An Anxious Alley’s Guide to Road Trips

This weekend was the first weekend I had been in town in 7 weeks. Count ‘em. Seven. Weeks. That’s a lot for me! My husband is a natural traveler, and loves to be on the go at all times, but I’m more of a stay-at-home kind of gal. Needless to say, this girl was in serious need of a recharge after these past few weeks. It was a much needed break, but I’m going to be back at the traveling game again come Wednesday, and for a few weekends after.

My mind is having a hard time comprehending that.

If you’re anything like me, traveling can give you anxiety. I’m a girl who loves her comfort: my cozy bed, my two rambunctious sweet dogs, my own’s hard to leave my comfy home. Over the past few weeks, I’ve found a few tricks to minimize my anxiety when traveling – and since sharing is caring, I’ve decided to share my tricks with you! Please bear in mind, I know I’m not the only one to have thought of these, I do not claim to have made these all up on my own, I merely want to share what helps a girl with an anxiety problem have less stress while on the road.

Tip One: Get your life settled before you leave

You might think “this girl is crazy, what does that even mean?” Since we’ve been gone so much, this one has been hard for me. But thankfully, this past weekend I spent deep cleaning my kitchen, my closet, my bathrooms, and my living room. I caught up on dishes and laundry, and I woke up this morning feeling like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders. Yes, I know, I’m that person, who has a good time cleaning her house on the weekend. I promise you, without question this puts my mind at easy while I’m gone. First, it allows me to relax in my home before I leave and not be running around like a crazy person trying to get things done, but it also allows me to come home from a hectic trip and not have to worry about dishes piled in the sink, a dirty bedroom, or piles of laundry. My mother in law used to wash our sheets while we were on trips out of town, which got me started doing this. I told a friend once how my mother in law used to do that, to which they responded “you don’t think that’s a little odd?” to which I responded that if coming home to clean, cozy, freshly washed sheets is wrong, then I don’t want to be right. Those people are not my kind of people. I run with the clean sheet crowd.

Tip Two: Pack Early!

Yes. Yes. I have to pack early. There is nothing I hate more than packing the night before to find that everything I wanted to pack is dirty, or I’m out of toothpaste for my trip and have to go to the store, or that none of my clothes work for my trip…Plus, the earlier I pack, the less likely I am to forget something. It never fails, the first hour into my car ride, I’m worrying about what I possibly could have left behind. I might as well beg for an anxiety attack, because that’s what I’m setting myself up for. Speaking of packing… here’s a few things I do when I pack {and I’m sure everyone does the same thing..cut me some slack, I might teach someone a thing or two..}

Ø  Roll your clothes – saves an extraordinary amount of room + helps cut down on wrinkles. I typically roll my jeans and pants first and place them in the bottom, followed by shirts and tops on top.

Ø  Ziploc’s are your friends – I use Ziploc’s for my pajama shorts and tanks, as well as for socks and personal items. I label the bags as well..thank you, gold sharpie! I’m not sure why I do this..but it’s nice to not have to dig for these items that I’ll need every night.

Ø  Don’t pack your shoes with your clothes – ….for obvious reasons, & unfortunately I’ve found this out the hard way. Shoes can either smell or leave dirt on clothing. I’ve also heard you can place shoes into shower caps and pack them that way..but I would just rather not even fuss with it and have a different bag for shoes.

Ø  Pack a bag with toiletries / makeup / hair product / appliances – I receiver a very decent sized Jimmy Choo tote with a perfume purchase {this thing is the best sized bag I’ve ever had, let me tell you..and the best quality..} and I put my travel makeup / shower bag, my straightener / blow dryer, my hair bag {clips, spray, leave in know the drill}, etc. into this bag. It makes it easy to just grab the one big bag and carry it into the bathroom at wherever we are staying {because I don’t like leaving my stuff all over the place}. So much easier than carrying 8 different small bags.

