Did you know that 18% of the population of the United States are currently suffering from an anxiety disorder? About a quarter of that number are facing a condition that is medically classified as “severe anxiety”. There’s even a new problem in the mix, known as Parental travel anxiety, which is causing even greater degrees of stress.
The biggest problem with anxiety, is that the people who are suffering from it often know that their worries are unfounded, or even unreasonable – but that doesn’t make the experience any less frightening. For instance, in cases of travel anxiety, you don’t have to have had a traumatic experience at an airport, or on a plane to feel panic whenever you consider booking a flight to a foreign destination. Plenty of people find themselves getting uncomfortable when presented with the very idea of international travel.
Since we at Venture4th are all about helping you enjoy your vacation, and get more out of the world around you, we’ve put together some of the best tricks and tips for travelling with anxiety we can find. From using a TSA-approved padlock to avoid getting held up at security, to finding ways to distract yourself when the going gets tough.
1. Be Prepared
Regardless of whether you’ve suffered with travel anxiety for a long time, or whether you’re simply new to the idea and want to make sure you enjoy your vacation, one of the worst things you can do is put yourself in a position wherein you’ll need to deal with a sudden emergency. Dealing with airport security, or suddenly discovering that you have to leave part of your baggage behind is enough to raise the heart-rate of even the most confident explorer.
The best way to overcome these particular anxieties, is to prepare for everything – or at least as much as you can. One of the best tips for travelling with anxiety, involves doing your research ahead of time, and finding out the time of your flight, what baggage restrictions are in place, what information you’ll need to bring with you, and which accessories you can use to get through security faster (such as your TSA-approved padlock)
2. Make Up the Right Stories
When you already suffer with travel anxiety, it’s far too easy to let your imagination run wild with ideas of what “might” happen. Many people find themselves picturing the worst possible scenarios until they work themselves up to a point of near-delirium. These scenarios can range from forgetting to pack something essential, to missing your flight, or even being part of a crash.
If you want to enjoy your vacation, then you need to remind yourself that the stories you’re making up have no reason to be true. Therefore, for every doomsday scenario you create, try making up an equally detailed counter story that is positive, and comforting. Most of the time, your positive scenario is much more likely to take place than any of the negative ones you’ve been worrying about.
3. Educate Yourself
Perhaps one of the main reasons why you need tips for travelling with anxiety in the first place, is that you’re unsure how to determine the reality of what could happen to you when you step onto your flight, or arrive in your chosen destination. If the problem is lack of knowledge or familiarity, there is a way to tackle that.
Simply taking the time to educate yourself by reading stories online, learning about flight statistics, and even discovering as much as possible about your chosen destination can be enough to eliminate some of the unknowns that have been causing you stress. Once you’ve done the research, the chances are that you’ll end up feeling a lot better.
4. Look After Yourself
Our emotions aren’t just controlled by our surroundings, and existing fears – they’re also highly affected by our hormones, and activities. In other words, if you’re so anxious about your trip that you fail to eat properly, care for yourself or sleep soundly up to the moment you take off, then you might struggle more to enjoy your vacation.
One of the best tips for travelling with anxiety will always be to look after yourself, and remember that balanced blood sugar, and exercise can be just as important as ensuring you pack everything you need for your trip. Exercise to help your blood circulate before you hit the airport, and eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of snacks throughout the day to ensure your metabolism remains fired up and ready to work.
5. Find A Distraction
When fear sets in hard, it can be difficult to find the positivity required to overcome your anxiety and enjoy your vacation. In this case, one of the best things you can do is get through the most difficult part of the journey with as much distraction as possible.
Anxiety is like a rowdy child. If you distract yourself from it, and stop giving your fears so much attention for a little while, the stress inside of you will begin to subside. That’s why it’s often such a good idea to invest in a world-wide adapter plug alongside your TSA-approved padlock. With your charger at the ready, you can take a host of electronics with you to the airport, and on the plane, from your iPod for music, to a tablet for videos and games. Find the solution that occupies your mind best, and stick with it!
Overcoming Travel Anxiety
We hope that the above tips for travelling with anxiety will help you to become a more avid explorer over time, or at least assist you when it comes to ensuring you enjoy your vacation. Keep in mind however that if the thought of travel makes it difficult for you to function at all, or you have trouble keeping your fears in check, you might be best served by visiting your doctor. As we mentioned previously, travel anxiety is quite common, and a doctor might be able to help you overcome some of your issues.