Planning or going on a trip might be difficult when a person is anxious about travelling, but there are ways to deal with this.
Some people experience thrill or elation at the mere prospect of organising or embarking on a trip.
It can be exciting to travel, meet new people and experience new things. Others may experience the opposite reaction when they consider travelling.
The individual may experience sensations of worry and anxiety instead of joy and enthusiasm. Additionally, the anxiety, worry and fear increase as the departure date approaches.
A relaxing trip might become unpleasant due to pre-travel anxiety. There are techniques one can employ if travelling makes a person anxious.
Travel anxiety, often known as vacation anxiety, is a concern or fear that arises in relation to travelling.
It might be challenging to plan and go on holiday when a person suffers from travel anxiety. Even the thought of visiting a new location can make one feel fearful, apprehensive and extremely anxious.
Anxiety could make it difficult to experience new surroundings, learn new things or even travel to meet distant relatives.
Travel anxiety is a typical source of worry even though it isn’t a recognised condition. Travelling whenever necessary or desired might have a negative effect on health.
What causes pre-travel anxiety?
Any factor can cause someone to experience travel anxiety. There are times when an individual might worry about packing the proper clothes or forgetting anything necessary for a trip.
People can experience anxiety before a trip, regardless of the mode of transportation. Some people don’t mind flying, but the thought of a long vehicle ride makes them nervous. Others are wary of taking a cruise because they don’t want to get lost in the middle of the sea.
Others have uneasiness whenever anything involves leaving their familiar surroundings. These uneasy feelings can be brought on by several situations, including leaving family members at home—especially parents leaving a child for the first time, worries about unruly teenagers or even leaving a pet at home.
It’s rare that travel anxiety has just one single underlying reason. Pre-travel anxiety is a common lifelong condition. Some may experience anxiety as a result of previous anxiety-inducing travel experiences, and other people may have travel anxiety for no obvious reason at all.
Here are some instances of situations that may cause anxiety while travelling.
- Fear of flying – Flying phobia is probably the most prevalent problem among those with pre-travel anxiety. This widespread fear has been connected to several things, including the inability to exert control, fluctuations in air pressure, and a general feeling of discomfort and turbulence.
All these factors, particularly when a person becomes older, can cause the fear of flying. Since flying is a typical part of travel, it is common for these worries to interfere with the ability to manage anxiety.
- Horror scenarios – Some individuals are swayed by the worst-case scenario news articles they read. It’s simple to unconsciously link travel with catastrophe by reading news items about kidnappings, injuries and other mishaps.
- Home-sick – Some people also experience a fear of being away from home because home provides them comfort. Being at home becomes a symbol of safety for people who suffer from anxiety disorders like panic attacks or agoraphobia, for instance. The prospect of being away from home for a long time then becomes quite worrisome.
Symptoms of pre-travel anxiety
Depending on the symptoms or their severity, anxiety has varied effects on every individual.
- Anxiety attack
- Panic attack
- An irritable or agitated state
- A sense of tension or heightened alertness
- Increased heart rate
- Trouble concentrating
- Trouble falling or staying asleep
- Muscle tension
- Chest discomfort
- Stomach distress or nausea
Ways to overcome pre-travel anxiety
- Plan ahead
It is best to consider making preparations in advance if an individual is worried about “what if” scenarios. Even though one cannot plan for everything, knowing that they have all the bases covered can often make one feel more secure.
- Identify the triggers
Understanding what causes travel anxiety can help you come up with particular pre- and post-trip management strategies. Still, it may take some time and patience while discover what sets it off.
- Plan for responsibilities at home while you’re away
People with anxiety while travelling away from their homes have the thought of what might occur at home, and they can consider pre-planning while preparing for travel-related events. This can include asking a neighbour to water the plants or installing a security system or camera.
- Bring plenty of distractions.
If the mode of transportation gives you anxiety, think about packing something to occupy yourself while travelling. Reading, journaling, crossword puzzles, other puzzles, watching movies or TV shows, or any other easily portable activity one enjoys are some examples of distracting activities.
- Practice relaxation
Before a trip, people can calm themselves down and reduce anxiety by engaging in relaxation methods like breathing exercises, mindfulness meditation or mindfulness.
- Travel with friends
Consider inviting a friend or loved one to join the trip if the thought of travelling alone causes nervousness. This not only provides company in a strange place but having someone who is trustworthy nearby can also encourage new experiences and adventures.
- Consider medication
If other methods aren’t reducing the anxiety, think about discussing prescription choices with a doctor. This may involve taking anti-anxiety medications on a daily basis or only when a panic episode strikes.
- Find the positives in travelling.
The person can concentrate on the joyful moments ahead rather than worrying about the things that may cause a disturbance. Positive thoughts can assist in overcoming negative ones by reminding a person of the exciting activities, and good moments they’ll have while on vacation.
Each person experiences anxiety for different reasons. If an individual is terrified of the journey itself or the final destination, it might be helpful to separate the two.
Some individuals may have no problems travelling domestically but not internationally. Some people may find it ideal for traveling to an all-inclusive resort, while others may find it stressful to be locked in a place or on a cruise. It’s crucial to describe the phobia accurately to determine the type of fear and work on ways to overcome it.
Many people could be wary of travelling, especially if it’s their first time. An individual will become more familiar with what to anticipate through frequent travel.
Some travel-related processes, like passing through security checks, will become normal, and what could initially cause fear will eventually cause enthusiasm. Just keep in mind that anticipating worry in unfamiliar circumstances is common.
Self-confidence will increase with experience. If not, the treatments mentioned above are quite successful in assisting patients in overcoming their phobias associated with travel.
How do I deal with pre-travel anxiety?
To deal with pre-travel anxiety,
1. Concentrate on the task at hand.
2. Inform others of your travel plans.
3. Plan ahead.
4. Remind yourself of the purpose of the trip.
5. Before leaving, step outside your comfort zone, draw on the wisdom of others and take a deep breath.
What triggers travel anxiety?
Some people may experience anxiety when travelling because of unpleasant past experiences or because they suffer from an anxiety disorder. Specific activities, like driving or flying, may be related to travel anxiety. A generalised fear of people, being confined, or the unknown can also be a factor.
Is it normal to have anxiety before travelling?
Anxiety is inevitable and more prevalent than ever, given the realities of modern travel. Travel anxiety is more common these days.
How do you mentally prepare for a trip?
Mentally preparing for a trip involves,
1. Taking time to enjoy the journey as much as the final destination.
2. Not being afraid to say goodbye.
3. Stop using the phone.
4. Saying yes to fearful things to overcome fear.
How to overcome the fear of travelling?
1. Imagining successfully completing a trip safely.
2. Involving in breathing techniques.
3. Travelling with friends.
4. Calming oneself with positive thoughts helps overcome the fear of travelling.