So, as many of you know, I just got back from a month long trip abroad. I have experienced many cultures, food, architecture, and many types of travel methods! It is something people dream of, and I definitely dreamed of traveling ALL of the time, and this trip was amazing for me, but it can turn into a disaster if you aren't prepared.
I definitely have the travel bug, I love everything about seeing the world and learning new things; what I do not love is the travel part. When I say traveling, I dont mean the actual activity of "travel" or "seeing the world". I mean the transportation aspect. So trains, planes, trams, and cars oh my!
My best tips for coping with anxiety while traveling are to listen to music, get your fav snack and fav drink and try to enjoy it!!! ALSO, make sure you are traveling with people you love and trust, it can make or break your trip!!!
Planes! When it comes to airports, my anxiety spikes. My way of trying my best not to be stressed or anxious is being prepared for anything and everything. I hate feeling rushed or on the spot, so the key is making sure to have all of your documents in hand and ready to go on a moments notice. Another key thing is to have all of your TSA "search worthy" items also at hand and ready to go. I brought a back-pack every time we had a flight. I made sure that I had my liquids, laptop, chargers, and other electronics in my back-pack and packed in a way that is easily searchable.
TRAINS! So I felt like I was taking a train every single day for some reason. I lived in The Hague for the whole trip, which meant being super close and convenient to other places that I wanted to go. I took the train from The Hague to the airport, Amsterdam, Brussels, and Paris. It is super convenient, but can be a task if you don't know how to properly get on. The main thing is noticing where you are sitting, meaning what type of cabin you are in. Most of the public-travel trains don't have assigned seating, so you just get on a pick a seat. But, if you don't pay attention you could sit in the wrong area. The trains in the Netherlands usually had numbers on the windows. There were 1s and 2s, the 2s are second class and the 1s are first class. This definitely makes a lot of sense, but when not paying attention, you could accidentally sit in the wrong area and it rubs people the wrong way when they know you aren't supposed to be there. Another tip about the trains in the Netherlands, there are silent sections; if you sit in one of these sections and you talk, the locals will notice and they will not hesitate to confront you about it. OH!, if you have an OV travel card or some other kind of card for the trains, make sure you scan IN and OUT! If you do not scan in and out, you will get charged or fined!
Trams! The trams are pretty simple, you hop on and hop off at your destination. The main tip that I have is the last tip I had for the trains. If you have an OV chipcard/travel card, scan IN and OUT, if you don't you could be charged/fined!!!
Uber! Uber is essentially the same in Europe as it is in the States, but please be careful of your surroundings and take precautions for your safety. Most of the Ubers I took in Europe were very safe and I felt comfortable with the drivers. BUTTTT, there were a couple that I did not feel safe with, AT ALL, and this is where I tell you to use your best judgement. If you don't feel safe, tell others where you are, take pictures and send them to someone, and let the driver know you are meeting friends at your destination. For me, when I didn't feel safe, I would text my mom, send her a screenshot of the info/bio in the Uber app, and send her pictures of my surroundings; sometimes the driver or their ID card that is displayed if I could get one, and an estimation of how long it would take to arrive at my destination. I would then text her as soon as I made it to my destination, so she knew I made it safely.