Stressed traveler

I will let you in on a little secret. I love to travel, love being on the road, rarely relish the idea of coming home but once I do, I turn into a homebody and getting up the will to leave again is hard to do.

I have self-diagnosed myself with pre-travel anxiety. This fear comes in many forms—but it’s something that many people feel.

Do you worry about leaving something behind on a trip? Do you find yourself anxious about flight delays? Are you constantly checking and rechecking your bookings?

Just like flight delays or missed connections can derail a vacation, pre-travel anxiety can easily put a damper on an amazing trip.

Sleepless nights and stomach aches do not give way to a seamless experience. Worse yet, a pre-trip meltdown can make your worst fears come true. When you aren’t at the top of your game, passports can be forgotten, or important medications left behind, devices misplaced—the list goes on.

While some people may turn to their therapist for most of us, some practical advice can combat the stress:

—I find making lists of everything I need to bring and checking each item off reduces my fear of leaving something behind.

—Rather than waiting to pack until the last minute, I try to pack at least one day before—or I at least make my list of things I need well ahead of time.

—I try not to plan anything for the night before I depart so that I can go to bed at a decent time, even if I don’t need to be at the airport early in the morning.

—I have a list of three things that I know I must have: passport, credit card and mobile phone. If I have these three things, I know I can at least get myself home.

But one of the best ways to prevent pre-trip anxiety is to use a travel agent.

First off, your travel agent will relieve anxiety by planning the trip for you—which is definitely less stressful.

However, travel agents can also handle some of the root causes of pre-trip anxiety for you.

Advisors provide clients with a full itinerary that details everywhere they need to be. Many will provide customers with a list of what to bring. Forget something? They can help retrieve the item or assist clients with getting what they need while they are away.

Having a travel agent means having someone in your corner every step of the way during a trip that will help you and advocate for you.

So don’t let travel anxiety turn you into a cranky mess on your next vacation—let someone else do the worrying for you.