We all know the feeling. You’ve been looking forward to this trip for AGES. You’ve been counting down the days, booking the flights, sending information to close friends and family and working every hour to save every pound you can.
Now your trip is only a couple of days away, and suddenly the nerves come in. Even though you’ve planned more than you can possibly do, you still don’t feel ready. At some point, the question comes in “what the hell did I sign up for?” This thought is multiplied by the number of days your trip is, and the more solo your trip is. But, if that question comes into your head, then you’re definitely on the right track.
Symptoms of Pre-Travel worries:
- Packing and repacking constantly
- Staring at the map of your destination for hours on end
- Mentioning your trip in every single conversation (really annoying)
- Wondering why you made your trip so long
- Reviewing your budget endlessly
- Checking your flight route and date 100 times to make sure you didn’t book the wrong day
- Checking transfer details over and over
- Going over your travel insurance with a fine tooth comb (sensible)
Travel anxiety is a very common and complex issue causing people to feel anxious or depressed when preparing for a trip and the subsequent weeks leading it up to it. So. how do you address these issues to overcome your anxiety and worry and to make sure whatever trip you are going on is worry free and and one that will create happy memories.
1. Pinpoint the source of the anxiety
You’ll be able to address the problem and find effective coping methods. Write down a list of everything that you’re feeling worried about. Is it a fear of flying? Are you worried about travelling abroad on your own or with children? Is it your first trip and you’re worried about getting lost or getting sick? Once you know the problems, you can tackle them.
2. Look after yourself in the run up to your trip
Even if you don’t normally experience anxiety, practicing a bit of self-care in the lead-up to a trip is a great way to avoid any anxiety triggers and feel cool, calm and collected before you leave. Make time for exercise; the benefits of exercise for our health, including anxiety and depression, are well-documented – even just an hour of exercise a day can lower emotional and stressful feelings.
3. Try meditation
Meditation has many benefits for the mind and for the nervous system including:
- Lower blood pressure
- Improved blood circulation
- Lower heart rate
- Less perspiration
- Slower respiratory rate
- Less anxiety
- Lower blood cortisol levels
- More feelings of well-being
- Less stress
- Deeper relaxation
A beginners technique to try is:
- Sit upright or lie comfortably.
- Close your eyes.
- Make no effort to control the breath; simply breathe naturally.
- Focus all your attention on the breath, without controlling its pace or intensity. Feel how the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation. Notice the movement of your body as you breathe. Observe your chest, shoulders, rib cage, and belly. If your mind wanders, return your focus back to your breath.
3. Research your destination
What are you going to do while you are away or on holiday? Where are you staying? Read up on where you’re going and plan ahead to alleviate any anxieties.
Book your hotel, at least the first night, in advance so you know exactly where you’re going when you arrive. Note down emergency service numbers as a precaution and research how to get around. Have an idea of what you want to do and read blogs about that destination for some inspiration. Not only will you likely feel happier with a plan in place, it’s also exciting to start making these plans!
4. Make the airline aware
Remember that fear of flying is one of the most common phobias, so airlines and staff are more than used to dealing with these fears.
Let the cabin crew know how you are feeling and if you’re travelling with friends or family, let them know too. Sometimes knowing that someone is there to help can help alleviate symptoms of anxiety. It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with normal aeroplane noises so they don’t sound alarming to you when on board.
5. Get to the airport worry and stress free
Not having a plan on how to get to the airport is an easy way to stress out. Booking a taxi in advance means you already have peace of mind that your cab will arrive at a time that’s already agreed on, and will take you straight to the airport for a prepaid fee. One less thing to worry about last minute.
6. And lastly, accept your anxiety
You can still be 100% prepared for your trip and still feel anxious – and that’s okay! Trying to not feel anxious can make anxiety worse, so don’t fight it, accept it. Learning how to reduce it from a massive problem to manageable annoyance is a win that won’t let it stop you from travelling.
Enjoy your time
Becky & Gavin – Sunkissedtogether