While cheaptravel options such as cheapfares, cheap airplane tickets, cheapdeals, discount hotel rooms, discounttravel deals, and cheap vacation packages maketraveling affordable, sometimes experiencing new cultures, navigatingunfamiliar streets, and putting faith in strangers, can make travelersuncomfortable.
Anxiety disorders affect nearly one in five Americanadults. Typical conditions includegeneralized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety, and phobias, allof which can have an adverse impact on a trip. Travel anxiety varies widely, with some most anxious while in the air,others nervous in crowded places, and still others nonstop worrying about avariety of things.
The following are travel anxiety tips to help cope withfears and enjoy vacations to the fullest, according to Sarah Schlichter:
Manyanxious travelers find that preparing for common possible problems on tripsmakes them feel more secure. If you areafraid that you will get sick, purchase travel insurance in case of illness orinjury and know the local equivalent of 911 to dial in an emergency. If you are worried about losing your passport,keep photo backups of your important documents in a secure place, such as apasscode protected smartphone. If you are concerned you will be unable tocommunicate in a foreign language, learn a few words in the local language anddownload a translation app onto your phone.
Travelerswith anxiety often prefer to travel with a well-researched itinerary. Knowing which neighborhoods are safe to walkin, when popular attractions are open, and how to best get around a city, oftenhelp travelers feel more confident in a new place. Remember though to not over pack your schedule. Rushing from one site to the next is a commonway to add to anxiety.
Packsmart and make a packing list several days before departure so that you havetime to pick up anything you might be missing. Include items that will provide comfort or distraction while away suchas a novel, a playlist of your favorite music, or a pillowcase that smells likehome.
Focuson the positive when you begin to get anxious and remind yourself why you aretaking this trip. Visualize the placesyou want to see and adventures you are looking forward to.
Ifyour anxiety is severe, work with a therapist to identify your main sources ofanxiety and develop effective coping strategies. Talk to your doctor regarding whether youshould be prescribed medication for your trip.
The following are actions you should take when feelinganxious while traveling:
Take adeep breath. Keep your breathing relaxedby breathing in five seconds through your nose and 10 second out of your mouth,like you are blowing off a hot soup.
Pictureyourself in a safe and comfortable place. Practice visualization by imaging a relaxing place and what you would beexperiencing regarding sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell.
Provenways to lower stress include meditation, yoga, and exercise, all of which canbe done in your room or at a fitness center. Progressive muscle relaxation can help, which entails tensing all themuscles in a particular part of your body, holding them tight for about 10seconds, and then releasing them. Working your way through every muscle group helps to gradually get ridof tension.
Distractyourself from worrying about rough turbulence in the air by taking your mindoff what is happening and watching a funny movie, listening to relaxing music,or reading an engaging book.
Supportivefriends or family members can often help talk you through an anxious moment orpanic attack.
Take atime out if you are feeling overwhelmed by crowds or experiencing cultureshock on your vacation. Visit a spa,relax in your hotel room, and/or order room service. Few things beat self-care when dealing withanxiety.
After your trip:
Embracethe positive and look at every successful trip you have taken as proof that youcan deal with whatever travel bumps you faced.
Planyour next trip. People commonly findthat travel anxiety lessens the more they travel. Savor the memories you have accumulated fromprevious trips and remember that these experiences are worth the challenge.