Tips to Help You Overcome Travel Anxiety

Updated: Aug 24, 2019



We've been reading various posts about reasons why some people avoid traveling. Sometimes, taking time off and getting on vacation is hard work! Then all the planning and lots of research to ensure the best possible experience. There is a lot of information out there, good and bad that can either encourage or deter you from travel. All this brings on Travel Anxiety. What is it? Do you experience it ? Travel Anxiety is very a common and complex issue, causing people to feel anxious or depressed when preparing for a trip and the subsequent weeks leading it up to it. More and more people are even experiencing anxiety while ON vacation! Some have an underlying fear of travel, which all manifests as anxiety.


Here are few tips to help overcome:


Plan Ahead

Traveling takes you out of your normal routine. Humans are creatures of habit, and deviating from your usual schedule can make you cranky and anxious. Planning takes some of the what-ifs out of traveling, which can help you feel more grounded and in control. Work with a travel agent to do all the work for you. This saves time and energy. Plan ahead by putting all of your hotel and itinerary information in a convenient place, such as a note in your phone. You can also include information about local restaurants, shops, and emergency services.  We use PlanApple to organize our travel itineraries. It's Free, available offline and interactive for groups!



Face Your Fears

For those afraid of flying, the best way to face it, is to just do it! Start with a short flight and gradually take longer ones. Or just go for the gusto and take on the long haul. We listed a few of our favorite distractions below. When you feel nervous, tell yourself calmly that planes are safe and try to think about your destination and how much fun it will be. Planes ARE safe and statistically, they are actually the number 1 safest way to travel! There is a very, very, very low chance of anything happening- a much lower chance than when you drive in a car. If you take one flight, you can certainly take another.



Meditate

Meditation can be a great anxiety-busting tool in a wide range of situations, including travel. You don’t need to be a yoga master to benefit from meditation. Even basic deep breathing exercises can ease anxiety and make you feel calmer and more relaxed. You can find a huge menu of meditation videos and guided meditation techniques on YouTube. You might have to search a bit to find a style that appeals to you. Here is a quick, 5 minute one without ads. Best of all, they’re free!  



Distract Your Mind

If you’re a nervous flyer, distractions can help take your mind off the madness. There are several activities you can do to help ease flying-related anxiety by bringing your attention to other things. For example, grab your favorite magazines, a good book (ebooks take up less space and provide more variety), games ( I like brain teasers) and of course you need a banging playlist ready. Be sure to download your songs before takeoff.

My personal Go- to's are:

1. SLEEP! In preparation for flights over 7 hrs, we tend to stay up 24 hrs before so we are tired and ready for a nice nap. We wake up recharged and ready for whatever timezone we've landed in.

2. Clean out my phone, remove duplicate photos/videos, create albums and make room for more footage! It's also very entertaining as you scroll down memory lane.

3. Evaluate my goals and think about future plans. Write them down and put timelines on them.

4. Many airlines have on-board entertainment and wifi. We use it to get some work done. Respond to emails, prepping for the week after vacation or research something that interests me. But always have a back up plan in case of connectivity issues.



Stay Hydrated My Friends

Studies show that even mild dehydration can have a significant impact on your mood when you’re on vacation, there’s a good chance you might not pay as much attention to your water intake. However, it’s important to make sure you drink enough water while you’re traveling.



Eat Healthy

Vacation is when loosen your belts, pull out the flowy dresses and eat all the foods you wouldn't normally have. However, too much of a good thing could take a toll on your mood and even bring on an anxiety attack. Just as water intake can affect your mental health, an overabundance of junk food, sugary desserts and drinks can lead to depression and anxiety. Remember: Everything in moderation. Try to stick to a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates. The body metabolizes complex carbs more slowly, which helps prevent sharp drops in blood sugar.  



Get Moving

Yes, even when you’re on vacation, working out may be the last thing you want to do. However, there is a strong link between exercise and mental health. Fortunately, you don’t have to hit the hotel gym every morning to reap the benefits. According to health experts, even a 30-minute walk or taking the stairs instead of the elevator can work wonders. There are even short, easy exercises you can do in your hotel room or with nothing more than a wall or a set of stairs. If weather permits, take walking or biking city tours instead of bus tours. See the the sights and get some exercise in!



Take a Break & Relax

When you travel, you might feel pressure to do and see everthing. Especially if you might not get a chance to vacation often. Depending on how you prefer to travel, this approach can be overwhelming. We always build relaxation time into our travel itineraries. I mean the point of a vacation is to actually vacation, right! We are saying, have a balance. We highly recommend exploring and immersing in culture, learning and seeing the sights. But also take some time to unwind and think about all the things you did and how they inspired you. Schedule some alone time for yourself to do absolutely nothing. This is clutch when traveling with groups of people. Alone time is good for the soul! By the way, that means removing the phone from your hand for at least a few hours at a time. These little breaks can really help you recharge and avoid anxiety.  


We hope this helps conquer some of that travel anxiety. Now get out there!


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