Overcome travel anxiety with these five healthy expert tips

travel anxiety

A whopping 1.3 billion international tourist arrivals were recorded in 2023. Undoubtedly, travel has become an integral part of many people’s lives. And while it can bring many joys, it can also cause stress.

Five healthy ways to overcome travel anxiety

1. Understand your anxiety 

To be able to best cope with your travel anxiety, you need to have a good understanding of the things that actually cause it. Pinpoint specifically what is making you feel anxious about your trip – is it that you’ll be on the road for hours, that there would be things out of your control, that you would have to be surrounded by a lot of people at an airport? Once you understand what triggers your anxiety, you can ensure to plan ahead for the best ways to handle those triggers.

2. Create a detailed plan for your trip

One of the reasons for experiencing anxiety when travelling is that you’re being taken out of your comfort zone and won’t have full control over everything. To help ease that anxious feeling, try to plan out your trip in as much detail as possible. Write down an itinerary, either on paper, or you can make use of a trip planner app like TripIt, Wanderlog, or Sygic Travel, for every day that you can follow, which will give you a sense of control, but it’s equally as important to think of alternative plans of action for anything that could potentially not go as planned, so that you’re prepared.

3. Learn to use relaxation techniques  

Deep breathing by taking long breaths through the nose and then exhaling slowly through the mouth is a technique proven to help reduce any feelings of stress. Another useful way to calm your mind is by meditating, which can take many different forms from listening to music to focusing on your breath. To make sure you find the mindfulness technique that works best for you, try out a few different ones before your trip, so when the time for travelling comes you can use the most efficient one to set your mind at ease.

4. Ensure you have things that bring you joy  

Having things with you that generally bring you joy can be extremely useful in distracting you from your negative feelings. These can include physical items like a journal in which to write your thoughts, a book to read, or a game to occupy your attention. Alternatively, you can create a playlist of songs you love or make sure you have your favourite TV show (or movie) with you, as these will keep your mind occupied, decreasing your feelings of anxiety.

5. Take care of your physical health  

Being physically active is a great way to reduce feelings of anxiety and stress. Even if it’s just a long walk, make sure to incorporate physical activity in your days, especially the days leading up to your trip and if possible, during the trip as well. Spending some time outside and connecting with nature, be it only by visiting a park, can have a positive effect on your physical and mental being, which in turn will help reduce your anxious thoughts. 

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