Pre-Trip Checklist: Essential Steps to Take Before Your Psychedelic Experience

Before embarking on a psychedelic experience, it is crucial to ensure that you are mentally and physically prepared, as well as set up a conducive environment for the journey ahead.

This pre-trip checklist will guide you through essential steps before diving into the psychedelic realm.

Key Takeaways

  • Set clear intentions to guide your experience.
  • Create a safe and comfortable space for your journey.
  • Practice meditation to calm your mind and enhance introspection.
  • Stay hydrated to support your body during the experience.
  • Ensure you get adequate sleep and eat a light meal to prepare your body for the journey.

Mental Preparation Pre-Trip Checklist

Set Intentions

Before embarking on a psychedelic journey, it’s crucial to clarify your purpose. Setting clear intentions acts as a compass, guiding your experience towards personal insights or emotional breakthroughs. Consider what you hope to achieve or explore during your trip.

  • Reflect on personal growth areas.
  • Contemplate unresolved questions.
  • Seek closure or healing.

For instance, if you’re grappling with self-doubt, an intention might be, “I aim to discover and embrace my inner strength.”

By consciously setting your intentions, you create a mental framework that can profoundly shape your psychedelic voyage. This preparatory step is not about controlling the experience but rather opening up to the possibilities in a directed manner.

Writing down your intentions can solidify them in your mind, reminding you of your purpose. As you journey, these intentions can help you navigate the psychedelic space, focusing your mind and spirit on the areas of greatest significance to you.

Create a Safe Space

Imagine your safe space as a tranquil, warmly lit room where the gentle hum of the outside world fades into the background. Soft, comfortable cushions line a cosy nook, surrounded by lush plants that bring a touch of nature indoors. The air carries a faint, soothing scent of lavender, and a gentle, ambient playlist resonates in the background, setting a harmonious tone. This haven is your private retreat, a place where every element is curated for your comfort and peace.

Ensuring that your environment is secure and comforting is crucial for a positive psychedelic experience. A safe space allows you to relax and surrender to the experience without external worries. It’s important to consider both physical safety and emotional comfort.

  • Remove any hazards from the area, such as sharp objects or tripping risks.
  • Ensure you won’t be disturbed; inform others not to interrupt, or choose a time when you’re guaranteed privacy.
  • Personalize the space with items that bring you peace, such as photos, keepsakes, or plants.

Creating a sanctuary for your mind and body will significantly enhance your journey. This is a time for introspection and growth, and the setting you choose should reflect and support that purpose.


Taking the time to meditate before embarking on a psychedelic journey can help to centre your mind and align your thoughts with your intentions. Meditation can reduce pre-trip anxiety and foster a sense of inner peace that will carry into the experience.

  • Find a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed.
  • Choose a meditation technique that you are comfortable with, such as focused breathing or guided imagery.
  • Allow yourself at least 10-15 minutes to meditate, longer if you feel the need.

Remember, the goal of meditation is not to eliminate thoughts but to observe them without attachment. This practice can be particularly beneficial in navigating the heightened state of awareness during a psychedelic experience.

Meditation, in preparation for a psychedelic journey, doesn’t strictly require sitting in silence. It can be as simple and natural as taking a walk in nature. This approach allows you to connect with the present moment, observing your surroundings and the sensations within your body without judgment.

The goal is mindfulness—fully immersing yourself in the now, acknowledging thoughts and feelings without attachment. This form of meditation can be especially comforting for those unfamiliar with more traditional techniques, offering a gentle, intuitive path to mental clarity and readiness.

Learn about 7 mindfulness/meditation techniques that we love to use in psychedelic coaching.


Guided Imagery Exercises

Relaxation Playlist

Dive even deeper in the preparation phase with our Ultimate Guide to Preparing for Your First Psychedelic Therapy Session

Physical Preparation Pre-Trip Checklist

A pre-trip checklist is essential for ensuring a smooth and comfortable psychedelic journey. This part of the checklist prioritizes staying hydrated, getting adequate sleep, and eating a light meal to set a positive foundation for your experience.

Stay Hydrated

Ensuring proper hydration is a crucial step before embarking on a psychedelic journey. Dehydration can significantly affect your physical comfort and mental state, negatively impacting your experience. Aim to drink plenty of water in the hours leading up to your trip, but avoid overhydration, as it can lead to discomfort.

Maintaining a balance is key; listen to your body’s signals and drink accordingly.

Here’s a simple guideline to help you stay hydrated:

  • Start increasing your water intake a day before your experience.
  • Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water throughout the day.
  • Avoid diuretics like caffeine and alcohol, as they can dehydrate you (and influence your trip overall).
  • Sip water slowly during your psychedelic experience to maintain hydration without feeling bloated.

