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Society

Tips To Help Stop Travel Anxiety

| by Michael Doherty

If you're an anxious traveler, a few simple tips can help you to stop worrying and enjoy your vacation.

One piece of advice, shared by Lifehacker, is to take photos on your phone of all of your stove dials before you leave, along with other items around the house that you might worry about, like a door lock or thermostat.

The pictures can help to prevent worrying about whether you, for example, left the stove on -- if you're worried that you didn't switch it off before you left, you can just look at the picture on your phone.

"The funny thing is," wrote Lifehacker writer Nicole Dieker, "that I've never once wanted to look at this proof after I've photographed it; it also turns off the part of my brain that gets anxious about accidentally leaving something on."

The reason, Dieker theorizes, could be that simply taking that photo is enough to burn into your memory the fact that you remembered to turn things off.

BuzzFeed asked for tips from its community and offered a list of other ways to reduce anxiety while traveling, such as bringing a comfortable sweatshirt that smells like home, and doing your research before leaving for your trip.

One user recommended keeping important items in a single place to stop worrying about whether you lost them.

"Have a system for where all the important items (ID, debit/credit cards, meds) go," said the user. "For example, I had one pocket in one bag where those items always were unless I was using them at the time. That way you don't need to fret (as much) about whether you lost crucial items or not."

Another suggested looking at Google Maps before arriving at your destination, so you know your way around before you even leave home.

"I like knowing basic routes from where my hotel/apartment is to wherever I am planning to visit," said the user. "It has helped on multiple occasions to have visual touch point so that I do not feel lost or so out of sorts in the new place. Also just knowing what the building looks like saves me from spinning in circles trying to read the signs to figure everything out."

Other tips offered in the guide include bringing snacks from home to ensure you have something you can eat, preparing and packing ahead of time and not on the day that you leave, and taking screenshots of all directions and flight details in case you can't access the internet while traveling.

Apartment Therapy created a checklist of things to do before leaving home for an extended period, including taking out the trash, cleaning out the fridge and watering plants.

The guide also recommends having your mail held by the Post Office or asking a neighbor to pick up your mail while you're gone, and throwing out any fresh flowers so your home won't smell if they go bad while you're gone.

Will taking a photo of the stove help with anxiety?
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