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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:

  • Eye shade
  • Ear plugs
  • 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 music

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 you leave.
    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 if I 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 are immeasurable. 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 feel.

6. Give Yourself a Chance to Fully Come Home
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

These articles may be published on your website in their entirety as long as the copyright notes and biographical information above are included in their entirety with functional hyperlinks. Please also send me an e-mail to let me know they have been published, and where. Thank you!

Jenna Avery, CLC, MCP, MLA
2721 Shattuck Avenue, #245, Berkeley, California, 94705
tel: (510) 984-3474
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© Jennifer Avery, 2002, 2011, 2012.  All Rights Reserved.