Passport? Check. Cute vacay outfit? Check. Travel anxiety? In check. From hectic airports, luggage troubles, and annoying delays travel anxiety can affect even the most zen person. While stress is a normal part of traveling, it doesn’t have to hamper your mood. Here are a few ways you can become a calmer and less anxious traveler.
Having a 100 percent stress-free travel experience isn’t possible. There are countless things that could go wrong. Sadly, there will be something inconvenient that happens. Anxiety oftentimes comes in when we want to control every aspect of our trip. The only thing you can do is focus on the things you can control and brace yourself for the inconveniences.
Identify What Causes the Most Stress
Recognize what gives you the most anxiety about traveling and take steps to find a solution for it. If you’re worried about your luggage getting lost, purchase a GPS luggage locator. Having nightmares about missing your flight? Set your alarm extra early to make sure you have ample time to get to the airport and go through dreaded security. Whatever your fear is, focus on logical ways you can avoid them.
When you’re anxious, you tend to hold your breath without even realizing it. Doing this increases your body’s stress repsonse. Instead, take a few moments to check in with yourself and breathe.
There’s nothing more anxiety-provoking than reaching in your bag and realizing you forgot your passport. *cue massive panic attack* However, you can eliminate this by making sure you have all of your essentials, passport included.
Educate Yourself If You’re Going Out of the Country
If you’re going out of the country, it’s wise to learn about local customs and logistics. Here are a couple of things to research:
- If you need a visa
- How to exchange currency at the best rate
- If the tap water is safe to drink
- What electrical outlets are used there
The power of visualization is real. Instead of ruminating about the worst case scenario happening, visualize yourself enjoying your trip. What fun activities do you plan on doing? What are you looking forward to most? Whatever it is, visualize it. This not only eases anxiety but it puts you in a better mood.
Are your thoughts surrounding traveling factual or overblown figments of your imagination? Examine your fears and challenge them with facts. If you’re reluctant to travel because of the overwhelming fear of being in a plane crash, think about statistics and the odds of that happening. Don’t let your baseless anxieties prevent you from enjoying your trip.
When you’re anxious, it’s easy to focus on how terrible you feel—this only makes your anxiety worse. Instead, distract yourself from the sensations you feel. This could be in the form of watching your favorite movie or listening to a podcast. It’s important to divert your attention and remind yourself that the negative feelings you have will pass.