It’s difficult being what one would call a paranoid traveller. Your travel buddies might see you as the party pooper, the untrusting individual, or worse, that one friend they don’t want to travel with. As a somewhat paranoid traveller myself, I know that it can be a struggle trying to stay in between relaxing and overthinking.
I know what you’re thinking too. “If it works for me, why not?” Yes, exactly! If your ways have been working for you (and if you don’t care what your friends think) then why would you change them now? Your travelling group could use someone paranoid in their ranks to keep everyone in check anyway. So this is for the unapologetic paranoid travellers out there. And if you’re not sure you count as one, take a look at these signs.
1. You pack an extra of everything
You could say that this habit comes from your doting parents who raised you with the philosophy of “better safe than sorry”. You think it’s too much at first, but then it grows on you. So, you end up packing extra undies, medicine, money, among other things whenever you travel. As such, you come home with extra everything as well, when all the while you could have packed lighter.
2. You have a detailed itinerary
Detailed meaning you’ve written down the date, timestamps, name of place, address, and sometimes even a “note” below a particular location. It makes your travels more efficient!
3. Any kind of reservation online is a no brainer
This way, you’ll sleep more peacefully days leading up to your trip, and you won’t have to worry about running out of tours, tickets or opportunities when you’ve paid for everything online. I mean, who doesn’t want a worry-free experience, right?
4. You prefer to stick to a schedule
Since you’ve booked what you’re allowed to book online, there’s no excuse for you not to stick to a schedule as you don’t have to wait or line up for anything. And you’ve proven this time and again: Sticking to a schedule and waking up early is a great way to maximise your time in your destination. Besides, you’ve allotted enough downtime in your itinerary to avoid travelling hectic (right?).
5. You often feel out your bag or pockets in case something got stolen
You find yourself reaching for your pocket and bag just to feel if there’s still a bulk there to be felt, whether that’s your wallet, room keys, or train pass. You do this often, like before you sit down for lunch in the middle of a tour, and right after when you stand up and continue your day. You can’t help it. It’s a habit.
6. You’ve invested on an anti-theft bag
Hey, you don’t need to be a paranoid traveller to invest in this, but since you are, you definitely have an anti-theft bag. And if you haven’t heard of this, I bet you’re going to look it up right now. Every OC traveller should have one!
7. When abroad, you research where the embassy of your country is (in case of missing passport)
It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, you know there’s always a chance your passport can get stolen or misplaced. But you’re always one step ahead because you already have an idea where the Philippine Embassy/Consulate is. All that’s left to do is be calm and go through the step-by-step process of getting a temporary travel document.
8. When running late for something, you’d rather ask strangers for directions than read a map
Because you know that reading a map takes time and you might read it wrong. Being late because of that would be such a drag.
9. You always get scared that the immigration officer might tear a page in your passport
PSA to anyone going through your passport: Please be gentle.
10. You always bring essential oils or a Vicks Inhaler in case you get dizzy
Getting dizzy in transit, whether on a plane, train, or ship is the worst. Aside from a headache, your stomach may act up and before you know it, you’re about to puke. This is when your essential oils or an inhaler comes into play. The fresh lavender and minty scent are enough to soothe your senses long enough for nausea to subside. Just when these items seemed like a very “tita”/”tito” thing to pack, you prove once again, that your paranoia saves the day.
11. When prone to motion sickness, you don’t ride the plane with a full stomach
Speaking of nausea, inhalers won’t always work because of how your body is built. In other words, motion sickness comes naturally to some of us. If this is your case, you know all too well that you can’t ride a plane with a full stomach, nor can you eat heavily on the plane. Why? Because you’d be too embarrassed to vomit and reach for that barf bag when everyone else seems to be coping just fine.
12. Planning to snorkel or surf? Rash guards are a must
If you don’t have one, you’re either buying a new one or not swimming at all. You’re not risking getting bitten by marine life and getting sunburnt!
13. You arrive at the airport more than three hours before your flight
The standard call time for passengers is to be at the airport three hours before the flight. That seems like enough time. But you being you, you never underestimate the traffic going to the airport. Ergo, you end up arriving way, way early and getting prematurely bored while waiting to check in. Look on the bright side, at least you were ready for the Manila traffic!
14. You check in and out of your hotel early
You check in early because the more time you can rest, the better. And if it’s too early to check in, at least you’ve already found your hotel and can wait at the lobby. Obviously, checking out early is also better for you because that means you’ll get to the airport ahead of time too. It’s a win-win situation.
15. Travelling without the Internet is out of the question
You firmly believe that you need the Internet in anticipation for the following possibilities: You need to read on tourists spots, you’ve forgotten certain travel details you can only access through the net, you need to communicate with people back home, you need to check your email, you’re reliant on online maps, so on and so forth. Without the Internet, it’ll be hard for you to find your way around certain challenges. And as for social media detox? You’ve never heard of it.
Do you see yourself in some of these signs I’m talking about? Don’t sweat it. I believe we’re all “paranoid” travellers in our own little ways. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing, as long as you remember to enjoy your travels. Have fun, and stay alert!