Travel is a source of joy for most people, but for people like myself on the spectrum it can lead to (severe) anxiety. The world can be an overwhelming place for us aspies and our daily routines can help us to calm down. Last year, after the first lockdown I was eager to travel again, but during our first excursion I struggled with anxiety. I had been used to certain routines during the lockdown and during travel it was too difficult or even impossible to stick to these habits. So how can aspies and other people prone to anxiety best prepare themselves mentally before travelling.
Choose your destination carefully
Some people feel at ease in crowded places whereas others need peace and quiet. Choose accordingly. Do some research before deciding where to go. I feel at best in nature, but as a child and teenager I had to spend my summer holidays in the busiest places at the Costa del Sol (a nightmare). I prefer this:
Be involved in the planning
Plan activities at your destination that you like and that have a soothing effect on you. Again, do some research!! Whenever Lars and I need some inspiration for the province of Granada we always consult the official website of the province of Granada. Besides when you are involved in the planning, it will be easier to look forward to your trip. Planning can thus be as fun as your trip itself.
Stick to those routines that you can maintain during the trip
This is extremely helpful for me. Even during your trip you will still have breakfast and dinner. If you have certain routines during these meals stick to them! I have certain foods and drinks that I only consume during breakfast. During dinner, I will arrange my food in a certain order on my plate. And I don’t care what other people think about me when they see me rearranging my food on my plate. After dinner, I will always watch at least one episode of The Big Bang Theory or Star Trek:The Next Generation, even during my trips.
Make sure you have some tranquilizers at your disposal in case of anxiety
Or a prescription, just in case.
What about you? Do you know other useful tricks or tips?