You’ve looked at the long-range forecast a hundred times, read horror stories about six-thousand-dollar car rental damage charges, and thoroughly observed multiple phases of neuroses. Why? Because you are about to leave on a trip that you’ve been looking forward to for months. It’s a week off from the day-to-day life, and you’re afraid that every moment won’t be pure joy.
If this sounds like you, then you are probably like most of us anxiety-ridden overthinkers. We know we overanalyze and dwell on things we can’t control, but we do it anyway.
Here are a few tips to get through it.
1. Remember that the lead-up is always the tensest part
It’s easy to psych yourself out for something. Sooner or later, you start to question your decisions: did I pick the right place? The right time?
The truth is that once you are on that plane, once you are on the ground, it’s happening. And you’ll know it. The decisions have been made. There’s a sense of relief in that. Now, you can just focus on enjoying every experience you can.
2. Give yourself a budget break
Maybe the weather messed up your plans or you made a booking error. Either way, your plans are now a mess and you’re ready to huddle in a corner and cry. Instead, take a breather, find some wifi, and plan something else. Allow yourself to splurge a bit on a last-minute booking, whether that’s for a tour, a rental, admission fee, or indulgent dinner. And don’t feel guilty about spending a little extra, sometimes the ends justify the means.
3. Minimize grief
If you are really anxious about something, it’s OK to change your plans. Nervous drivers and rental cars in expensive countries don’t always mix–don’t be afraid to opt for the bus. It’s no big deal to trade peace of mind for slightly less convenient options. It’s up to you to make decisions based on your own comfort levels and what will make your experience the best it can be.
4. Be prepared
As lovely as it is to have a trip full of blue skies and mild temperatures, you can’t control the weather. That doesn’t have to ruin your plans. If you are headed somewhere that experiences a lot of rain in April, pack a rain jacket, waterproof gear, and go hiking anyway (as long as it’s not unsafe). There’s no one to be angry with, it’s just how the world works. Accept that you can’t change it, just be ready to make the best of what you are given.
5. Remind yourself that the weather, and any other travel hiccups, are what really make this an authentic experience
Being from Newfoundland, I can say that if you happen to visit during a warm, clear-sky week, you’ve not experienced our true climate. Our island’s wet and foggy weather is part of the charm (as much as I say that through gritted teeth).
There’s always an initial moment of panic when things go wrong (for me, anyway). Take a breath, and know that it will pass. There is always a solution. The things that go wrong always make the best stories, anyway.