Travel anxiety is a term used to describe the fear of visiting a new and unknown destination and the stress of making arrangements for a trip. Although it is not a medically recognized mental health disorder, anxiety about traveling can grow extreme for some individuals, hindering them from taking a vacation or enjoying any aspect of traveling.
Traveling can be stressful, but several tips and remedies can help you cope better. But first, let’s discuss what travel anxiety is and why it happens.
What Causes Travel Anxiety?
A wide range of experiences might contribute to negative associations with travel. According to one study, travel anxiety affects 65% of persons involved in a severe car accident.
Experiencing a panic attack in a new location might contribute to travel anxiety. Anxiety might be sparked by hearing about people who have had unpleasant travel experiences, such as airline crashes or foreign illnesses.
Moreover, biological risk variables can potentially contribute to anxiety disorders in some people. Certain genetic factors have been linked to anxiety in young adulthood and beyond. According to researchers, neuroimaging can also detect alterations in the brains of persons with anxiety disorders.
How to Overcome Travel Anxiety
If travel anxiety interferes with your daily activities, the following tips can help you manage it.
Identify Your Triggers
When something causes your anxiety symptoms to worsen, this is an anxiety trigger. This can include specific triggers related to travel, such as the process of organizing a trip or getting on a plane. They may incorporate external stimuli such as low blood sugar, coffee, or stress.
Psychotherapy, which is a treatment option for anxiety, can assist you in identifying your triggers and working through them before flying abroad.
Prepare for a Variety of Possible Outcomes
The most common source of pre-travel worry is the “what if” factor. No one can anticipate every possible worst-case situation, but there are things you can do to prepare for unexpected scenarios. These include the following:
- What happens if I don’t have any money left? You can always get in touch with a family member or friend. In case of an emergency, you can bring a credit card.
- What if I get lost on the way? You can travel with a paper map or guidebook. You can also use your smartphone to direct you where you need to go.
- What happens if I become ill while on the trip? You can either acquire travel health insurance before you depart or make sure your existing policy will cover you while traveling. Most insurance policies allow access to a list of healthcare providers located in various parts of the country or worldwide.
By preparing for such instances ahead of time, you’ll discover that most problems can be resolved easily, even while on vacation.
Travel with Friends
You should go with a travel companion if you are nervous about traveling alone. When you’re with someone you feel entirely comfortable with, you can find yourself being more open and daring.
Hence, if you decide to travel with a companion, there are numerous things to participate in as a group or even as a couple. For example, if you and your companion are in the mood to party, you can visit a club or get into a party bus by contacting operators such as DoubleUp Tours Party Bus Hire. With this, both of you can get a chance to get to know new people. By the conclusion of the journey, you may even have made a few new friends with whom to continue your travels.
Look at the Pleasant Aspects of Traveling
Traveling is a popular pastime — so popular that US citizens took more than 1.8 billion leisure trips in 2018. Expanding your worldview through different experiences, countries, and cuisines is a terrific approach to broaden your perspective.
Before your trip, it may be beneficial to list all of the great experiences you hope to have while on your journey. Carry this checklist with you at all times when traveling and refer to it if you feel anxious.
Make Sure You Have Plenty of Distractions
What is your favorite activity that helps you cope with your anxiety? For many, video games and movies provide a visual distraction to pass the time effectively. Others find solace in quiet pursuits, such as reading or solving puzzles, among other things.
Whatever your source of distraction is, consider bringing it along for the voyage with you. Distracting yourself with enjoyable activities might help you avoid unpleasant thoughts while traveling and offer you something excellent to concentrate on instead.
Travel anxiety can be eased with various strategies, including meditation, diversions, and even medication. Mental preparation before a journey helps lessen the bad feelings associated with it.
Most anxiety disorders can be effectively treated with psychotherapy and medication. If you’re not interested in taking medication to help you conquer your fear, plan ahead of time to meet with a mental health expert before your next trip.