Traveling can be a stressful experience, especially for those who struggle with travel anxiety. To make your next trip less stressful, we have compiled a list of tips and hacks from seasoned travelers about how to help with travel anxiety.
According to a recent study, over 40% of travelers report feeling anxious when traveling. Whether it’s a fear of flying, getting lost in an unfamiliar place, or just the stress of planning a trip, travel anxiety can put a damper on your vacation.
To help alleviate travel anxiety, our experts suggest:
- Planning ahead: Make a list of everything you need to do before your trip and start checking off tasks early. This will help reduce the stress of last-minute packing and planning.
- Packing smart: Only pack what you need and bring travel-sized toiletries to save space in your luggage. Make sure to pack a few comfort items, like a favorite book or blanket, to help you relax during your travels.
- Practicing mindfulness: Take deep breaths and focus on the present moment to help reduce anxiety. Apps like Headspace or Calm can also provide guided meditation sessions to help you relax.
- Staying hydrated: Dehydration can make anxiety worse, so make sure to drink plenty of water throughout your trip.
- Getting support: Talk to friends or family members about your anxiety and seek professional help if needed. There are also support groups for travelers with anxiety, where you can connect with others who understand what you’re going through.
- Book direct flights: According to a survey by the International Air Transport Association, connecting flights can increase stress levels by up to 33%. Booking a direct flight can help reduce the stress of layovers and connecting flights.
- Use travel apps: Apps like Google Maps, TripAdvisor, and Duolingo can be valuable tools for reducing travel anxiety. They can help you navigate new places, find local restaurants and attractions, and even learn a new language before your trip.
- Pack a travel kit: According to a study by the University of Surrey, having a kit of familiar items can help reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality during travel. Include items like a favorite pillow, a book or magazine, and a sleep mask.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol: According to a study by the European Society of Cardiology, consuming caffeine or alcohol before a flight can increase anxiety and reduce sleep quality. Stick to water or herbal tea before and during your flight to stay hydrated and calm.
- Practice progressive muscle relaxation: According to a study published in the Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, progressive muscle relaxation can help reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality during travel. To practice, tense and relax each muscle group in your body, starting at your toes and working your way up to your head.
By following these expert tips and hacks, you can make your next trip less stressful and more enjoyable.
Leap Local founder Alex Kallen also adds:
“Travel anxiety can be a significant barrier to enjoying new experiences and exploring the world,” Leap Local founder Alex Kallen said. “At LeapLocal.org, we believe in empowering travelers to overcome anxiety and enjoy authentic, local experiences wherever they go.”
One of Leap Local’s favorite tips for how to help with travel anxiety is connecting with locals. Locals can provide invaluable advice on navigating new places, finding hidden gems, and experiencing local culture. They can also offer a sense of community and support, which can help ease anxiety and build confidence in travelers.
Another tip is to plan activities that align with your interests and values. When you’re engaged in activities that you enjoy and that have meaning to you, it can help distract from feelings of anxiety and create positive memories that will stay with you long after your trip is over.
We hope that these tips, along with those from other experts, will help travelers overcome travel anxiety and enjoy all the wonderful experiences that travel has to offer.