Traveling is an essential thing nowadays. People have to visit different places for many reasons. Some travel for their future, some for their business, while others travel to a relaxed and peaceful environment. In any manner, it is natural to have some travel anxiety. There may be many reasons for this.
Anxiety is a feeling of fear that develops when your body responds to stress. It results in worry, tension, and increased blood pressure. Similarly, travel anxiety is the fear of visiting new and unfamiliar places. It includes the stress that occurs due to travel plans. Even if you have no history of anxiety, just being away from your familiar territory can bring up panic attacks. It prevents you from enjoying vacations and adds stress to your life. So, overcoming this anxiety and enjoying your planned trips to the fullest is better.
Importance of overcoming travel anxiety
It is essential to overcome your travel anxiety to enjoy the trip and have a peaceful atmosphere. Traveling helps in creating good mental health by lowering the risk of depression. However, on the other hand, anxiety causes stress and tension. So, overcoming your travel anxiety gives your mental health a chance to be at a sound stage.
Causes of travel anxiety
It is natural to have travel anxiety due to negative past travel experiences or may be due to anxiety disorder. It may relate to specific activities like diving, flying, or driving. General fear of the crowd and being with the unknowns may also be some causes of travel anxiety.
Here are some reasons why travel anxiety triggers:
- Experiences: Your past often has some impact on your present. Negative experiences while traveling can result in anxiety in the future. On the other hand, positive experiences help you in fighting these anxiety attacks.
- Fear of flying: Some people fear flying in any manner, such as flight, diving, etc. They fear that the flight may be crashed or fear being high in the air, claustrophobia, or discomfort during the plane’s take-off or landing.
- What do you hear or read: Anxiety also gets triggered when you hear about fatal accidents, injuries, crimes, or even falling ill on vacations through the news or any other source.
- Leaving what feels familiar and safe: Where you live is your safest place. You feel no one can harm you there. It is also a cause of travel anxiety because you have to leave a familiar and safe place. The fear of an unknown crowd or public places makes you hesitate to travel.
- Concerns about “what ifs”: The main problem of today’s generation is to overthink every time. They are very concerned about what-ifs, such as what if something happened on vacation or what if someone gets sick and many others.
- Post-trip worries: Not only does the time of traveling boost anxiety, but even the post-trip worries also trigger anxiety. The worries include jetlag, unfamiliar surroundings, or the stress of planning and organizing details upon arrival.
It is just a simplified list. Sometimes it is difficult to know about the cause of travel anxiety. At that time, you need some alone time to think it over and discover the cause of your anxiety.
Tips to overcome travel anxiety
It is not that difficult to handle travel anxiety. You must follow some tips to help you plan a great trip and handle anxiety better. Here are some tips that you can follow for travel anxiety:
- Be physically active: Exercise is the best way to reduce stress and tension. So, develop a habit of exercising daily to stay physically active and reduce your anxiety. It also improves your mood and keeps you healthy.
- Plan your trip: Planning before starting the trip would be best. In this way, you will not feel anxious about any mistakes. You can keep the following things in mind while planning:
- Research your destination: Always research the place where you are going. Try to find out the things that are commonly used by the natives and learn them. This way, you can easily mix up with them and will not feel like strangers around you.
- Make a packing list: Always make a packing list before packing your items. A packing list will not let you forget anything that you should need on the trip. Resultingly, you can enjoy your trip peacefully.
- Book your accommodations: A main cause of anxiety is the fear of organizing the residence area after reaching that place. That is why you should always try to book your accommodations and pay for them when you check them personally.
- Identify your triggers: There are some triggers that, when hit, the anxiety increases. They can be specific to traveling, such as planning a trip or boarding a plane. Resultingly, it impacts your blood sugar, caffeine, or stress. Psychotherapy is also a way to discover and work on these triggers.
- Practice relaxation techniques: Relaxation is the best cure for anxiety. So, practice some relaxation techniques to help you overcome your travel anxiety. These techniques include mainly two exercises:
- Deep breathing exercises: Deep breathing is a practice that enables more airflow into your body, which helps in calming down your nerves and reducing stress and anxiety. All you need to do is inhale the air deeply through your nose and then exhale it slowly through your mouth.
- Visualization techniques: Visualization techniques are powerful techniques that help you relieve anxiety symptoms. This technique uses mental imagery to achieve a more relaxed state of mind. It works just like daydreaming.
- Plan for responsibilities while you’re away: Sometimes anxiety happens due to various responsibilities at home, such as leaving kids, pets, or older people. However, when you plan for your trip and sort out all these issues, you can easily stay away from these worries.
