News from Idaho SILC

Holiday travel time is here

by Jami Davis

I love to travel, I don’t care if it’s by plane, train or automobile. I. LOVE. TRAVEL. At any given time, I have at least one trip I’m planning for the future and that makes me happy. What doesn’t make me happy are some of the things that will set my anxiety into overdrive.

In my daily life I can pretty much keep my anxiety under control, knowing what situations will trigger an anxiety attack and how to deal with them. I know Bath & Body Works on a sale day is a big no-no, and I know I can always head homereally fast if I need a bathroom. (Public restrooms are one of those things I avoid at all costs!)

But when I travel, those safety nets are gone temporarily. I have to consider places I’m in may be busier than I’m comfortable with. I may actually have to use a public restroom, and plan accordingly. I tell myself over and over it’s ok to go say no to a crowded place. That going to a restroom that isn’t mine is going to be ok. I may not like it, but chances are high I will actually survive the bathroom trip.

These are things I deal with when I travel. This may not even start to be what others experience. But what we CAN do is try to prepare ourselves. Before you travel, come up with a plan for dealing with things that trigger your anxiety. Perhaps it’s downloading a public restroom app, calling ahead to check accessibility features for your hotel room – will there be enough room to charge your power chair or use the shower?

The holidays are prime travel time and nothing ever goes perfectly, but taking time on the front end can minimize some stressors and go a long way to a more enjoyable trip.

Happy holidays and safe travels!

P.S. It’s always ok to pack your own toilet paper too!