5 Tips to Help Travel Anxiety


As travel continues to ramp up, travelers are beginning to express concerns about upcoming travel plans, whether it's traveling anxieties or anxiety about re-entering the world after COVID lockdowns. Mental health professionals created the term "reentry anxieties" to address these rising concerns. According to a study by the American Psychological Association, nearly half of Americans feel uneasy about adjusting back to in-person activities, including travel. Use the following tips to help calm anxieties as travel resumes.

Tip #1 Take a gradual approach
Acclimating from lockdown to traveling on a plane again may be more manageable by taking a gradual approach. Take small steps to expose yourself to more densely populated areas depending on your comfort level and local regulations. Start by taking a walk around the block, visiting a local park or store, and other familiar places you used to frequent until you feel comfortable. Easing back into travel can help calm and increase your confidence in worrisome situations.
When you are ready to book a trip, consider taking a 'trial run' before planning a bigger trip. Start by choosing a familiar or closer destination and booking shorter or direct flights until you feel comfortable visiting new places or traveling further distances.

Tip #2 Stay informed
Avoid ambiguity by asking questions and doing the research before traveling. Research the restrictions of your destination and contact hotels, restaurants, and other points of interest ahead of time to stay informed and avoid surprises. If you are visiting friends and family, communicate any questions or concerns ahead of time. Having your concerns answered and acknowledged will provide comfort while anticipating the trip and traveling to your destination.

Tip #3 Create a travel routine
Whether it was wiping down your seat before take-off, listening to certain music, or using your favorite travel pillow, we all tend to follow our own list of travel rituals to make us feel secure. Many of the anxieties people feel around travel stem from what they cannot control. Sticking to a travel routine helps us focus on what we can control, distracting us from any stress and establishing a safe environment.

Tip #4 Make a plan
You've booked the trip and done your research. Next, create a plan of activities ahead of time so you have things to look forward to once you've reached your destination. Having the details of exciting plans helps to keep you from worrying about the unexpected. Booking reservations in advance is also still encouraged to ensure your group can be accommodated and adhere to social distancing regulations. 

Tip #5 Be kind to yourself
The uniqueness around the current situation we live in comes from the fact that the entire world is going through it collectively. Remain proactive by understanding what your anxiety stems from rather than judging yourself for feeling anxious. Also, understand that most people around you are probably feeling the same way. Then, find techniques that will help calm you including affirmations, breathwork, meditation, journaling, or exercise. Don't be afraid to seek help from a mental health professional if you feel your anxiety is severe.

Posted: 5/7/2021 10:00:00 AM