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  • Lauren Taylor

Long Journey Mindset.

I'm going to be honest. As much as I love travel, it completely freaks me out and that's because I suffer from anxiety. Long journeys can be stressful to plan for anyone, and there's no surprise seeing how much effort can be put into your dream holiday. They require a certain headset and a certain mood in order for them to go to plan and be stress free. Many people, myself included, find it difficult to focus with the excitement of travel in their heads, and often forget important things in the process of planning, which isn't at all helpful. There's nothing worse than panicking while on holiday because you're scared that you have forgotten something important! Here's how to prepare yourself for travel in order to prevent any mishaps, or at least how I do!

As soon as I set a destination, I like to research where I'm going. A LOT. I will buy a cheap notebook, and write down, doodle and draw anything I may discover. I can spend hours looking up wherever my destination may be, and finding out key information like the general weather, forecasts and even things like the characteristics and terrain. Finding little facts about where i'm going gets me excited about going, and this gives me the motivation to do everything I will need to do in order to prepare for my trip.

I also love looking up things to do, this helps me get an idea of what I will be doing while I'm there, and thus the kind of thing I will need to pack. It also lets me plan my days in advance, meaning that I get the most out of my holidays and don't waste a few hours each morning deciding what to do and where to eat that day. This also allows you to book tours in advance and do your research and find out what other people have thought of the activities you plan on doing, which often works out cheaper and means that you wont waste money on excursions that you may not enjoy, or are renowned for not being worth the price.

Being a bit of a foodie, I also like to look up the cuisine of my destination and get an idea of the kind of food I'd like to try while I'm there. Once again, doing this allows you to plan and book in advance so you don't waste time wandering around trying to find free tables at restaurants. This is especially important if you're going on a city break, as some places are impossible to find free tables, and it is unlikely you want to end up cooking for yourself after a long day.

As someone who loves music, music is a big part of preparing myself for an adventure. While I'm planning I have a few playlists, songs and albums that I love to listen to, all of which put me in a different mood and mindset. Songs like Swim by Douglas Dare, Blade: The Art Of The Ox by Cannibal Ox and Her Life by Two Feet and other similar chilled hip hop songs put me in a really positive and focused mood. I find that I can listen to them all the time without getting bored of them, and to be honest, I do listen to them a lot! I find the Youtube Channel ChillHop Cafe great to listen to while working, and I almost always listen to them while doing homework, or any kind of task that requires focus. I also like house and old school acid, pretty much anything with a bit of a bass, which I blame my dad (an ex-DJ) for. Once again this gets me really motivated, but also makes me want to go to the destination really badly, so I normally wait until the journey or a day or two before to listen to anything like that while doing things towards the break, other wise I get overly worked up and impatient about going. One of my favourite songs to listen to on the journey is Fuego by Alok, its got an amazing drop, a really good bass line and a tropical and summery vibe, which puts me in a really good mood pre-travel!

Getting into certain routines really help me prepare myself with the transition from home to holiday. Jetlag is a really big problem for many travelers, and although I have never been heavily affected by it myself, getting into the routine of waking up at a certain time and going to bed at a certain time a few weeks before going on holiday can really help you to adjust, especially if you're going to be waking up earlier (i.e. to do makeup for a morning photo-shoot on the beach...) or if your going to be going to bed later (i.e. because you've been sat in a bar on a gorgeous square somewhere sunny!)

I'm not going to lie, I'm not one to want to get up super early and I never have been, but then again not many 15 year old girls are. However, when I'm abroad I like to get the most out of my stay, so getting up earlier than usual is a necessity for me, especially if I want to do my hair and makeup and workout before my day. This means that I normally like to wake up around 5:00/5:30 local time. I know this sounds ridiculously early but that's only when I wake up, by the time I've flicked through Instagram in bed, woken up a little and had a hot drink, its then around 6:00 which is a fairly reasonable time to get up and going.

Waking up this early when I'm used to getting up at 7:00 during term time (when I'm at school) can be a bit of a shock to the system, so adjusting to a new routine can be very difficult. The key is to slowly adjust. Make your alarm 5 minutes earlier everyday leading up to your holiday and your body will slowly adjust to getting up at that time, hopefully making it a little bit easier to get up when you finally get to your destination.

Generally I'm very lucky and have really clear skin, however stress and poor diet really messes with my skin, so I find that I often breakout before going abroad, which is not what I want! So, although it sounds stupid, preparing my face for holiday is very important for me. There are several ways I do this, one is that I eat healthy. I try to avoid greasy and fatty food as the oils in greasy food clogs the pores around the mouth, causing acne, I also try to avoid eating too much dairy products as this causes spots to appear on the cheeks, and processed food that cause spots on the forehead. I know for a lot of teenage girls, avoiding wearing makeup can be really difficult, whether you wear it because you are insecure about your skin, eyes, eyebrows, etc. or you wear it because you enjoy putting it on each morning, not wearing makeup when you are used to wearing it can be a really weird sensation. However, most makeup products are actually really bad for your skin, even if they say they are good, this is especially accurate if you don't prime and treat your skin before doing your makeup, or even if you don't wash your brushes as often as you should... (We're all guilty, don't worry!) All jokes aside, not wearing make up for a week or two before your holiday gives your skin time to breathe and recover, and also saves your products, meaning that they will last longer! I'm not saying ditch your makeup bag completely, just limit how much you use. For example, just put on some moisturizer to give your skin a healthy glow, wear your favourite lippy and put some mascara on and your good to go. You're beautiful without make up, I promise!

Drinking water is not only good for your skin, but also your whole body! It does so much good for you, it increases energy and relieves fatigue, flushes out toxins, improves your complexion and does so much more. Ideally you should drink two liters of water per day, and to be honest I'd be amazed if I, personally, drank one. Before you go abroad try and start drinking more. This will prep your body and prevent you feeling ill.

Packing is the most obvious thing to do before you go on holiday and is also what comes to mind when you think of preparing yourself for holiday. After all, you cant leave or go somewhere without clothes and other necessities... unless you're on some sort of trip of enlightenment, and even then you need money and a ticket somewhere. Anyhow, packing your bags is also a time to get excited about your holiday and think about the things you have planned, just try not to get carried away and over pack! Keep it simple by planning in advance, which is something I've mentioned already.

In conclusion, there are lots of ways you can prepare yourself to go on holiday, both physically and mentally, and they are all very important steps in your holiday process that are often completely overlooked. Make sure you take a little time for yourself before you leave for your next holiday, you will thank me!