Avoiding alcohol before a psychedelic session is crucial for several reasons:

  • Dehydration: Alcohol is a diuretic, leading to dehydration, which can exacerbate discomfort during a psychedelic experience.
  • Mental Clarity: Alcohol can cloud judgment and mental clarity, hindering the depth and introspective quality of the psychedelic experience.
  • Emotional Stability: It can affect emotional stability, potentially leading to heightened anxiety or negative emotions during the session.
  • Interference with Effects: Alcohol may interact unpredictably with psychedelics, potentially dulling the effects or leading to unpleasant experiences.
  • Physical Well-being: The combination of alcohol and psychedelics can strain the body, affecting the heart rate and blood pressure.

For these reasons, it’s advised to avoid alcohol to ensure a safe, profound, and insightful psychedelic journey.

Get Adequate Sleep

Ensuring you get a good night’s sleep before your psychedelic experience is crucial. A well-rested body and mind can significantly enhance your journey, providing clarity and resilience. Lack of sleep may lead to discomfort and heightened negative emotions during the experience.

  • Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep.
  • Avoid electronic screens at least an hour before bedtime.
  • Create a restful environment with minimal noise and comfortable temperature.

Adequate sleep helps in stabilizing mood and improving cognitive function, which are vital for a positive psychedelic experience.

Eat a Light Meal

Before embarking on your psychedelic journey, it’s important to consider your dietary choices. Eating a light meal a few hours before your experience can help prevent nausea and ensure a more comfortable trip. Opt for easily digestible foods that are not too heavy or spicy.

Here are some suggested foods to consider:

  • Fresh fruits like bananas or apples.
  • Simple carbohydrates such as toast or crackers.
  • Light proteins like yoghurt or vegan yoghurt alternatives.

Remember, the goal is to nourish your body without overburdening your digestive system. A light meal can provide the energy you need without the discomfort of a full stomach.

Yoghurt Bowl with Berries and Cereals Recipe

What Happens if You Eat Nothing

In addition to essential physical preparations for a psychedelic journey, considering optional steps such as engaging in mild physical fitness, undergoing a digital detox, and practising personal hygiene can significantly enhance your experience.

These practices reduce tension, clear your mind, and ensure you feel physically comfortable and mentally centred. Incorporating these steps into your preparation routine can create a holistic sense of readiness and well-being, setting a positive foundation for your psychedelic exploration.

Mild Exercise

Digital Detox

Mindful Self-Care

Environment Setup Pre-Trip Checklist

Crafting a conducive environment for your psychedelic journey is a vital step toward a meaningful experience. This includes ensuring the setting promotes relaxation and introspection through dim lighting, calming music, and comfortable seating.

These pre-trip checklist items, alongside mental and physical preparation, lay the groundwork for an environment that supports your physical and mental well-being, facilitating a deeper connection and exploration during your psychedelic exploration.

Dim Lighting

The illumination of your environment plays a crucial role in shaping your psychedelic experience. Dim lighting is recommended as it can help create a tranquil and introspective atmosphere conducive to a more inward-focused journey. Avoid harsh or bright lights, which can overstimulate and detract from the experience.

  • Use soft, warm lights to promote relaxation.
  • Consider using candles or LED lights that can change colours.
  • Ensure that light sources are not directly in your line of sight to prevent distractions.

Adjusting the lighting in your space can significantly affect your comfort and the overall mood. Subtle changes in lighting can help guide your experience, making it more pleasant and profound.

Crafting a safe environment is as much a part of mental preparation as it is about physical space setup. As discussed earlier, creating a safe space mentally prepares you for the journey ahead, and this extends into the physical realm with elements like dim lighting.

Such an atmosphere enhances comfort and deeply intertwines with your sense of safety and readiness. It’s a holistic approach where the external environment reflects and supports your internal state, ensuring a grounded and centred experience during your psychedelic journey.

Play Calming Music

Music has the power to influence our emotions and state of mind. Selecting the right soundtrack for your psychedelic experience can be pivotal. It should be music that resonates with you and enhances the introspective journey.

  • Consider instrumental or ambient music that encourages relaxation.
  • Avoid tracks with unsettling rhythms or lyrics that might lead to discomfort.
  • Create a playlist in advance to avoid any interruptions during the experience.

The music should be a backdrop to your experience, not the focal point. It’s there to support, not to distract. Keep the volume at a level that is soothing and allows for introspection without overwhelming the senses.

To ensure the music enhances your psychedelic journey, follow these steps:

  1. Select Genre Wisely: Choose genres known for calming effects, such as ambient, classical, or instrumental world music.
  2. Curate a Playlist: Compile a playlist that lasts several hours to avoid the need to interact with your music player during the experience.
  3. Test for Comfort: Listen to the playlist beforehand to ensure all tracks contribute to a sense of peace and well-being.
  4. Volume Control: Set the volume to a comfortable level that complements the experience without overpowering your thoughts or observations.

