Travelling can be a wonderful experience, even if your trip is less than perfect. Those that travel often experience many benefits, such as learning about new cultures, enjoying unique types of foods and seeing things that few people have seen. However, travelling can be fairly daunting for a number of different reasons.
For starters, travelling can be incredibly expensive, especially if don’t plan ahead and ensure that you’ve got some kind of budget in mind. A lot of people overspend when they’re on holiday because they’re in a positive and joyous mood, and some countries can be incredibly expensive to visit as a tourist. This could be because of accommodation prices, food costs and even the cost of travelling to that country in the first place.
However, there’s another hurdle that prevents people from travelling on a regular basis; anxiety.
What is travel anxiety?
Travel anxiety is a complex yet common issue that a lot of people face. It usually causes people to feel depressed or fearful when preparing a trip or during the weeks leading up to your departure date. This often manifests as you get closer to the date that you plan to leave, and people with travel anxiety often find themselves cancelling their trips.
The anxiety can stem from a number of different things. For example, some people find that their anxiety comes from getting on a plane. Others find that anxiety can come from a fear of the unknown and being lost in a country where you can’t communicate. Thankfully, there are a couple of ways to overcome your travel anxiety, and we’re going to talk about a few useful tips to make sure you can overcome these fears.
1. Understanding what triggers your anxiety
The first tip is simple; understand your triggers. Once you understand what triggers your travel anxiety, you’ll have a much easier time dealing with each individual fear or concern. List them out on a sheet of paper and ask yourself how you can tackle each one. Perhaps it involves planning ahead for your trip so that there’s less risk of you being stranded with nothing to do. Maybe it could involve dealing with your fear of flying.
Whatever the case is, we suggest delving into your travel anxiety by facing it and learning to deal with each problem one at a time.
2. Plan ahead and don’t leave anything up to chance
One of the best ways to overcome your travel anxiety is ensuring that you're prepared to explore the world. Prepare yourself by leaving nothing up to chance. Find a place to stay before you travel, make sure you have some kind of backup if it falls through, and make sure you understand a bit of the language.
Anxiety usually stems from a fear of the unknown, but this can easily be overcome if you’re willing to invest a little bit of your time into researching places to visit, things to eat and attractions to see. The last thing you want is to be lost in a country with no backup plan or exit strategy, so plan ahead and don’t leave anything up to chance. Anticipate dangers before you arrive at the country and you ‘ll feel a lot safer and in control of your circumstances.
3. Overcoming your fear of flying
A fear of flying is extremely common among first-time travellers. Even those that travel on a regular basis might find it difficult to break free from their fears of flying. Thankfully, there are a couple of ways to help you break free from your anxiety of flying.
Distract yourself as much as possible on the plane so that you don’t think about the possibility of crashing. For instance, bring a tablet device to watch films, listen to music or even read. Consider using the in-flight entertainment system to keep yourself distracted or try and get some sleep if it’s a long flight.
Keep an eye on the flight attendants. They’ve been flying for an incredibly long time and aren’t afraid of flying, so if their expression and attitude when reacting to things like turbulence can help soothe your worries.
Learn more about planes and their safety record. Planes are statistically one of the safest forms of travel available to us. In fact, only one in every two million flights leads to a fatal accident.
4. Take care of your responsibilities at home
A common anxiety trigger is leaving your responsibilities back at home while you’re travelling. For example, you might be scared that someone is going to break into your home while you’re away, or perhaps you’re concerned about a pet back at home. There are many things that could be holding you back from travelling, so it’s important to take care of these responsibilities back at home before you travel to reduce your anxiety.
For instance, make sure you find someone or a service that is capable of taking care of your pets while you’re away. If you’re not travelling very far, then you could consider taking your pet along with you. If you’re concerned about break-ins, then make sure you hand your keys to a trusted neighbor, friend or family member and ask them to occasionally check your home. You’ll also want to tighten the security in your home, such as ensuring that your locks are secure and remembering to shut and lock your windows before you leave.
At the end of the day, it’s common to have some fears when it comes to travelling. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to get over it and it’s something that generally disappears as you get used to it. However, if you’re still struggling to overcome your anxiety when travelling, then it’s completely possible that you have hodophobia. This is a real condition that prevents you from travelling and can even lead to sweating, shaking or even crying when you’re required to travel. If you believe that you may be affected by hodophobia, then we suggest speaking to your physician as soon as possible.