Travel-related anxiety is worry, nervousness or fear that occurs in the context of travel. Because travel can take us out of our familiar surroundings and into the unknown, it’s not unusual for people to experience some degree of worry or tension. It’s important to note the difference between feelings of anxiety – which anyone can experience in everyday life – and having an anxiety condition, which is serious but manageable. Travel anxiety isn’t a medical condition, but rather an experience of anxiety connected with the situation of travel.
Traveling with anxiety is a different experience for everyone. Some anxious travelers have to white-knuckle their way through every flight; some get nervous in crowded places like subway cars and major tourist attractions. Others can’t stop worrying: “What if I get lost and can’t find my way back to my hotel?” “Will the food make me sick?” “Did I remember to lock my house when I left?” Despite the challenges, you don’t need to let anxiety keep you from exploring the world. Here are 13 travel anxiety tips to help you cope with your fears and enjoy your vacation to the fullest.
1. Visualize your research- You can not leave for an unknown place just like that (unless you have some brilliant resources). Try to read some books about the place, learn few local words and customs. This will not make you feel out-of-place even if you dont belong there. You can even try to get a satellite view of the area around your hotel and sort your way through public transport.
2. And keep that data handy- Once you are done with your research, next thing you want to do is to keep that data accessible. Do whatever it takes- take screenshots, save data offline, backup on google drive, write it down, send links to friends and what not. But make sure you have your support while you are on the go.
3. Pack smart- You can save yourself from a lot of travel related anxiety if you have packed smart enough to pack everything you would need during the trip. As I can testify, I have never met a person who has never forgot anything for a trip in his entire life. While it is completely ok to miss one thing or the two, forgetting important stuff can make your trip quite inconvenient and messy. There are a number of smartphone apps that you can use while planning to pack.
4. Make security check easy- If you are constantly worried about getting kicked out of security check, then it’s time to prepare yourself for the same. Wear flip flops, light T-shirt, remove heavy jewelry, and check your pockets for change and balled up tissues that might set off the scanner. Don't roll up your jeans or have them bunched up at the ankles since that can prompt an extra search as well. Leave your jacket in your carry-on and take it out after you clear security if you must have it.
5. Carry your entertainment and snacks- Entertainment is not only a great way to kill time, but to keep yourself distracted as well. If you are a nervous flyer, then hearing to some cool podcasts or music will help you a lot to tackle the situation. Talking about snacks, there are times when we are unable to get food of our choices in foreign lands. And that’s when such snacks come in handy and avoid any situation of anxiety due to hunger.
6. Be prepared for the challenges- You need to understand that it is ok to be a tourist when you are not sure how to face the situation. If the city has one of those red double-decker bus tours, do it! Yes they’re cheesy and you look like such a tourist. But you are a tourist! It’s a great way to see everything and you can hop on or off at any time.You’d be surprised how often simply telling someone you’re upset will help so much. I find that it brings out a lot of kindness in people which is exactly what I need when I’m having an anxiety attack abroad.
We really hope these tips prove to be helpful when you are travelling. Stay healthy, keep travelling!