If you were to ask teenage me to describe the type of adult I’d become, you’d hear words like “well-traveled” and “carefree” and “socialite”. Unfortunately, the years progressed and so did my travel anxiety. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve developed a fear of leaving my home (will someone break in and let my cat out in the process?), a fear of TSA (will I choose the wrong line and miss my flight?), a fear of technology woes (will my phone die the precise moment I need to call a taxi?), and a fear of forgetting something, namely deodorant. I am not afraid of the destination, just the process of packing and getting there.

But, I refuse to let these irritating anxieties prevent me from discovering the world. While I can’t change my mindset, I can develop a system that will make it all a little easier. Whether it’s a 45 minute flight or a 14 hour one, I have put together the ultimate guide to keeping calm. As an added bonus, these tricks have saved my sanity, which in turn saves the sanity of those around me. My husband no longer avoids me until we’re through TSA! Start the slideshow for a look… and if you’ve found a few travel secrets, please share them in the comments below!