For some people, a solo backpacking jaunt around South America is not something they hesitate to undertake. But for many others, travel can be anxiety-inducing in more ways than one. From fears about flying, concerns about being away from home, to worries about getting ill, travelling can be challenging to say the least.
The good news for people looking to book their next escape is that there is support on hand and ways to reduce, if not remove, this anxiety. There are plenty of online resources available, and in a world of smartphones it’s easy to take advantage of them. There are a host of free, online apps available to download that can help address some common fears.
Those who find themselves getting anxious about catching their flight should check out App in the Air, a highly-rated mobile component that provides real-time flight updates and airport navigation maps and tips.
There are plenty of online resources available, and in a world of smartphones it’s easy to take advantage of them
For travellers who are concerned about language barriers and finding their way around a new place, iTranslate and Mapme can be useful tools. iTranslate allows users to easily translate text, websites or start face-to-face conversations in over a hundred different languages. Mapme is an online map and navigation tool that is a blessing to those who find themselves without internet.
Meditation apps are perhaps also worth exploring, such as the app HeadSpace. Practicing mindfulness has been shown to reduce stress levels and learning simple breathing techniques can be a good way to calm holiday nerves.
Practicing mindfulness reduces stress levels and learning simple breathing techniques can calm holiday nerves
A number of practical steps can be taken when planning and preparing for a trip to lessen anxiety.
Those suffering from general anxiety to extreme phobia about flying may benefit from taking the Fearless Flyer Course run by the airline company easyJet. The two-day course, which culminates in a test flight, has a remarkably high success rate and has helped over 3500 people overcome their fear of flying.
More generally, picking the right destination and travel companion is important to any holiday. Starting off with smaller holidays with a group of friends you’re comfortable with is a good way to build up to longer, less structured trips.
Investing in comprehensive travel insurance before departure is a helpful way to alleviate common fears about falling ill or losing luggage. Getting the right insurance policy that offers a generous excess is essential.
Picking the right destination and travel companion is important
While it can be tempting to overindulge, trying to eat and drink healthily for some of the holiday at least can reduce stress levels. Laying off the airport alcohol and opting for omega-3 rich foods can boost mood levels significantly.
Finally, the importance of planning cannot be underestimated. Reading guidebooks, browsing the Rough Guides and Lonely Planet, or reading the Boar may take some time, but the rewards most definitely pay off and will enable you to manage anxiety and enjoy travelling.