Three Ways to Mentally Prepare For Your Travels

passport and duffle bag

Preparing for a trip can be a tenuous and grueling task. Being aware of what to pack, eat, and wear can be gruesome, especially when merely days before the trip. However, what’s mostly overlooked during the preparation is the mental fortitude needed for the travel. People forget that the very mood, affect, and emotions they bring into their travels is usually what they are going to have for the whole time they are out there, seeing the world.

Having a negative mental state can most ruin the rest of your trip even if you’re not thinking about it. So learn how mentally prepare yourself for your travels using these three simple ways.

Expectation Setting

People who go out to travel for leisure often expect a lot of good things to happen to them. They expect that they can escape the negativity from their lives through the magic of traveling. However, such expectations can lead to disappointments and eventual frustration, especially when such expectations are not met.

The problem lies in a magical way of thinking that people have. They think that the more they expect about something the more chances it will happen. Such a way of thinking can be toxic and unhealthy once it has integrated itself into your daily life. It can also be the most devastating in the days of your travel. One way of preventing these expectations to ruin your trip is to set your expectations beforehand. It’s important that you do it with yourself and those who are about to embark on the journey with you.

Expectation setting is a powerful tool used in cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT. In its base form, it helps the individuals reframe their thoughts into something more realistic and obtainable. This should be your primary goal when you’re discussing your expectations. Always think to yourself, “Is this thought realistic?” or “can I reach this thought?.”

When discussing with others, it’s always good to hear what they think about your expectations and to confirm if they are on the same page. Expectation setting can be a good exercise you can do a couple of days before your travels. It can with organizing your trip towards you and your companion’s personal expectations.

2 women holding map travelling


Self-awareness revolves around how we feel and think about ourselves. It’s about looking into yourself and asking “How am I?” Such an idea sounds so simple, and yet, many people struggle to attain it. Mindfulness is one of the many keys to self-awareness and it is one of the simplest ways to achieve it.   To practice mindfulness, you can start through simple breathing exercises. Many days before your trip, give yourself fifteen minutes per day to do some breathing exercises.

The breathing exercises you will be doing require you to inhale, and keep the air in your stomach for seven seconds and exhale, letting it all out in seven seconds. Do this in many intervals, ignoring everything else around you, and only concentrating on yourself.

For first-timers, it takes some time of getting used to, as it’s a practice that isn’t done every single day. However, as you develop more into the practice, you start becoming more self-aware with how you breathe and eventually how you think. This can gradually affect your feelings and mood before you travel. It will exponentially affect the positive thoughts you can have and make the entire journey for you much more enjoyable.

Positive Affirmations

Martin Seligman discussed in his books how a person’s view on life can affect his or her overall lifestyle. He further explained that positivity is a valuable trait that can affect your daily life for the years to come. One of the many paths to it is through the road of positive affirmations.

The action of positive affirmation is using statements to reframe your thoughts on how you look at yourself. The exercise is as simple as saying positive words that describe yourself. Sure, it might be awkward to say “I am kind,” or “I am capable,” at first, but once you get used to it, you start to accept these statements as your own.

The reality behind this is that many people are aware of so much negativity within themselves that they start to bring it on their travels. They think that traveling is the only way that can wash away the negativity they feel. However, they do not realize that they can start feeling good about themselves before a trip and in turn, make the trip twice as satisfying as what they have expected.

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