Travelling – Trials or Trivial for the HSP?

Chipperfield Circus caravans, Town Moor, Newcastle

I’m not a great traveller. I would love to be drugged from the moment I know I will be going somewhere until after I arrive. The whole process builds up a lot of anxiety – method of travel, what will I eat, the alone time I require, will the bed be comfortable, what to pack?

Just typing that out makes me feel like a giant wimp, which of course brings up my inner critic. Thankfully, I am now secure in the knowledge that I am a Highly Sensitive Person and I just need to prepare myself for the changing energies.

We will be going away for a few days this month, thankfully to a relative’s home that is kind and accepting. Here is how I am going to prepare to travel in comfort:

Food

My daughter and I both have opposite needs, food-wise. She would happily only eat fruit and veggies and carbs while as I need lots of protein and a small amount of carbs to feel well. My sister doesn’t like fruits or many veggies and she prefers carbs to anything else. I have explained this to our host and we will be going grocery shopping together to make sure everyone’s needs are met. Thankfully, my husband eats everything!

If we were staying in a hotel, we would definitely splurge for a room with a kitchen so we can all eat heathy and get what our individual bodies crave. I would also check out local restaurant reviews on Yelp to find a few places that look friendly to our needs.

Sleep

I really wish I could travel with my own bed. I love it so. As that is never an option, I recommend bringing your own pillow including pillow case. It will be close to what you are used to, and you don’t need to worry about scratchy linens or reacting to a new fabric softener. Make sure your pillow case is a distinctive colour, so your host or the cleaning staff don’t think mix it up with theirs.

We sleep in a pitch black room, which is pretty easy to replicate in a hotel, not in someone’s home. Bring a sleep mask & ear phones and sleep apps/mp3s to help relax you in unfamiliar surroundings. Bach’s Rescue Remedy is great to use if you are feeling anxious at night. I always sleep badly the first few nights as I get used to the different energy, and my daughter is the same way. Which brings me to the next point, if you need down time in the day …

Rest

I look at rest as a separate item from sleep. How can you rest, recharge and re-energize during the day? Make sure to build time in for you to ground yourself or keep up your energy. We try to have mandatory quiet time with our iPads (reading for me, movies for my daughter). I also like to play music that either energizes me or calms me. If I need calming, I always put on classical music, which drowns out the background noise and soothes my soul. Experiment with what works for you.

Nature is very grounding/soothing so a walk in the woods or sitting at a park might be just what your body needs to recharge. If you are travelling somewhere with water, a trip to the lake or ocean can calm those nerves.

Rituals

If you perform certain rituals at home – burning a certain candle, writing in your journal, meditating, doing yoga or exercise every day – try to keep those up while you are away. This is an area I really need to improve upon, I always let things fall by the wayside, even though I know I would feel better.

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What are your tips for reducing the stress of travelling and vacations?

Comments

  1. I love traveling in spite of my sensitivities. I take my own food or buy it, request hypoallergenic bedding in hotels, take my journal and/or books, bring my ear plugs and make sure I get my space. I like your idea of going grocery shopping together if you’re staying with people.

    • Oh yes, I always forget about the hypoallergenic bedding until it’s time for sleep at the hotel. And yes to journalling while travelling, that is how I ground myself :)

  2. Great tips! As a HSP as well I totally relate. I never travel without Rescue Remedy to help ease any of those unexpected occurrences that leave me feeling a bit wobbly. And I always bring an essential oil or two as well to help me keep balanced.

  3. I love how mindful you are with your travels. I will be going on vacation here in a couple of weeks and will definitely keep these in mind as I am also quite sensitive.

  4. I am also an HSP but I seem to love travel. It may be that I notice so many more details when I’m away from my usual routine. But it’s so true that I don’t sleep well the first night I’m away from home and I rarely get any rest. Hmm… lovely post!

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