The Best Ways To Beat Travel Anxiety
Travel anxiety can make family trips, romantic vacations, and business appointments very difficult. However, all is not lost there are specific steps you can take to alleviate the symptoms associated with travel anxiety.
In this article, we are going to outline some of the measures that you can take to prevent or reduce feelings of fear when traveling. Read on to find out more.
Causes of Travel Anxiety
There are a variety of reasons why you might be struggling with travel anxiety. Here are just a few of those reasons:
Fear of Flying
You might suffer from general fear of flying or traveling in vehicles due to past experiences. Later, in the article, we will provide you with some hints and tips on how to reduce your fear of traveling by plane or by other forms of transport.
Negative stories about other people’s past experiences can also lead to fear when traveling.
The Comfort of Staying at Home
Are you comfortable staying at home? You feel at peace when you are sitting in the comfort of your own home. Therefore, the thought of traveling outside your comfort zone causes anxiety and fear.
Planning and Organizing
Planning a vacation can be stressful and tiring. Sometimes the stress of planning a vacation can leave you feeling tired and anxious.
How To Overcome Travel Anxiety
Face your fear, instead of avoiding traveling, face it and work through the apprehension. This is easier said than done but try this technique before you are due to travel. Meditate for five minutes by closing your eyes and visualizing your final destination.
Breathe deeply and focus on you getting to your destination safely and comfortably. Plan small, hassle-free trips to prepare your mind for long-haul journeys.
Put it All in One Place
Now let’s get down to the practical stuff! Does your heart pound, palms sweaty because of fear that you could have lost something important before or during travel? If this is you, put all your valuables in one place.
A good example is a small plastic bag or zip lock bag, place your items such as passport, inoculation certificates, cables and other vital things into the bag and keep it sealed. Put it in your backpack or hold-all bag and label it. This will reduce the overwhelm and fear of losing something when you are traveling.
Listen to Calming Music
Listen to calming music the night before and during your travel. Calming music is known to reduce adrenaline levels and suppress the production of cortisol. Therefore, make a point of listening to calming jazz, chill step or classical music, or whatever takes your fancy.
According to Dr. David Lewis-Hodgson of Mindlab International, specific music can reduce stress levels. His research highlighted that songs like ‘Weightless’ by Marconi Union could significantly reduce stress levels. Another song was ‘We Can Fly’ by Ru Du Soleil and ‘Canzonetta Sull’aria,’ by Mozart.
Create a Packing List
Make a detailed packing list in advance, reducing the risk of leaving anything to the last minute.
Don’t Leave Anything For The Last Minute
Have you ever left your packing for the morning of your vacation? Stress levels were high, right? Make sure you always pack in advance, at least a week before you are due to travel.
RELATED: The Smart Traveler’s Backpack
Pack Something Sweet
Research highlights that consuming sweets such as boiled candy, fruit or dried fruits like raisins can decrease stress levels. Researchers from the University of Cincinnati found that consuming sweets may reduce the production of the stress-related hormone glucocorticoid.
Therefore, if you feel stress and anxiety when you are traveling, pack some travel sweets to suck on or take a small packet of raisins to enjoy during your travels.
Plan Your Trip in Low Season
Plan your trip for less busy times for example, just after or just before the summer break. Or just after or just before the festive season. This will ensure that there are fewer crowds and shorter queues which can both cause anxiety when traveling.
Research The Place First
Do your research about the location, find out how much things cost, research modes of transport and find out about all the tourist attractions within close proximity of where you will be staying.
Go With a Trusted Friend, Partner or Family Member
Traveling solo is enjoyable, however, if you struggle with anxiety issues you should probably go with someone you trust. Someone who has a calming influence on you.
Take a Journal
Write your thoughts and feelings in your journal while you are traveling. Writing in a journal calms the nerves and releases negative emotions.
Bring Something Familiar Along With You
Bring something familiar with you like a lucky pair of socks, a soft toy or your favorite book.
Write down, listen to or speak positive affirmations before and during your travels. Here are some examples of statements you could record or write down.
-I am safe; all is well.
-My fears are not realities.
-Breathe in, breathe out.
-I am secure. There is no cause for alarm.
-Every day, millions of people fly around the world safely.
Anxiety is in the mind, if you can master shifting your mindset from negative to positive, you should be able to master your travel anxiety. Often the things you are scared of can be controlled, however, for the things that you can’t control, learn to accept that you can only control how you react to things.
One other tip you should undoubtedly try is deep breathing exercises. Practice breathing in and out slowly, counting to five when you inhale and counting to five when you exhale. Believe that you can overcome your travel anxiety and you will.