Travel anxiety is common among many of us. Even the most chilled of beings can experience an attack of panic and stress.
While exploring somewhere new is always fun, there’s the hassle that comes with it too. Delays, airport security, language barriers, leaving the children or pets at home, large crowds – all of which can cause negative feelings. Then we have the big one, flying.
According to research, over 21 million Brits have a fear of flying. This excessive worry surrounding air travel affects one in ten of the population, but with flying being the safest form of travel it really is nothing to be scared of.
So, how can we overcome travel stress and anxiety for a smooth worry-free holiday? Follow these top tips to get started…
Identify what causes you stress
The first step in improving your travel anxiety is to pinpoint the processes that make you feel the most stressed. Is it the queuing? The thought of being late? Flying itself?
In order to work on the particular area, you need to understand what it is and then take steps to fix it. For example, if you are worried about missing your flight, set your alarm a little earlier and plan to rock up a few hours early. Sure, it is a little inconvenient, but if it means grabbing a bite to eat and feeling calmer, it will be worth it.
Avoid last-minute panics
The key to a successful trip is preparation, and that doesn’t just mean booking your hotel and dinner reservations. Think logistically, is your passport still in date? Do you require a visa? Have you remembered to purchase travel insurance or organised car hire in the UK or abroad, ahead of your holiday?
Writing yourself a standard checklist for when you go away will help you to feel at ease and prepared with no last-minute dashes to the passport office. Eek!
Consider a nervous flyers course
The thought and experience of flying can be a real cause for concern for some. After all, cruising at 30,000 feet in the air will never feel totally natural.
If flying is affecting your ability to travel, don’t suffer in silence. There are many ways in which this can be helped and to train your brain to think logically rather than jumping straight to a worst-case scenario.
Many airlines now offer brilliant nervous flyer courses, with success rates standing on average at 98%. Supported by clinical psychologists, these courses are designed for those with mild anxiety, all the way up to crippling fear.
Use calming apps
There really is an app for everything these days and it might just be the key to reducing your stress and anxiety when it comes to travelling.
Providing easy access to mindfulness, meditation and relaxation sounds and activities, you can find the perfect app that works for you.
Guided meditations can be particularly useful when trying to switch off and calm yourself and it’s worth downloading a series for your flight to take your mind away from the situation.
Take a break
If you are finding elements of your trip such as busy crowds and long queues particularly stressful, don’t be afraid to take a break. Retreat to your hotel room for a breather if you are struggling to cope or check into a spa for a relaxing treatment. Swimming can also help, so if your hotel is home to a pool, go and take a relaxing dip.
Follow these tips and you can relax and enjoy the holiday – ensuring it is a break from your everyday stresses, not something that adds to them.