Psilocybin Session Playlist:

  • Duration: Approximately 6 hours to cover the onset, peak, and come-down phases.
  • Music Type: Start with gentle, ambient soundscapes to facilitate relaxation and introspection. Mid-session, incorporate instrumental or classical music that supports peak experiences. Conclude with serene, uplifting tracks to aid in the return to baseline consciousness.

MDMA Session Playlist:

  • Duration: 4-6 hours, considering the shorter active period of MDMA (but with redosing).
  • Music Type: Begin with light, joyful tunes to complement the onset’s uplifting effects. As the session progresses, include more vibrant, positive music with harmonious rhythms to match MDMA’s empathogenic properties. Toward the end, transition to calm, comforting music for integration.

Have Comfortable Seating

Ensuring that your seating is comfortable is crucial for a positive psychedelic experience. Comfort helps maintain a relaxed state of mind, which can significantly influence your journey. Consider the following aspects when arranging your seating:

  • Ergonomics: Your chair or cushion should support a natural posture.
  • Materials: Opt for soft, natural fabrics that feel good against your skin.
  • Flexibility: Have options available, such as a recliner, floor cushions, or a cosy couch.

Remember, discomfort can be a distraction. Prioritize seating that feels like a safe and supportive space for your experience.

Adjust your seating beforehand to avoid any unnecessary fidgeting during the experience. A well-thought-out seating arrangement can enhance your ability to surrender to the psychedelic journey and embrace the insights it brings.

To enhance your environment for a psychedelic journey, consider these optional preparation steps: incorporating tactile comforts like soft blankets and pillows, introducing nature elements such as plants or flowers to foster calmness, and adding personal touches with meaningful photographs or mementoes.

These steps aim to create an (even) more immersive and comforting space, aligning your physical surroundings with your mental and emotional needs for a profound and grounded psychedelic experience.

Tactile Comforts

Nature Elements

Personal Touches

Bringing It All Together

As we conclude this pre-trip checklist guide, I invite you to view your upcoming psychedelic experience not just as an event but as a journey—a journey that starts with thoughtful preparation and extends far beyond the confines of time and space.

It’s a journey of healing, understanding, and profound self-discovery, facilitated by your willingness to explore the depths of your being.

Remember, the path you’re about to walk is as unique as you are. Each step, each insight, each revelation unfolds in its own time, revealing the intricate tapestry of your psyche. With FLO Coaching by your side, you’re not just preparing for a psychedelic experience; you’re opening the door to a new chapter of your life, one where every moment is an opportunity for growth, reflection, and transcendence.

Let this checklist be the first step towards a future where you live in harmony with your deepest truths, empowered by the insights and transformations that psychedelics when approached with respect and preparation, can offer.

Questions & Answers on Psychedelic Trip Checklist

Why is eating a light meal recommended before a psychedelic experience?

Eating a light meal can prevent discomfort, nausea, or digestive issues that may arise during the psychedelic experience.

What is the importance of setting intentions before a psychedelic experience?

Setting intentions helps focus your mind and create a purpose for the experience, guiding you towards specific goals or insights.

Why is creating a safe space essential for a psychedelic journey?

A safe space provides a sense of security and comfort, reducing the risk of anxiety or paranoia during the experience.

How can meditation enhance a psychedelic experience?

Meditation can help calm the mind, increase self-awareness, and deepen the connection with the psychedelic experience.

Why is staying hydrated important before a psychedelic journey?

Hydration is crucial for maintaining physical health and supporting the body’s functions during the experience.

What role does adequate sleep play in preparing for a psychedelic trip?

Getting enough sleep can improve mental clarity, emotional stability, and overall well-being before embarking on a psychedelic journey.

How does music influence a psychedelic experience?

Music acts as an emotional and psychological guide during a psychedelic experience, influencing the mood and direction of the journey. It can evoke profound emotional responses, enhance visualizations, and help in navigating through the various stages of the trip, making it an essential element in creating a conducive environment.

What are the benefits of journaling before and after a psychedelic experience?

Journaling before a psychedelic experience can help clarify intentions, fears, and hopes, serving as a mental preparation tool. After the experience, journaling offers a way to record insights, emotions, and revelations, facilitating the integration process by providing a structured reflection on the journey and its impact on personal growth.

How can preparing your physical environment enhance your psychedelic journey?

Preparing your physical environment by adjusting lighting, ensuring comfortable seating, and removing distractions can significantly enhance your psychedelic journey. A well-prepared space can help minimize external disturbances, promote a sense of safety and comfort, and allow for a more focused and profound exploration of the inner self.


Lotte and Floris are the two guides for FLO Coaching. We combine our years of coaching & therapy to help people experience a (first) guided psychedelic trip.

We uniquely focus on preparation and integration to provide long-term positive changes in mind and behaviour.

Assistance is provided by Max and Saar, though our dogs haven't yet learned to write for the blog 🐾