Ø  Pack a small, empty bag. This is so important! This way, you can put all of your dirty clothes into this bag and when you get home, all you have to do is toss those clothes into the laundry and hang up your clean clothes. It cuts my unpacking time in half…heck, probably more than half. This is a Tia Marsh exclusive tip. You should all feel blessed to know that.

Tip Three: If you’re going on a car trip, cozy up your car!

In case you were wondering, yes, cozy is in fact one of my favorite words. Get used to it. Embrace it. Love it. So since we have been on the run so much, and driving my car everywhere we go, it was time for me to get my 5,000-mile checkup {oil change, tire rotation, …whatever else they do at your 5,000-mile service apt…} I knew I would feel more comfortable getting this done before the trip as opposed to after for two reasons: 1, because I won’t be so worried throughout the trip that something will go wrong with the car, and 2, so I don’t have to dread doing the service when I get home – it’ll already be taken care of.  That’s the practical aspect. But “cozying your car” is so much more than that. Here’s a few things I do to make my car more “home-ish..”

Ø  Wash your car and vacuum your carpets à This one I have no trouble with. I have a new car and it’s been kept immaculate. I feel so much more relaxed with a clean car. I use the glass wipes that I keep in my car to clean off the little Cholla nose prints she leaves everywhere when she rides in the car with us, and I clean any dust from the dashboard. I would put a new air freshener in before a big trip, but my car still has that “new car smell.” You do not mess with the new car smell.

Ø  Make a snack basket à We love the snacks. We love salty snacks, we love sour snacks, we love all snacks. I typically hit up the Dollar Tree and stock up on some goodies that we can snack on there and back. I then put the snacks in a little basket and keep it within arm’s reach of us, just in case hunger strikes and we aren’t near a planned stop. I’ll also put waters into the baskets as well on the day of the trip.

Ø  Keep a pillow + blanket + Slippers close à Yeah you know that already. But I just love bringing my favorite blanket. It could be 105 outside and I still want my blanket for comfort. Sue me. And my feet are always cold, so I keep a pair of slippers or fuzzy socks in my console.

Ø  Pick out a cozy car outfit à I wash and pre-pack my road trip outfit and place the clothes in a Ziploc on a chair or dresser in my room, that way I don’t have to worry about what to throw on when it’s time to go. I usually end up going for the same outfit – Free People leggings, c/oSuite One {also known as the best leggings you’ll ever own in your life}, a Free People flowy tunic top, also c/o Suite One {because you don’t want to wear tight clothing on a long car ride}, and a striped + textured soft cardigan, c/o Hazel’s Haven. Oh, and Chaco’s. The Chaco’s are a formality. The Chaco’s are for when I have to get out of the car. Out of 8 hours on road trips, they are on my feet about .5 hours, replaced very quickly by the aforementioned slippers.

Ø  Keep a small bag of “necessities” in your console à  I keep a small red bag with hand sanitizer, eye drops, a few makeup remover wipes {because your face needs to breathe!}, moisturizer, body spray, Advil, & Dramamine in mine. Usually I put some vitamins in here as just depends. Having these things close by is gold.

Tip Four: Spend the night before your trip with some “you time”

“You time” is user specific. You can do whatever suits you during your “you time,” as long as it helps you mentally prepare for the trip. My husband typically likes to spend time with his friends that aren’t going on the trip the night before, and I like to spend my night before the trip with a “pamper myself” night…and yay! That night is tonight. Here’s what I’ve done / am doing:

  •  Mani / Pedi – CHECK
  • Deep conditioning hair treatment – in the process
  • Some sort of face mask – I typically choose a “calming” mask the night before, since my anxiety turns my cheeks red
  •  Bubble bath

I know I don’t need to convince you that I’m having a great night. Of course, I’m also fitting in “working on my blog post” and “making sure the husband is packed” and drying / straightening my hair so I don’t have to do it in the morning, but since I’ve already packed my bags, cleaned the house, etc this weekend, I can afford to have a calm night at home before we leave.

This ended up being far longer than I intended. If you have any road trip tips to share we me, leave a comment {because I’ve got quite a few coming up and I could use your wisdom!}


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