How to Worry About Your Upcoming Trip in Four Easy Ways

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?
What if…

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.
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.
Bon voyage!
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.

56 thoughts on “How to Worry About Your Upcoming Trip in Four Easy Ways”

  1. Here’s a few things to alleviate your worries. They do have stores here in Europe. You can buy underwear at the local Aldi if necessary. They also sell wine, cheap yet delicious wine.
    They also have toilets, better yet, the toilets do not have weird gaps and openings like in the USA. You can have a good traveller’s diarrhea shit, and no one will be able to stare at you through the gaps in the door. Just keep a Euro or 50 cent coin on you so you can access the toilets.
    Your trip will be awesome, even if you aren’t stopping in Koln. (Next year, right?)

  2. I’m stressed just reading that post!
    You could also try and plan a trip like me… It goes like this:
    1. Find a destination.
    2. Book plane tickets + hotel on Expedia two weeks before departure date.
    3. Make sure passport + residence permit are still in my wallet the night before we leave.
    4. Get there and have no idea where I am, how to get places and not speak the local language.
    5. Still have a wonderful time.
    Seriously though, you’ll have a fantastic time… And like Cherie said: we have stores, we have toilets, we have anti-emetic and anti-diarrhea medecines and in an emergency, the countryside is really quiet so you can always poop in a bush on the roadside! πŸ˜‰ Make sure you have your passport, reservation confirmations, your phone and good travel insurance. You’ll be fine! Plus, you seem to have lots of friends around here to take care of you and help yo in case of need!

      1. It takes a bit of practice! Funnily enough, I’m usually very anxious and tend to over-prepare… I’m sure you’ll have a fantastic time and I look forward to meeting you if we can make it happen!

        1. I wonder if it has something to do with being relatively close to where you’re traveling to? I’m SO far from Europe. Yes, we are SO making it happen, friend!

  3. Your gonna do great and have an amazing time! There will be hiccups but probably extremely minor ones like forgetting a pretty necklace you wanted to bring. Nothing major!

  4. Hehe ooo Katie! I have some of these same worries when I travel but I’ve never planned a trip like this by myself – travel agents FTW! Haha I hope the next mont goes smoothly and that your trip is a smashing success!

    1. I’ve actually never used a travel agent! Maybe I should?! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ In fact, I planned my first trip to the UK all by myself and only made one boo boo! Thank you, pal!
      Super random, but I had a dream last night that you wrote a book. It was an adult board book and I was hilarious πŸ˜‚. It was $19.99 at Barnes & Noble. So, in dream world, you’re really kicking ass.

      1. I’ve only planned one trip and it was with a travel agent. I told them my budget and how long I could go for and then they were like “this this or this” and bam all done. It was great. But it was a scheduled vacation with a group. Not a lot of freedom haha.
        Oooo whats an adult board book? I’m glad I was kicking ass in dream world. In the real world I can barely get out of bed today.

        1. It was actually more difficult with the travel agent we worked with to book our car and flight, because it was hard to express our needs and wants and have that translated to the results we wanted. Is that clear as mud? πŸ˜‚
          I have no idea what an adult board book is! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ All I recall is it looked like a kids’ or baby book, but it was for adults. The pages were hard, not paper.

          1. Yeah I wanted a pre-planned trip with little to no hassle or planning. Especially since I was going by myself. I can’t imagine trying to plan a trip like yours haha.
            And omg that sounds AUH-MAZING! I’ll get on it

  5. One helpful thing to keep in mind is that the Amsterdam canals are so narrow you could just about jump over them, and so shallow if your houseboat sinks while you’re asleep you’ll just dream your waterbed sprung a leak.

  6. Haha. This is me before I travel! My biggest worry is my luggage getting lost. I literally almost cry tears of relief when I see it appear on the luggage conveyor belt thingy. It is of course always one of the last to appear, which really heightens my anxiety to the max. Oh quick tip re visiting the Anne Frank house- take tissues. If you’re anything like me, you’ll feel quite overcome with emotion x

    1. SAME. Why is mine ALWAYS THE LAST ONE TO COME OUT. It’s like the universe is attempting one last β€œfuck you” since, as I’m retrieving my luggage, the plane didn’t crash. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
      Oh, I definitely plan on it. I read Anne Frank’s Diary when I was in 6th grade and ever since I’ve felt such a connection to her and that awful time. When I went to the Children’s Holocaust Museum in DC, it was REALLY hard trying to act like a β€œcool” 8th grader. 😒😒😒😒😒

  7. OMG my brain exploded at the words “$800 sandals.” I know you’re (probably) being hyperbolic, but GOD $800 SANDALS ACTUALLY EXIST AND NOW MY BRAIN IS STUCK ON THAT AND I HAVE TO TAKE MY MATH FINAL IN SIX HOURS. If there’s a question on there about $800 shoes, I’m walking out.
    Seriously, though, I am such a worrier when it comes to any situation where I have to be one a plane. I don’t even travel out of the country, but I’m always certain every time I step on a plane it will end in my fiery destruction.

