Want to hear something certifiably insane? It’s less than one month until my big trip this summer and I’m obsessing over every conceivable eventuality. I’m not 100% crazy, so in between night sweats and uncontrollable fingernail biting, I’m daydreaming of the lush English countryside and some Patat Frites with a massive dollop of mayonnaise in Amsterdam.
But, yeah, the majority of my headspace right now is straight up looney tunes. Here, have a little look-see:
What if I made a mistake and I can’t really afford this like at all?
Is five weeks an insane time to be away?
What if the plane crashes?
What if my baggage is lost forever and I forget emergency underwear in my carry on?
What if I forget my leg (mustache) shaver?
What if I can’t bring my leg (mustache) shaver on the plane?
Are we all, including our luggage, going to fit in the Vauxhall we’re renting?
What if the plane crashes?
What if all the clothes I’m planning on bringing look hideous on me?
What if I get diarrhea in the middle of the English countryside?
What if our houseboat in Amsterdam sinks in the night?
What if every one of the 3,492 times I looked at my passport expiration date, I looked at it wrong and it really is expired?
What if I get really bad gas on the plane?
What if I get a migraine or cramps right before going into Anne Frank’s house and I can’t fully appreciate the life-altering experience?
What if I can’t sleep on the plane?
What if one or more of our house-stays have bed bugs?
What if we all just want to kill each other?
What if I contract Ebola on the plane?
What if someone steals my phone and I can’t take pictures of the rest of the trip?
If you really want to enjoy your trip planning just like me, worry about every single inconsequential detail to the point of madness. Here’s how:
Step 1: Second Guess Every Choice
From plane ticket buyer’s remorse to vacation locale, second guessing every single choice you’ve made while planning your trip is a sure fire way to drive yourself to spend all of your saved trip money on drink. It’s not a successful vacation unless every single detail of it has been picked apart and turned inside out. It doesn’t say I’m-having-the-time-of-my-life-planning-my-dream-vacation like obsessively wondering how much you could have saved on your plane tickets had you booked a week later or earlier (or if you had booked on a Tuesday at 2 PM like every travel blog says to do) or compulsively checking for a better hotel after you’ve made non-refundable reservations.
Step 2: Procrastinate All Planning Tasks
When you have a lot to plan, your time would be much better spent binging on The Office (which you’ve watched in entirety 18 different times) or cleaning your oven. It’s not like planning for a trip isn’t fun, but it’s overwhelming af to compare train tickets with Easy Jet tickets or trying to figure out air travel time and time zones. Even worse is figuring out which historic pass covers which historical site you want to see, because, naturally, they don’t cover all of the places you want to see, so to make buying the pass cost effective, you need to figure out entrance fees for all of the 874 sites you want to see (because that’s some tedious shit, you just buy all of the passes and hope for the best). This is why travel agents are still a thing.
Step 3: Worry About Every Single Hypothetical Situation
Travel anxiety almost always stems from one of three major fears (in no particular order)-
- Plane, train or some other transportation freak accident/death
- Becoming ill due to sickness or food poisoning during a really inconvenient time (like in the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge in standstill traffic, for example)
- Losing or having your luggage, your camera/phone, money and/or an important document, like your passport stolen
These sound like pretty logical things to be concerned about and prepared for. Any savvy traveler would have procedures and plans in place to help minimize any of these things occurring (Well, except planning to avoid a fiery plane death. I don’t think there’s anything you, as a layperson, can do to influence fate like that. It there is, please message me with every single detail).
If you’re losing sleep over worrying if you’ll be suddenly struck with diarrhea on a crowded underground train or in the middle of the Scottish Highlands, so you start hoarding Imodium, you’re worrying about your trip the right way.
If you come across a story about a freak accident on a plane, so you google for more plane accidents that include the same keywords and suddenly it’s 2 AM and you’re in deep in some really serious conspiracy theories you found after digging through the deepest, most clandestine corners of the dark web, you’re basically winning at being the right kind of savvy traveler.
If you’ve Googled “can houseboats easily sink while you’re sleeping and you won’t know it”, you’re a downright pro.
If the majority of the items in your carry on bag are mini bottles of Lysol spray, travel Clorox wipes, a year’s worth of Airborne, and more than one surgical face mask, you’re basically the travel worrier god.
Traveling is exciting and so, so worrisome. Don’t forget the Xanax!
4. Obsess About Every Single Travel Purchase Decision
Do you like how I moved the text up so you could see Karl’s magnificent boots?
Its a big deal picking out something you need/want to use on your travels. One of these crucial purchases you will need to make is travel sandals (well, if you’re traveling somewhere warm, anyway). If you want comfort without Velcro and style without flat soles, prepare yourself to really go unhinged.
In order to properly stress yourself out during sandal shopping:
1. Ask for recommendations from people that you won’t listen to at all, but still waste everyone’s time, because it’s all part of the process.
2. Find one “comfort” pair of sandals that look stylish enough that are insanely expensive, but rationalize that your feet deserve better than $2 Old Navy flip flops.
3. When you receive your order of $800 sandals, go into a deep depression because they are just made of cheap plastic and are not, in fact, gold-plated.
4. Return the sandals by mail, which will include finding/buying a box that will fit the shoebox (because, naturally, you threw the box it was delivered in away), forgetting the return slip that needs to be placed in the box, and taking no less than two trips to UPS.
5. Buy the cheap pair of sandals you were going to get anyway.
6. Repeat above steps with LITERALLY EVERYTHING ELSE YOU BUY FOR THE TRIP.
The above steps can and will stress out even the most calm, savvy traveler. If the preparations are getting you down and you need an escape from the stress and you’re getting nowhere with your mantra of “WHAT THE FUCK WAS I THINKING?”, try one of these handy ways to de-stress below:
1. Drink heavily.
2. Take a whole Xanax (halvesies are for wimps)
3. Inhale any available carb (cake is particularly medicinal)
4. Binge trashy reality TV (because basically any show on TLC will make things seem a lot brighter in your own world)
I hope you’re able to be all-consumed by every one of the minuscule details of your trip just like I am. It’s really the only way to “do” travel.
Trip anxiety is a real bitch, ain’t it? Obviously, this is a highly exaggerated account of my own trip worries and concerns, but I’d be lying if I said one or more of these thoughts haven’t raced through my head multiple times over the course of the last few months. If you really are anxious about your upcoming travels, talk it out with someone. Hell, message Fatty. We’ll talk it out. I’ve also found going on walks through my neighborhood, blasting music that gives me feels while I take a drive right after the sun sets, and funny dog videos helps me ease my anxiety. Travel is one of the greatest experiences in life, but only when you’re sane enough to appreciate it. Love and cupcakes.