It's no secret that I've been traveling a LOT this summer and fall. So far I've had 7 trips in 11 weeks, most of them for only 2-3 days. It gets exhausting to feel like all I do it pack, travel, do laundry, repeat. My mind and my body get very stressed from it, so I've found a few things to do that make it a little easier.
1. Pack Light
It's taken me awhile to realize that I don't need to bring much on these trips. Unless it's closer to a week or I'm doing something very specific like hiking or going to a formal event, I only pack a backpack and a large purse. The purse contains a water bottle, kindle, notebook, wallet, glasses/sunglasses, and small zip case with lip balm, headphones, lotion, and earplugs. Plus some snacks. I wear jeans, converse, a t-shirt, cardigan or long sleeve shirt and a jacket. My backpack gets a shirt or dress for each day, a black hoodie, yoga pants, PJs (pants and tee shirt), socks and underwear, a toiletry bag, camera, scarf (doubles as blanket and neck pillow), large water bottle, eye mask and earplugs and zip case with phone/kindle cables and a portable charger. Since I only wash my hair every few days, I don't need to bring shampoo and I minimize the makeup I bring.
2. Pack the Same Thing
With a few exceptions, I take the same clothes and items on every trip. That way I can wash and repack. I keep the toiletry bag packed with smaller containers of my everyday products so I don't have to worry about forgetting to add them.
3. Plan Ahead
I download a couple of books from the library on the Kindle. I make sure everything is charged. Since I'm a vegan finding food can be very stressful so I look up restaurants ahead of time and enter them in the map in my phone as a pin so I can easily find them again. Same thing with important locations such as hotels or houses. I'll download any important apps for the area - like the New York MTA so I can buy tickets on my phone. I keep stamps in my notebook for postcards.
4. Know How Your Body Reacts
My body gets physically stressed when I travel, in addition to emotional stress. To prepare, I have started eliminating caffeine, alcohol, and sugar a few days before I leave, drink more water, and take probiotics and cranberry pills. I keep those things with me on a trip as well, so if my body reacts poorly, I have what I need with me already. My skin gets very dry so I have a good lotion with me. I drink some "magic tea" the days before and after to help boost my immune system. I don't plan anything for the night before I leave so I can have all my shit together without other distractions.
5. Take Your Comforts
Certain things have a comforting effect during travel, especially for HSPs. This article has some great suggestions. I used to take a blanket, but it was a bit too big so now I take a scarf that can double as a blanket or a mini-blanket. I have plenty of earplugs and an eye mask. I have a roller with lavender oil. Some people take a candle. I make sure my clothes are comfortable.
6. Be Gentle With Yourself!
Say no to things if you need to. Stay in when everyone else is going out. Take the cab instead of transit. Excuse yourself and go for a walk. Take couple hours off work the next day. Get your own room/bathroom if/when possible. Spend $15 for Southwest Earlybird to get that aisle seat.
Let me know if you have any tips for when you travel!