Lists Make Traveling with ADHD Easier

by | Jun 17, 2021 | ADHD Success Skills and Tools | 0 comments

travel list

Traveling can be a two-fold nightmare and adventure when you have ADHD. 

Sure, your ADHD  can have you jumping into exciting experiences that you’ll never forget, but it can also cause additional stress and overwhelm especially in the pre-travel phase. I’ve even worked with ADHD clients who have talked themselves out of a travel adventure because they wanted to avoid the stress.

Well this summer, let’s promise that we are not going to hold ourselves back from taking the trips we dreamed about last year!

So my solution to managing this pre-trip chaos is a list. Truth be told, it’s LISTS. Important, essential lists that help me think through every possibility that could happen so I have just what I need if and when I need it. 

These lists make traveling with ADHD so much easier. Even if we don’t do everything on the list up front at least we’re thinking things through. Fewer last minute surprises are a good thing!

Travel List #1: Initial Trip Planning

Make a list of all the things you might possibly need to do when you first learn about a trip. Booking your airline, renewing your passport or Real ID,  rental car, hotel arrangements, house care / pet care / kennel arrangements. Another important step here is blocking out your calendar to give you more open days right before the trip to get ready. 

Easier ADHD Travel Pro Tip: Make reminders to get out Travel Lists #2 and #3 when it’s time. Otherwise, you’ll forget and traveling will be harder.

Once you decide on where you’ll be going (make sure you research the weather!) and what activities you’ll be doing so you can prepare what to pack. 

Travel List #2: Do Two Weeks Before

Here is where you list all the things you need to do just a couple of weeks before going away. Include things like refilling ADHD medications, holding the mail, confirming animal and plant care. Also, buying any supplies, toiletries or clothes you might need on your trip (see List #1 for the activities you have planned before you go shopping).

Travel List #3: Last Minute Tasks

List those last minute details you don’t want to forget: set light timers, water the plants, dump anything that would rot out of the fridge, empty the trash, unplug the computers, download movies and shows, pay the bills, and get cash. Oh, and pack your suitcase!

Travel List #4: For the Actual Traveling

Think through what you need while on the road (or plane). This includes snacks, water, books, downloaded movies/podcasts, phone charger, gas, tickets, passport, etc…

A great tip is to create a Master Traveling List so you have it ready to go for any trip. Print it out, put it into a plastic page protector and pop it into a travel binder. You can also keep your ADHD-friendly travel lists in an app on your phone.

That way, the next time you want to plan a getaway or travel spontaneously, you’ll have a step-by-step guide of all that needs to be done before you leave. Your scattered  brain won’t have to remember a thing! It’ll just have to follow the steps on a list.

For more free ADHD travel tips, check out these blogs about Traveling with ADHD:


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