    1. Totally being hyperbolic! I can’t even stomach spending $80 on sandals (which is how much they were) πŸ˜‚πŸ˜¬.
      I LOVE traveling. HATE, HATE, HATE flying. I like to be in control, so πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

  8. Some tips for you to consider –
    wear adult diapers when high up in the air
    have a bottle of perfume to hand for generous splashing on as and when necessary. It will mask odours
    take tweezers for emergency removal of excess body hair. I’m pretty sure they will not be confiscated in the security screening
    I trust these tips will help alleviate some of your worries πŸ™‚

    1. HAHAHAHAHA! I’m not quite sure you’re serious about the adult diaper thing, but they are now tentatively on my mental shopping list πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚.
      Tweezers βœ…

  9. You are going to really surprise yourself by how fine it will be!! I know you’re going to have an epic time.

  10. Wow, you need 5 weeks of vacation just to de-stress from your trip planning.
    So the boats in Holland. Super regulated. Will not sink unless you chop a hole in the hull with an ax and then go to bed. FYI Ams is super small you can totally walk everywhere so don’t get sucked into a fancy transpo ticket.
    Anne Frank house, did you get the educational tour? It costs a few Euro more but you get to enter through this exclusive glass door rather than wait in the 2 mile long line. I am not exaggerating.
    I personally buy Aerosoles for travel sandals. Totally worth the cost to walk for 12 hours in a Cartegena(substitute any hot/humid destination) and not have rubbed the bottom of my foot raw as the shoe stretches and my feet start to slide around.

  11. Reading hotel/b&b reviews are what do me in. The variety of accounts always have me unsure if I’m staying in the Taj Mahal or the Seventh Circle of Hell. (And when I posted this sentiment on FB, my nephew pointed out that the Taj Mahal is actually a tomb, thus making me even more insecure with my choice!)

    1. OMG!! This! We read all of the reviews for the house stays as they are where we are staying the longest and only chose ones that had good reviews. There are a couple nights where we need to be in a hotel and one of the reviews talks about a bug and I’M FREAKING OUT. You never know if the reviews are legit or not. I just need to put away the Trip Advisor πŸ˜‚πŸ˜±πŸ˜±πŸ˜±πŸ˜±πŸ˜±

  12. What if you get mistaken for a spy and a Russian uses nerve gas on you? What if an ugly bloke hits on you? So many things to freak out about. May NONE of them come true. Happy Travels!

  13. I need a vacation just reading about your vacation planning. Someplace calm and soothing and cheaper than the Zero dollars I have in my account for such luxuries.

    crickets on offers?
    Guess I’ll just go back to bending lots and lots of metal rings, then.
    Seriously, though…sounds like you’re gonna have a blast. And, if you’re really worried about losing your passport, make a visit to the local tattoo parlor and have a copy of it buzzed into your skin.

  14. Haha! I feel you! I wrote a blog post about this myself recently. I was exactly the same before I left England for Asia. There’s not a single item that I miss from home or wish I’d brought. There are shops all over the world and you won’t struggle to find what you need – stupidly expensive razors included πŸ˜‰

  15. I don’t know if this will help relieve any anxiety at all, but try this.
    At least I’m not moving to another country like Transformed Nonconformist.
    Vacations are easy. Try moving to another country. My wife and I THREE WEEKS AGO decided that we were going to quit our jobs and move to Vietnam. And we already live in China, so preparing for this trip is insane. Six more days and we are gone.
    TRAVEL TIP: (This happened to me just last week) – My wife and I, going to Danang, packed four suitcases because the airline website said we were allowed to bags each weighing up to 23 kg a piece. As we are checking in, we are told that NO, each person is allowed a total of 20kg. We had FOUR BAGS that each weighed over 20kg. Apparently, somewhere in the fine print, it explained that the two bags of 23kg apiece were only good for flying to the USA, UK or Australia. Anywhere else in the world was excluded.
    We ended up being 46 kg over the limit. If we wanted to bring them with us, we had to pay an overage fee of 110 RMB/kg. 110 RMB is a little over $15.
    She asked if I wanted to pay the fee. “Hell, no. I don’t want to pay the fee, but what am I supposed to do? Just throw it all away?”
    After it was over, we had to pay a little over $750 extra. I was furious, but what could I do?
    ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS double check and ask the questions that need to be asked. Be sure you know the rules.

  16. Katie, I’m thinking we could be travel-prep twins. Seriously, I’m always worried about the what-ifs, where the toilets are, etc. In response, I procrastinate! I mean, why not put off everything because you’re stressed. It will totally help the situation, right? Lol!
    You will have a great time, and hey, if you need to find a shrub to poop behind – go for it. πŸ™‚

    1. LOL!! I usually procrastinate too, but I’m trying to avoid all the stress, so I’m making lists and planning and getting stuff ready. This includes researching bathroom locations all over the British Isles πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

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