We have been thinking about traveling to a certain destination for many, many years, and have been waiting for the “right” time to execute our plan. After many hours of discussion and research, we agreed that the timing was right. But, as I went to book our flight, my finger hesitated over the “Purchase” button. My mind went through the scenario of things that could go wrong. It lingered on the recent terrorist attacks and on long flights. The fear made me second guess my decision.
Have you ever been afraid to travel somewhere and all the uncertainties keep you from going?
Here are a few suggestions to help you overcome your travel anxiety:
- List the worst case scenarios.
This is something we learned to do before we launched into RVing. Talk about your fears and face them head on. What is making you nervous? Make a list of the worst possible things that could happen, and then talk through what your action plan would be in response. This is a great exercise to tame some of the fears in any area of your life!
2. Do your research.
Does it seem like the country you want to visit has an excess of safety concerns? Okay, then take out your laptop and do the research. The internet gives us a plethora of information on travel destinations. Look at the local news of the area you are considering. Read blog posts from people who have been there. What type of criminal activity is taking place in those regions? What time of day are these situations taking place? Are you reacting from fears of family and friends who tell you it’s too dangerous, but have never been there themselves? Very often the crimes taking place can be avoided in the same ways you avoid them at home.
Usually it is as simple as using common sense and taking the same security precautions in a new city that you would in your own home town.
3. Talk to someone who has traveled there recently and ask for advice.
Even if you don’t personally know someone who has traveled to your desired location, social media can be your friend. Facebook alone is abound with travel groups full of people who are happy to share their own experiences, give recommendations, and even offer links to assist you with attractions and lodging options. Talking to others who are currently there or have been there is an awesome way to ease your mind and better prepare you.
4. Take a tour.
If you still don’t think you can handle the anxiety of traveling to an unfamiliar place, why not try a tour? You will pay a bit more, but you can rest easier to have a local, professional planning your itinerary and whose job it is to make you get the most of the experience. Even booking several day tours that pick you up right from your accommodation can be a great way to travel.
5. Recruit friends or family to travel with you.
Last year we were nervous about crossing into Mexico, so we took our first day trip over with a family member who knew the area and showed us around. This definitely helped us to understand what to expect and also to eradicate many unwarranted fears. We’ve been back to Mexico two other times since then, once more for a weekend, and then for a 5 week trip! Both times we went along with family, and then to meet up with friends while we were there as well. Not only did we have an incredible trip, but we created special memories and count it as some of our absolute best travels yet!
If you are ever looking for travel companions, let me know. We welcome opportunities to travel with other families!