Travel anxiety can fall upon anyone. While traveling may seem exciting, the thought of visiting a new and unfamiliar place and making travel plans can be stressful. On top of that, the hassles of waiting for a delayed flight, worrying about the obligations at home, and chaotic and noisy train stations, may worsen your anxiety.
Doctors don’t diagnose travel anxiety as an official health condition, though it can be so severe that it may prevent you from enjoying a vacation. Learning what it is, its symptoms, and how to overcome it may make you get into with peace and make your traveling experience bearable and interesting.
What is Travel Anxiety?
Travel anxiety is a complex and common feeling of depression that you may experience when preparing for a journey. It usually starts a few weeks before the date of your travel. It can be triggered by many things that you anticipate to happen before or during the trip.
The Causes Of travel Anxiety
A variety of negative traveling experiences may cause travel anxiety. According to a National Library of Medicine study, 65% of accident victims developed traveling phobia and anxiety. Additionally, the thought of visiting an unfamiliar environment may trigger it. If the area is a war zone, has harsh climatic conditions, is prone to plane crashes, or has unfriendly people, the thought of going for a vacation or trip in that place could make you develop travel anxiety. Besides that, biologically related risk factors can also cause anxiety disorders. A study published in PubMed Central found that some adults are prone to developing anxiety because of their genetic links. According to the research, taking a neuroimaging test that detects the changes in certain parts of your brain can help you know whether your anxiety is genetic or not.
Travel Anxiety Symptoms
Anxiety symptoms are not the same for everyone. However, there are common symptoms that most people have when they think about traveling. They include:
- Increased heart rate
- Chest pains
- Difficulty in breathing
- Reduced concentration
If these symptoms overwhelm you, you may suffer from a panic attack. During that attack, you may shake, sweat, and have a racing heart. Also, you may feel disconnected from your body and surroundings. If your symptoms worsen, you need to go for a diagnosis. Your doctor will use a DSM-5 to see if your signs point to an anxiety disorder. If the diagnosis shows you have a travel disorder, they may recommend using medication such as the effective CBD capsules or subject you to therapy.
How to Overcome Travel Anxiety
Because travel anxiety may negatively affect your life, knowing how to cope with it is crucial.
Here are some ways to manage your travel anxiety
1. Identify The Triggers
To overcome your anxiety, you first want to pinpoint what triggers it. It may be fear of boarding a bus or plane, planning a trip, traveling on your own, or fearing getting sick abroad. Whatever it is, could you write it down? Having it on paper will allow you to solve it better. If your fear is health-related, talk to your doctor. If it’s traveling on your own, booking a group tour trip may help. Tackling triggers one by one can help to reduce your anxiety, so you have an exciting journey.
2. Plan For Worst-Case Scenarios
When traveling, it’s good to hope for the best. However, in your excitement, you also need to plan for the worst. No one wants bad things to happen to them though sometimes it’s inevitable. So, if you don’t want to suffer from anxiety when you encounter problems, have a plan B. You plan B could look like this;
- If someone steals my money, I’ll contact my friend.
- I’ll have a map with me everywhere I go to direct me if I lose track.
- I’ll buy a travel insurance cover before commencing my trip for any emergencies abroad.
Attaching a solution to every worst-case scenario can drastically reduce your travel anxiety.
3. Carry Things That Can Distract You
If you’re into video games or watching movies, you need to carry your laptop with you as you travel. Games or movies can visually distract you and help you pass the time. If you love reading, the next time you board a plane, carry your favorite novel. It may give you comfort as you fly. Whatever it is that distracts you, remember to have it along your ride. Interesting distractions can drive away travel anxiety and give you positive things to focus on instead.
4. Research Your Travel Destination
The purpose of your trip should give you things to research about your destination. You need to research and book a hotel where you’re going to spend your night, write down emergency numbers, read articles about your travel destinations, and have a draft of what you’re going to do. Researching your destination will not only make you feel confident, but it will arouse your excitement as well.
5. Travel with a Companion
Loneliness is one of the things that can worsen your anxiety. If you feel anxious about traveling alone, travel with a companion. When you’re with your friends on a plane, there are many group activities that you can engage in that will help you to fight boredom. Having friends around you can also help you be more open and adventurous.
6. Use Medication
If all the other methods of combating anxiety don’t work out for you, you may need to use medication. Research conducted in 2017 discovered that using serotonin reuptake inhibitors can help to cure long-term anxiety. Antidepressants and benzodiazepines are also effective treatments. Before using these medications, however, you need to consult your doctor and ask for a prescription.
Experiencing travel anxiety may be challenging. However, your anxiety shouldn’t be the reason for canceling your vacation or trip. Knowing what causes it, its symptoms, and how to manage it can overcome your fears. However, it would be best to practice what you’ve learned and plan for your trips beforehand to eliminate travel anxiety.