Travel anxiety can creep up on even the most experienced adventurer. Perhaps it’s related to a fear of the unknown, a disruption to our regular routines, cultural or language barriers, or a perceived pressure to make the most of the experience. Whatever the issue might be, learning how to deal with travel anxiety involves ways to manage our emotions to ensure we can relax and fully enjoy our travel time.
How to deal with travel anxiety on the road
Learn Your Surroundings
Acquire as much info as you can about your route and destination to help visualize yourself in those places. The more you familiarize yourself ahead of time, the less intimidating it will seem.
Plan the Route
Ready yourself for layovers and connections. Establish if you will need to secure additional transportation like a bus, cab or ferry, to get to your final destination. Save your route in Apple Maps or Google Maps to help you navigate as you go. By knowing ahead of time each transfer you’ll need, you will avoid feeling like an obvious tourist or relying too heavily on needing outside help to commute. (But remember, it’s always okay to ask for help!)
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How to deal with travel anxiety on arrival
Unpack and Get Settled
An easy tip to deal with travel anxiety is to simply unpack your clothes and settle into your room once you arrive. Hang up your shirts, pull out your toiletries, etc. This helps to establish a safe cozy feeling for your home-away-from home while travelling.
It’s Okay to Ask for Help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help from locals or professionals. When checking into the hotel, ask the concierge for the scoop on secret hot spots or recommendations of local markets and food. Chatting with a local about their favourite places to see will help alleviate any travel anxiety related to FOMO (aka the Fear of Missing Out).
Deal with travel anxiety by staying positive
You Can Do Hard Things
Prepare yourself for a challenge by repeating the reminder that you can do hard things. Know that even with all your carefully laid plans, there is still a possibility for change. You might have to wrap your head around a new itinerary. You might have to re-route or deal with delays. Just remind yourself that you’ve got this. Take a deep breath and remember that this is all an adventure that you can totally handle.
Do it for the Plot
Some of our best stories can come from the occasions that go amiss. Sure, it’s not technically the best approach on how to deal with travel anxiety, but it could be a silver lining to that extra day stranded, the unexpected detour, or the luggage mixup. Find a way to make your wacky turn of events into a fun memory rather than additional stress.
The next time you find yourself feeling stressed or overwhelmed while travelling, try these tricks to deal with travel anxiety. Bon voyage!