I pack what I need Hand Luggage Only, because it will be lighter to carry and relieve the stress of bag drop and the luggage conveyer belt frenzy at the other end.
  • I phone the airline and remind them of my conditions to be assured that they have everything recorded and I check the time of my flight again to be sure.
  • I print out maps from the internet and instructions of how to get to my accommodation and put it in my clear travel folder.

Limiting Travel Anxiety – 3 Hours Before I Go!

  • Double Check packing list and Medication.
  • Arrive at the airport over 3 hours in advance to avoid last minute panic.
  • I go through FAST or FIRST CLASS security, showing the letter from my doctor/disability ID card.
  • I go to the First Class Lounge with my Priority Pass to eat, hydrate (no alcohol) and use the free wifi in peace.

Limiting Travel Anxiety – 3 minutes Before I Go!

limiting airport anxiety

  • Just before the gate opens for boarding, I go to the loo! Nuff said! 😉
  • I remind the airline staff at the gate that I need to board first because of my medical conditions.
  • I get on the plane first, take any medication I need to and RELAX!

And so, by doing these things, all is well in the world of solo travel with anxiety. I hope that this has been helpful, and would LOVE to hear your feedback below.

You might also like to read:

I’m engaged but Travel Solo

Travelling with Asthma