- Seek Professional help: Sometimes anxiety attacks get out of hand. At that time, it becomes difficult to handle that person. All you need to remember these two points:
- Talk to a therapist: Always, at that time, have a conversation with a therapist. When you tell your circumstances to a doctor, it becomes easy to offer some solutions and help you overcome travel anxiety.
- Consider medication: Remember to take medication prescribed by doctors to control your anxiety attack. It also prevents you from being in any difficult situation.
- Travel with friends: Sometimes, you face anxiety attacks from traveling alone. The best solution to these anxiety attacks is always to travel with friends and relatives. This way, you will not feel lonely and enjoy adventurous trips and group activities.
- Embrace uncertainty: It is evident to have some uncertainty on your trip, such as sudden illness, some complications, etc. Everything can not be perfect all the time. For this, you need to follow these two things:
- Let go of perfectionism: Nothing is perfect in this world except for God. That is why you need to let go of perfectionism from you. In this way, you will enjoy your trip at the best.
- Take calculated risks: Taking some risks on the trip would be best. All you need to do is calculate some risks you may take on the trip, such as illness, loneliness, etc.
- Find the positives: Note all the positive experiences from this trip. This way, whenever you feel low, just look at this list, and you will feel encouraged again. Moreover, this technique will help you in calming your anxiety.
How to enjoy your trip?
When you do not have any anxiety attacks, you can enjoy the trip to the fullest. You will not worry about any other thing except enjoyment. Here are some tips that can help you in traveling alone and enjoy the trip:
- Be present: While enjoying your trip, the first thing you need to do is be present, except in the past or future. Do not worry about anything you left behind. At the time of the trip, just focus on these things:
- Take in the sights: Focus on the sights that soothe mind and body. You are there to enjoy and have peace, not worry about the office or housework.
- Engage with the locals: Making new friends and relationships with the locals on your trip would be best. This way, you get involved in the local celebrations and will learn new things about the place.
- Try activities as much as possible: Doing every activity on a single trip is impossible. That is why you should enjoy whatever you can enjoy on vacation. Do not forget to indulge in the local activities of the place. It will help you in learning new things there. Moreover, you will come across some new beautiful areas. Try to enlist the main attractions and visit them first and then move to others if you have time.
- Go with the flow: Sometimes, it is not necessary to have a trip imagined or dreamt of. So, it is better to go with the flow. You can choose how to react if you can not stop something unexpected from happening. Every time in such a situation, take a deep breath and think about how funny it will be when it’s all over.
- Try new things: While on the trip, never fear being involved in new things and adapting to the new environment. Be straightforward and involve yourself in all kinds of activities there. You can try the below-mentioned things:
- Try local cuisine: The taste of every place is different. It would be best to try local cuisine on your trip instead of having junk food or fast food. Eat food from the local market because that place is full of taste and deliciousness.
- Participate in local activities: Never forget to participate in local activities that are very popular at that place. It will provide you full enjoyment and feel you have fulfilled your dream.
- Take a break from technology: While on vacation, never use your technology and indulge yourself in social media. Instead of this, take a break from the internet and the social world and relax in a soothing and peaceful environment. Today’s generation is netizens and does not digest anything until they post online. But you have to leave all that behind.
- Reflect on your experiences: Do not forget to write your positive and negative experiences whenever you travel. For this, you can keep a travel journal containing all your experiences and learn from them in the future. You can also share your stories with others so that they can also learn from your past experiences.
It is not difficult to enjoy any trip. All you need is the courage to keep all your worries behind and enjoy the trip on a priority basis.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
1. Is vacation anxiety real?
Undoubtedly, everybody gets nervous at some time in their life. Some get anxious while performing; others get anxious while traveling. That is why travel anxiety is very common.
2. Why do you feel lazy on vacations?
You feel lazy on vacations because you love sleeping more than wandering in a beautiful new environment. You are catching up with your sleep.
3. What foods decrease anxiety?
Foods rich in magnesium may help a person be calm. For example, leafy green vegetables, such as spinach and swiss chard.
4. Is traveling not for everyone?
Indeed, traveling is not for everyone. Not everyone is so strong, calm, wiser, and more confident. But, if you are willing to do something and challenge yourself, traveling is for you.
In today’s busy and hectic schedules, enjoyment is necessary to relax body and mind. So traveling is the best option. And overcoming your travel anxiety is also necessary to travel to long and beautiful places. If you do not have anxiety attacks, you can enjoy the trip and let others enjoy it. You can apply the tips mentioned earlier not to have any kind of anxiety about traveling. Ultimately, you will find yourself in a good environment you have never imagined. That calming natural environment removes all your sorrows and fills you with happiness.