By Jenna Avery, CLC,
Life Coach for Sensitive Souls
If you’re Highly Sensitive, traveling can be quite a
challenge. (For more information, see my article “Are
You Highly Sensitive?”).
I adore travel, but new places come with higher levels of stimulation
simply because they’re new. Plus, traveling often comes
with expectations about sightseeing – a sort of stomp-’til-you-drop
tourist mentality. As the summer months begin, here are tips
to transform your travel experience.
1. Make a Plan
As part of getting ready, plan ahead. That way, you’re
not over-stimulated with details when it’s time to leave.
I find that if I can start packing a day or two ahead, I’m
much calmer. I feel confident that I’ve covered all the
bases. I make a checklist of important items, including a travel
kit. I also arrange to leave extra time in my work schedule
before I depart and when I return.
2. Create a Travel Kit
When traveling, plan to pack a few extra items to make yourself
extra comfortable. Though I suggest you develop a kit of
your own, here are my tried and true goodies for plane travel:
Travel pillows and/or neck support
Big bottle of water
Protein snacks like nuts, seeds, or
cheese, along with fruits and veggies
CD player with comforting
Additionally, I ask for a blanket once I’m onboard the
plane because I am sensitive to the varying temperatures. I
also dress in layers and bring a scarf.
3. Consider Creature Comforts
Be sure to give yourself permission to bring along what you
need to feel deeply contented once you arrive. I do work
to balance this with weight considerations; heavy suitcases
are a form of stress I choose to live without. The key here
is to experiment with what best supports you and then allow
yourself the gift of bringing it along.
For me, along with my plane kit, I bring Epsom salts for baths
or foot soaks. Also, I bring essential oils such as lavender,
which I use in my baths or directly on my feet (a trick I learned
from a fellow coach for a great night’s sleep).
One of my clients allows herself a pair of lightweight sweat
pants; she needs them to unwind in a hotel room at the end
of the day. She also permits herself to ship home travel purchases
so that she can feel comfortable filling up her suitcase with “Linda
things.” For long term stays she goes the extra mile
and cleans her hotel room thoroughly and gives herself permission
to buy items that will support her stay, like a humidifier
for dry hotel air.
4. Sleep Well
For many Sensitive Souls, one of the greatest travel challenges
is getting adequate rest. Many aspects of traveling can make
sleep difficult, such as unusual textures, noise and light,
and the vibrations in large hotels, not to mention the excitement
of being in a new place and wanting to see it all. Here are
a few thoughts:
Get a good night’s sleep before
As mentioned, I pack ahead of time so I’m not running
around at the last minute fretting over details that get
my mind racing and prevent sleep. I also go to bed early
have an early departure.
Consider staying at a bed & breakfast
or small hotel.
The ambient building vibration is significantly less or
non-existent, and the comforts of a more home-like environment
Staying with a friend or family member offers similar benefits
but may have other drawbacks!
Bring your own bedding.
It may sound over the top, but I find that when I bring
my own quilt, I can get a great night’s sleep in
a new place.
Take naps and plan a realistic schedule.
When I overbook, it’s hard for me to sleep. When I plan
to rest midday, I sleep better later and I’m able
to fully appreciate my travels. I also strive to be realistic
in what activities I undertake.
5. Eat and Drink Well
Plan to eat well and drink plenty of water. While traveling,
I make sure to have water and protein snacks available for
excursions. I try to drink plenty of water, especially if
I’m consuming alcohol, caffeine, or sweet beverages.
I find that those keep me awake and water helps to balance
their effects. Also: The more water I drink, the better I
6. Give Yourself a Chance to Fully
When you come home, give yourself a chance to settle in. Unpacking
and putting away your travel items is a way of re-grounding
and settling back into your home. I find that the amount
of time I need is directly proportional to the length of
time I’ve been away. For example: After my last 5-day
trip, I needed about one day to unwind and fully arrive home.
I gave myself permission to spend my first morning back just
tidying the house, going through mail, and watering plants,
which I find centering. It allowed me to re-enter my routine
with a fresh outlook and clear heart.
If you have other thoughts about successful travel for sensitives,
I’d love to hear from you. Enjoy your travels!
Copyright 2004-2011, Jennifer Avery, All rights reserved.
Jenna Avery is a highly sensitive coach and intuitive who specializes in guiding sensitive souls to find a deep sense of inner rightness within themselves so they are inspired to step forward and shine. Jenna is a Certified Life Coach based in Berkeley, California. She can be reached at 510.984.3474. You’re invited to take her free online assessment: "Is Your Sensitivity Working For You?" on her website at www.highlysensitivesouls.com.
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