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Five Easy Ways To Relieve Travel Stress

written by Carla Green

Love travel and the anticipation of adventure but not the inherent stress? There are so many things that can go awry – from making sure you have all your documents to standing in long lines at the airport after dodging your way through freeway traffic.  Travel anxiety starts before you’ve ever left home, but it doesn’t have to last. Here are a few ways to relieve travel stress and anxiety.

travel stress and anxiety, New York city traffic

Traffic is stressful!

Well-traveled professional acupuncturist/aromatherapist Carla Green offers five easy stress-relieving tips, to make all the difference on the road or in the air:

Five Easy Ways to Relieve Travel Stress

The Relaxing Breath

It may sound simple… but just breathe! You’ll notice that when you feel stressed, you are often holding your breath. This technique, aptly called the relaxing breath, can be done anywhere.

Here’s how to do it:

First, sit up with your back straight. Exhale completely. Place your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth and keep it there throughout this entire exercise. Next, inhale through your nose to a count of 4. Each time you inhale, hold your breath to a count of 7. After you count to 7, exhale through your mouth each time to a count of 8 (always making a whooshing sound). Remember the pattern is 4-7-8. Repeat for four breath cycles, then breathe normally.


I always travel with two essential oils: peppermint and lavender.

Peppermint is awesome for supporting your digestive system when local food doesn’t agree with your digestive system. It’s also great for rubbing on the soles of sore feet after a long day of walking, as well as keeping you awake as you adjust to a new time zone.

Lavender is the rockstar when I want to relieve travel stress. If I feel travel anxiety coming on or just can’t relax, I simply inhale it (after uncapping the bottle, of course). If you’re not allergic to the plants used in these oils, you can also use them topically. A dab on the wrists is another way to incorporate them into your anti-stress routine.

Bonus: the bottles will easily pass TSA regulations so you can put them in your carry-on or handbag.

relieve travel stress with lavender aromatherapy

Stress relief comes naturally with the fragrance of lavender


Acupressure is the precise finger placement and pressure over specific pulse points on the body. Activation of these points with pressure can improve blood flow, release tension, and balance your body’s energy pathways. This promotes relaxation, healing, and restoration of proper body function.

Heart 7, a point located on the little finger side of the wrist crease, is one of the most powerful relaxation points on your body. Apply deep, firm pressure over the point, hold for 10 seconds, relax the pressure halfway, and then press deeply again. Repeat several times until you feel yourself relaxing.

stress relieving pressure points

Apply pressure to relieve stress and anxiety

Physical Exercise

Regular daily aerobic exercise is excellent for stress reduction. A brisk walk is sufficient to achieve this and can be accomplished anywhere your travels take you—no gym or special equipment required.  

Another tip? Get travel insurance (here’s great advice for buying travel insurance ). I’ve heard numerous stories of mishaps abroad that were made a lot less stressful because of this safety net.

two people running outdoors

Get outdoors and get some endorphins going.


I remember one year I had a contract job that was particularly stressful over a period of six weeks. To help create a bit of stress relief, I made myself a playlist that I listened to in the car on the way to work and during breaks. Nothing compares with music that you love for pure pleasure and enjoyment. Put together your own custom travel-soundtrack and take it with you. A pair of earbuds and a cell phone are all you need.

Using these five techniques to relieve travel stress can produce profound changes in your general health, energy levels, and sleep patterns.

Learning how to relax is a skill anyone can learn. It’s a skill, not a pill…therefore, it needs to be practiced. These techniques take minimal time – and the investment is sure to deliver a more enjoyable trip!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Carla Green is a Physical Therapist and Registered Acupuncturist who specializes in helping people enhance their health and wellness as well as reverse the signs of aging. She and her husband Bill developed the highly successful Second Chance Facial Rejuvenation® protocol. Visit www.secondchanceface.com for more information. Carla welcomes comments or questions. She can be reached at www.carlagreenyl.ca

The information here is only a suggestion. Always consult your health care provider of choice before trying any new health and wellness related program or regime. Adventures of Carry-on does not offer medical advice and is not responsible for any health choices you make. Five easy ways to relieve travel stress

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Claire July 11, 2017 at 11:11 am

great post with some solid advice. I never leave home without my essential oils and a few crystals. Whenever I feel my stress rising I always do some yoga breathing to re center myself. thanks for this great post.

Mei from Travel with Mei and Kerstin July 10, 2017 at 8:19 am

Such a great post! I just tried out the acupressure, and it really helps! I love the smell of lavender, but never knew that it could help to reduce stress as well. I guess I should go buy a bottle of lavender oil right away! 🙂 Thank you for sharing your knowledge!

Penny Sadler July 10, 2017 at 11:39 am

I love that! Glad to hear you were inspired to try something out.

Indrani July 10, 2017 at 7:18 am

Aromatherapy was unknown to me, now I know why good tea always soothed my tired nerves.
I agree with music being a good stress reliever. Accupressure is again new to me. Good helpful post.

Penny Sadler July 10, 2017 at 11:39 am

Oh there’s nothing nicer than a cup of tea. Totally agree. 😉

Tami July 10, 2017 at 1:25 am

These are all great ways to ease stress. When traveling, I use walking outdoors to help me the most. I take my camera with me, and soon enough I am happy taking photos and have forgotten my stress!

Penny Sadler July 10, 2017 at 11:40 am

Hi Tami, I completely agree. Walking around with my camera can fix most any mood.

SHRADDHA GUPTA July 9, 2017 at 11:59 pm

I do believe that workouts and music are great relaxing techniques. But yes, my favorite remains the lavender essential oil. I carry it with me all the time – a small travel-friendly bottle! Works like wonders under stress.

Jenn and Ed Coleman July 9, 2017 at 7:28 pm

It’s funny how much good exercise matters when on travel. You’re always moving but never get the sweat drenching, endorphin releasing exercise that really fights stress. For me, it takes a little bit of cardio to make my worries go away.

wanderlustvlog July 9, 2017 at 2:03 pm

Music works best for me! And just enjoying the scenery around Good blog post

Penny Sadler July 9, 2017 at 3:15 pm

Music is good for most things. 🙂

Vicki Louise July 9, 2017 at 3:00 am

These are great tips! My go-to is always music (because it’s easy and requires little to no set up) – but when I have aromatherapy stuff available, it is such a stress reliever!

Penny Sadler July 9, 2017 at 3:15 pm

I never leave without peppermint oil but that’s my thing.

Kathleen July 8, 2017 at 11:25 pm

I think these are great tips to relieve any kind of stress. I’ve been carrying my music with me most places lately. It takes your mind right off of what is happening around you. I didn’t know peppermint oil helped with tummy trouble. I use it for headaches all the time. Now I have another thing to use it for.

Penny Sadler July 9, 2017 at 12:05 am

Music is the best.

Gabriela July 8, 2017 at 12:31 pm

Music always helps me. I just started with the aromatherapy as well. Lovely to see others using same methods to relax, just like me!

Penny Sadler July 8, 2017 at 4:30 pm

Yes it is. I’ve been using the oils for about 2 years now. I became a Young Living distributor then. The healing touch, such as acupressure I have used for many years. Thanks for sharing. Good to know there is a true interest.

Life is full of adventures - Rossana Wyatt June 11, 2017 at 7:16 pm

Love all of these and need to make sure I use them on next trip! I had never thought about essential oils while away, but they do make a difference!

Penny Sadler June 28, 2017 at 11:06 am

I never leave home without my oils anymore. Thanks to Carla. Met her while working at a conference and now I’m hooked.


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