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8 Tips for Successful Travel When You Have ADHD

Updated: Sep 7, 2021

Traveling can be so exciting- we all look forward to a change of routine, different places, different faces , and having new experiences. Yet it can also be stressful especially if you are an adult or young person with ADHD. You have to plan what you will take, organize your documents, money passport, etc, You have to worry about forgetting things or maybe being late for a flight or a train. Stress can build up as you have to focus on so many things on the day of travel and try your best not to be distracted.

Many of us have had not-so- great experiences on the day of travel where stuff goes wrong. When you have ADHD disruptions to the normal routine, planning and priotirizing, and extra distractions can become overwhelming and frustrating.

Here are some scenarios you may have experienced! Any of these sound familiar?

  • Forgetting to pack important items like your bathing suit or medication

  • Leaving the passport or other travel documents at home

  • Being late for a flight or a train and almost missing the connection.

  • Actually missing a flight or a train due to miscalculating the time needed.

  • Leaving your important items like a tablet or laptop at airport security ( yes it happened!)

  • Taking way too much stuff in the suitcase and paying for extra baggage because we couldn't decide what to take and leave behind.

  • Forgetting to let the bank or phone company know you are going to travel out of state or out of the countrygetting lost in the terminal or train and bus station

  • Carrying way too many things stuffed into your carry on so you can never find what you need..

All of this can make travel feel overwhelming . But these challenges can be overcome!

Here are tips to reduce the stress, get you to where you want to go with less hassle and ready to focus on enjoying your trip!

1.Packing - this involves making decisions and prioritizing

Plan on taking about half of the clothes you would really like to take ´ just in case´. It is a tough decision but it will work out better in the end! Use an app like ASANA to make a list of what you need to take ,Revisit it in a few days and see if you can edit it down even more.I magine the activities you are going to do, this will help you remember what to take eg a bathing suit. Keep packing simple and don't leave it for the last minute!

2. Plan backwards: Figure out how much time you will need for each stage from leaving the house to driving to the airport to checking in and so on. Then add in some extra time for emergencies. This will make a big difference, try even including what time you will go to bed the night before to make sure you get some sleep!

3.Make sure your phone is charged: These days we have so much imprtant info on our phones- From hotel reservations to boarding passes and important numbers and addresses everything is in our phone! Be sure to have phone fully charged before you leave your house and remember to take the charger!

4.Get reminders with Siri and Alexa : We are fortunate to now have such amazing technology that can create reminders for every single thing you have to do. Take advantage of this and set as many reminders as you can with either Siri or Alexa. Whatever works best for you!

5.Have what you need at hand ready: When you are at the airport, train station or terminal plan on having your important documents, credit cards, and identification items in a place where you can easily access them such as a front pocket of your pocketbook or buy a special travel belt bag or similar. Make a backup copy of all your reservations etc in Drive ir in the cloud!

6. Use packing organizers: Packing organizers are an amazing way to organize your suitcase and easily find what you're looking for. Ideally buy transparent ones so you can see what's in them. Have extra clothes underwear etc in your carry on

7.Try to relax before the trip: Getting all worked up and worrying is going to make matters worse. Try to figure out some ways to reduce stress, such as spend the night before in an airport hotel. Anything you can do no matter how small to make you feel more relaxed will really make a difference!

8. .Don't panic if things go wrong: Finally, Ask for help when you need it. IF something does go wrong when traveling don't despair and find someone or call someone who might be able to help. Every problem can get resolved!

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