How to Overcome Your Travel Anxiety

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 23/02/2024

Travelling is a way to connect with different cultures, people and traditions. Travelling to different locations gives new experiences and memories to individuals. However, for some people, travelling may cause anxiety.

Planning a trip itinerary and finances can bring a lot of stress. Travel anxiety is something very common and can happen to anybody. In this guide, we will discuss all about the anxiety before a trip and how to overcome it.

Understanding Travel Anxiety Meaning

Anxiety is the feeling of fear that is developed when a body responds to stress. Travel anxiety is a fear of being in unfamiliar places. It can be a feeling of nervousness before an upcoming travel plan.

However, travel anxiety could mean different things to different people. Moreover, its intensity may vary and it can be from very mild to very severe. Some travellers feel very mild anxiety, while others feel high-functioning anxiety.

Different factors can trigger such types of anxiety; that is why it is essential to know what causes travel anxiety.

What Causes Travel Anxiety?

Pre-travel anxiety can be triggered in individuals due to several reasons. Below are some common causes of travel anxiety:

Fear of Flying - One of the significant occurrences of anxiety is when flying. Most individuals have a fear of flying, which leads to unnecessary stress. This fear could trigger anxiety when flying because of bad weather, air turbulence incidents, etc. This type of travel anxiety can happen to anybody, even after knowing that air travel is statistically very safe.

Out of Comfort Zone - Another significant reason that triggers anxiety before a trip is when an individual is doing something out of their comfort zone. The human brain responds positively to familiar things. However, if something is not familiar and out of comfort, it can lead to overthinking, which can lead to anxiety. This generally happens with an individual who travels rarely.

Horror Travel Stories- Consuming too much horror or criminal news before the travel plans can affect the person's mental well-being. It can cause individuals to overthink about unpleasant travel incidents, which can cause travel anxiety.

Mid-Trip Concerns - Some individuals develop anxiety during the trip as well by thinking about the destination, travel accommodation, unfamiliar location, insufficient finances and other things.

Past Experiences - Another significant cause that triggers travel anxiety is any bad past experiences. Bad experiences such as accidents, medical emergencies, etc., can have lasting impressions on the brain that can lead to travel anxiety.

Family History - Besides this, having anxiety is genetic in some individuals. If there is a case of mental health illness and anxiety in family history, then it can also be a reason for having travel anxiety

Common Travel Anxiety Symptoms

Understanding the anxiety symptoms is a necessary step to effectively managing and addressing them. Below are some of the expected travel anxiety symptoms:

  • If travellers feel agitated or restless before the trip.

  • If there have been cases of insomnia or any trouble sleeping before the trip.

  • Further, if travellers have difficulty breathing, chest pain and rapid heart rate.

  • Sometimes, travel anxiety can also lead to diarrhoea or nausea.

  • If the individual has difficulty focusing or lacks concentration.

How to Overcome Travel Anxiety?

Travel anxiety can be easily overcome before a trip. Some of the tips to overcome travel anxiety are listed below:

Understand your Triggers - The very first way to overcome travel anxiety is to understand the triggers. These triggers may come as you start planning for a trip or on the day of boarding. It can be a feeling of agitation, low blood sugar level, etc. By knowing your triggers, you will be able to work on them.

Plan for Trip Carefully - Another way to avoid travel anxiety is to plan for trips very carefully. Suppose an individual thinks of all the what-ifs in advance and prepares travel plans accordingly. Then, it may reduce the anxiety up to a certain level.

Decide Home Responsibilities While You are Away - In most individuals, anxiety may happen because they think about their house or kids or pets at home. Leaving kids and pets at home all alone can cause a lot of stress.

But by planning everything, you can reduce travel anxiety. By assigning the house, kids and pets duties to close relatives or family members, you can feel relaxed during the trip.

Take a Lot Of Distractions While Travelling - If anxiety is severe and causes a lot of stress, then another way to overcome it is using distraction. Distraction can be anything, such as video games, board games, web series, movies, music, etc.

By engaging in activities like watching movies or listening to music while travelling, individuals can divert their attention. It helps in putting a stop to negative thinking that happens due to anxiety.

Use Some Relaxation Techniques - Another meaningful travel anxiety treatment is employing mindful and relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises, journaling, etc. Such activities help in calming the nervous system. These techniques can reduce the anxiety level drastically.

Stay Active - Another way to overcome travel anxiety is to engage in regular physical activity leading up to your trip. Exercise is known to lower stress and anxiety by releasing endorphins, which are natural mood enhancers.

Travel with Friends and Family - Often, anxiety happens due to the fear of travelling alone. This can happen due to various reasons. However, it can be easily manageable if individuals instead of travelling alone, travel with their friends and family members.

Think About Positives of Travelling- Most of the time, anxiety builds up because we focus on thinking of all the negative aspects. But suppose an individual starts focusing on the positive outcome of travelling, such as making new friends, exploring new destinations, trying new cuisines, etc. In that case, the individual can reduce the travel anxiety.

Limit Caffeine and Sugar Consumption - Another way to overcome travel anxiety is to reduce the consumption of caffeinated beverages and sugary foods, as they can contribute to increased anxiety. Opt for hydrating beverages and a balanced diet to support overall well-being before a travel plan.

Use Medications - Lastly, if the travel anxiety is persistent and very severe, then it is best to reach out to the healthcare practitioner. The healthcare practitioner will suggest some medications and therapy sessions to deal with the travel anxiety.

These travel anxiety treatment medications offer instant relief to individuals to carry out their travel plans.

Importance of Having a Travel Insurance Policy to Overcome Travel Anxiety

Travel anxiety can be a very overwhelming process. It distracts us from planning a trip carefully. Instead of focusing on the good parts of travelling, our thoughts succumb to the negative ones. However, travel anxiety can easily be reduced if you buy travel insurance online.

A travel insurance policy is designed to provide peace of mind to individuals by offering financial protection and assistance in different situations that may arise during a trip. From trip cancellation insurance to medical coverage, everything is covered under the overseas travel insurance plan.

Tata AIG offers a comprehensive travel insurance policy tailored to your needs that can significantly reduce the financial and emotional stress associated with unforeseen events during your travels. It allows you to focus on enjoying your trip, knowing that you have a safety net in place.

Conclusion

Travel anxiety is very common and can happen to anybody. However, instead of worrying about it, it is essential to know what are the reasons for causing travel anxiety. By planning your travel in advance and employing some mindful techniques, travel anxiety can be controlled.

Further, if the anxiety is severe and causes lots of restlessness, then it is best to reach out to a healthcare practitioner. The healthcare professional will suggest some breathing techniques and prescribe some medications.

FAQS

How do I control my anxiety when I go out?

Individuals who face travel anxiety while going out need to use some meditation or breathing exercises to calm their nervous system. Besides this, preparing in advance about the outcomes may also help in dealing with travel anxiety.

Will anxiety go away eventually?

The trajectory of anxiety may vary from person to person, and its resolution also depends on a person's coping mechanisms.

For some individuals, it is a natural response to fear and naturally decreases over time or with effective coping strategies. While for others, it is more persistent and chronic and requires some medication.

How to cure travel anxiety naturally?

Managing and alleviating travel anxiety naturally involves adopting various strategies that promote relaxation, mindfulness, and a positive mindset.

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