Traveling With ADHD: More Than Packing a Suitcase

 In Organizing ADHD

Traveling With ADHD

Sometimes, just the thought of traveling is enough to send an ADHD adult into overwhelm. There truly is more to traveling with ADHD than packing a suitcase and leaving town.

Traveling requires planning, and lots of it! Unfortunately, the faulty executive functioning of the Adult ADHD brain doesn’t take naturally to planning.

In ADDLand, we plan where we’re going, when we’re going, and then we stop and say “not now,” (those famous ADHD words!) simply because it’s too overwhelming to plan more.

Too often, we only think about packing and where we’re going when we think of traveling, but many of us forget about all the details needing attention before a trip.

Today, we’re going to knock-out that unprepared moment. We’re going to make traveling with ADHD easier than ever and keep you from getting overwhelmed. Are you ready? It’s so easy!

More Tips for Traveling with ADHD – Beyond Packing

Remember that binder of packing lists I suggested you set up in my blog post, Favorite Packing Tips for ADHD Adults?

Today, let’s add to that binder. One of the greatest ADHD travel tips I know is this: create a list of the things you need to do before leaving for that vacation or business trip.

Make sure this list covers the things that are beyond packing (like booking a kennel, forwarding calls, or even as simple as taking out the trash before you leave).

Spending a simple 15 minutes at your computer, just once, will reduce your traveling stress for years to come.

The Four Part ADHD Travel List

1. What to do when you first learn of the trip.

Make a list of all the things you might possibly need to do when you first learn about a trip: air line, rental car, hotel arrangements, house care / pet care / kennel arrangements. Naturally, you won’t need to do all of these for every type of trip (but it’s good to have all possibilities written down).

2. What to do in the week or two before the trip.

Here is where you list all the things you need to do just a couple of weeks before going away. This part of the list should include things like ordering ADHD medications, canceling the paper and holding the mail, arranging animal and plant care, forwarding the phones, etc.

3. What to do at the last minute.

List those last minute details you don’t want to forget: turn down the water heater, set light timers, water the plants, dump anything that would rot out of the fridge, empty the trash, unplug the computers, pay the bills and get cash, what ever you feel necessary.

4. What you need while traveling.

Finally, think through what you need while on the road (or plane). This includes that last minute trip to the grocery for snacks, water, audio books, or reminders for the dog leashes, car charger, etc…

Now take all four categories and put them into one list.

Print it out, put it into a plastic page protector and pop it into your travel binder.

Now, the next time you travel, along with your packing list, 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 packing tips, don’t forget to check out my entire series on Traveling with ADHD! You can find them here.

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Dana Rayburn
Dana Rayburn is a leading ADHD coach who's passionate about helping adults live more successful and effortless lives. Dana leads private and group ADHD coaching programs. She also writes frequently about outsmarting ADHD; particularly boosting productivity through ADHD-friendly organizing and time management. Packed with healthy doses of wisdom for living with adult ADHD, there's a reason Dana's ADHD Success Blog is considered the go-to resource by thousands of subscribers.
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