There’s a whole wide world out there to explore, but travel anxiety can hold some people back. Rather than surrender to the condition, it’s important to take steps to address it; how else will you be able to experience the thrill of foreign cultures and countries? Below are five steps to get the ball rolling on beating travel anxiety and to help you on your way to your next (or first!) holiday!
Choosing Your Destination
Your chosen destination will likely influence anxiety, especially if it’s a non-English speaking country. Where possible, seek out the advice of friends or family who have travelled there before. If you’re just starting out, consider travelling to an English-speaking country first.
If flying makes you nervous, try not to ignore the problem. It’s better to take steps to address it rather than simply hope it doesn’t become an issue when you depart. Prepare thoroughly for the flight with whatever best suits you: medication, breathing exercises, distractions (e.g. music).
For some travellers, simply getting out of the airport can pose one of the biggest challenges. Most airports have a public transit option, but this can be difficult to work out for first timers. Try to stick with a taxi, a shuttle or a private car. Be sure to do your research too; in many cases, a private car with a driver who’ll wait for you at the gate doesn’t cost much more than a standard taxi fare.
Fumbling with a paper map in a foreign city is not ideal for even seasoned travellers, so those prone to anxiety should certainly try to avoid it. The good news is that the solution is likely already in your pocket! Overseas data rates on your smartphone can run up nasty bills, but you can avoid this with specialty data packs or travel SIMs.
It’s a cost effective way to stay connected and avoid getting lost. Remember, Google is your friend and a smartphone can give you step-by-step directions to anywhere you want to go. Much better than a folded map!
Join a Group or Tour
If you’re concerned about travelling alone, especially in a country where you don’t speak the language, consider joining a tour group! Groups come in all shapes and sizes and aren’t necessarily for any specific traveller type or age group.