5 introvert travel tips

Ireland

I have an upcoming trip to Ireland and Scotland in the next few weeks and I’m so excited. Both countries are part of my heritage and both are on my bucket list. Though I’ve travelled extensively throughout North America, this will be my first foray into international travel.

Knowing how limited my energy is on a daily basis, I wanted to prepare for the trip in advance. Here are a few things I’ll be trying to do. If you have any additional tips or tricks, I’d love to hear them.

1. Schedule quiet time.
As an introvert with limited energy, quiet time is essential. Factor in a busy travel day at the airport filled with security and customs stress, busy corridors full of people, and blaring announcements every few seconds, and quiet becomes even more necessary.There’s the stress of making decisions or having to adjust to last-minute changes or delays. I know how over-stimulated I get when travelling. I will make it a priority to check in with myself periodically and assess how much energy I have. If I’m low on energy, I’ll be proactive about it. I might need to take a bathroom break or escape to a relatively quiet corner of the airport and put my headphones in. I’ll also be keeping myself fuelled with healthy food and water.

2. Do your research.
As an introvert, I need to know what’s going on ahead of time. I thoroughly research flights, accommodations, transportation, and attractions in advance. I look up how to get to/from the airport, nearby restaurants and cafes, grocery store locations, etc. I print and organize my itinerary and write down relevant contact information I might need. By knowing these things ahead of time, it allows me to enjoy the experience as I’m not distracted by the ‘what ifs’. Obviously things can and do change, but I’ve done my part to create a less stressful experience.

3. Bring a journal.
I’m going to take a moment each day to record what I did that day, people I met, and my thoughts and feelings. Writing down any fears, uncertainties, or frustrations can help me process those feelings. Writing down all the good things will help me remember them. I’ll also be bringing my camera and taking photos and video for my friends and family who aren’t able to come. However, as much as I love taking photos, I always make sure to put down the camera for a while and just drink in the experience.

4. Choose your adventure based on your energy.
When it comes to attractions, I’ll typically make two lists. The first is must-see attractions or events. These I will usually schedule into my day. The second list is additional things I can do if I have the energy. But I try to keep things fairly flexible as I don’t know what my energy will be like at any given moment. If I’m already feeling drained, going on that crowded tour probably isn’t wise. Perhaps a nice scenic hike would be a better option.

5. Do little things that make life easier.
If I’m taking a plane, I always try to get an aisle seat. It’s the perfect escape route and you’re not crammed in between two strangers. To make flight transitions easier, I only take carry-on luggage and I don’t check any bags. I also (try to) pack everything a couple of days in advance and prepare lots of healthy snacks the night before. Along with alleviating stress, it also allows me to get a full nights rest. I always bring my headphones, a book, and earplugs (perfect for the flight or to block out noisy roommates).

Do you have any other helpful tips for an introvert abroad?

Image credit: “The Dingle Peninsula” by Giuseppe Milo is licensed under CC by 2.0

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31 thoughts on “5 introvert travel tips

  1. KDKH says:

    Wow! What a great trip! Have fun and be sure your cell phone works internationally. My husband travels internationallly and says that WiFi isn’t available in other countries as easily as It is here, so he wasn’t able to use the internet at all. Hope you don’t need it to help you with your plans or communications.Just in case.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ally says:

      Thank you for the information, I hadn’t thought of that. Although I shouldn’t need to use my phone too often, it would be nice to have that option if necessary. I’ll look into roaming packages 🙂 Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. L.E. Gibler says:

    What a perfect piece! As an introvert who has traveled internationally, the only other thing I could think to add would be to have a “safe zone”. For me, that was always a cafe where I could watch and recharge before going back into the fray of required socialization

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ally says:

      Thank you, that really means a lot to me. I love the idea of having a “safe zone”. I’ve already found at least one cute coffee shop in Ireland I’ll be checking out. Thanks for your suggestion 🙂

      Like

  3. Taylor Pizzuto says:

    Excellent choices for destinations! And thanks for sharing the topic! As an introvert living for a year in the Dominican Republic, I think you mention a good attack plan for finding balance between the uncomfortable, yet eye-opening aspects of travel. Nailed it. Have fun, and learn lots!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. free2bme27 says:

    Great list! I do have one tip for everyone, not just for introverts. If using your credit card, make sure to let them know you will be using it while you travel. Nothing like trying to use it and finding out the account has been “frozen” due to possible fraud. It’s usually an easy fix, but I always take care of it ahead of time to prevent any problems. Have a great time!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. traceyr1984 says:

    Take a sleep mask to block out the extra light that always seems to be in hotel rooms. A good nights sleep always seems to give me better coping skills. Try and do some type of meditation or relaxation exercise an hour or two before bed. I often find it hard to get to sleep after a day filled with too much extroverted stimulation. And have fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. twainwall says:

    Have a great time Ally. Just be careful with the “Free Wifi” in some places, you can get man-in-the-middle attacks with them which can lead to identity theft through your phone, although this can happen anywhere (sorry the IT tech in me). 🙂
    I’m sure you’ve planned it out though, just have fun and remember to think of yourself, especially when you need some alone time or you’re over-stimulated. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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