For most people, planning a trip and visiting a new place is an exciting endeavor. It’s thrilling and exhilarating, especially the thought of having new experiences, seeing new places and cultures, and meeting new people.
For others, it’s the opposite. Excitement and exhilaration are subdued by the crippling effects of anxiety and stress. The closer they get to the travel date, the worse it becomes.
Travel anxiety can suck out the joy from your well-deserved vacation. This becomes even worse if you’re going on a trip for the first time. But we can help you out. Here’s how you can manage travel anxiety the right way.
What is Travel Anxiety?
Travel anxiety, also known as vacation anxiety, is the feeling of intense worry or fear (even panic) in the face of travel plans.
This type of anxiety makes it very difficult to plan and go on trips. The entire idea can toss you into a spiral of uncertainty, fear, and nervousness. It prevents you from enjoying and exploring new places and feelings and limits you to your comfort space.
However, travel anxiety isn’t constant. It can be managed and overcome with strategies.
Causes of Travel Anxiety
Many things can contribute to your anxiety, including:
Having negative travel experiences in the past can influence our present. If you’ve had an unpleasant travel experience in the past or were in an accident, it can influence how traveling makes you feel now.
The fear of flying is another common thing that impacts 3-8% of individuals. It’s usually triggered by claustrophobia, worries about crashing, the height, take-off, and landing, or turbulence.
What We Hear/Read
If we’ve read or heard travel-related stories like injuries, crimes, and accidents, they can stay in our minds and make us feel anxious.
Stepping Away from the Comfort Zone
Some people feel uncomfortable stepping away from home or familiar places. They may feel more hesitant about being in public places and in crowds.
The “What Ifs”
The what-ifs are a major concern for some. No matter how much we plan, we can’t always be prepared for the unexpected. This can make some people extremely worried about what might happen.
And in some cases, it’s just genetics. According to a 2017 study, genetics can influence anxiety to a great degree.
How to Deal with Travel Anxiety
If you’re someone who experiences travel anxiety, there are ways you can control it. Talking to a therapist will help you discover why you feel this way and develop coping mechanisms that will work for you.
Understand Your Triggers
If you’ve been living with travel anxiety for a while, you probably have an idea of what triggers your symptoms. Understanding them will help you cope with the anxiety better.
Make a List of What Ifs
So, if the fear of the unknown is what causes you such trouble, you can jot down a plan for your worst ‘what if’ scenarios.
- What if you get lost? Bring a guidebook, an extra phone charger, and a paper map with you. Keep the address and contact for your hotel with you as well.
- What if you get sick? Buy travel health insurance. Make a list of medications that you may need. Keep a note about your ongoing medical conditions.
- What if you lose all your money? Get yourself anti-theft clothes, bags, pockets, and scarves. Have an emergency credit card with you and a contact number for a contact who can wire you some money.
- What if you lose your luggage? That’ll be bad, but you can always put a few must-have items in your carry-on and buy extra clothes later.
Use Virtual Reality
For travel anxiety-prone folks, VR is a blessing. Use this tech to get a virtual tour of your destination and calm down your nerves.
Meditation and breathing exercises are great for relieving anxiety. They’ll help ground you and give you a newfound peace.
Travel with a Friend
If going alone absolutely nerve-wrecks you, partner up with a friend. You’ll have more fun, and they might even push you to experience new things on the trip.
Bring Along Distractions
You can also bring along something to distract your mind. If you like games, novels, and music, keep them on you. These distractions will reduce your anxiety by keeping your mind off stressful things.
Tripety, the Online Travel Planner and Itinerary Maker
Exploring the world is easier than planning your trip. That’s why you need to look at using Tripety, an online trip management platform. Now you can worry less about the planning phase of your trip by creating your travel itinerary in a convenient and hassle-free way. You can organize each day, use checklists, keep documents in one place, book hotels, flights, transport, and more with his one-of-a-kind mobile trip planner. Manage your trip online by signing up on Tripety today.