The Ultimate Guide to Traveling With Anxiety

by Jeanne
United Premium Plus Dining Menu Hayley

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot from traveling with anxiety. I’m more aware of what I love, what I hate, and what’s worth the risk. Everyone’s journey will be different, but that’s part of the beauty of life (and travel!). We blaze our own paths. 

Of course, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has added a layer of stress to our lives. No matter how you look at it or what you believe, the world has been changed by it. Now, in addition to the garden variety travel anxiety, we’re seeing people with post-COVID vaccine travel anxiety — and I get that. I really do. 

Before we dive into this, I’d like to say something important. If you live with anxiety (or any other mental illness), you have no reason to feel ashamed. We are all fighting invisible battles, and it’s incredibly brave to be open and vulnerable about what you’re working to overcome. When you surround yourself with supportive people and find strategies for coping, there’s truly nothing you can’t accomplish. Believe in yourself. It will change your life. 

What Are the Symptoms?

If you’ve never experienced anxiety, you might not recognize the symptoms. The reality is, though, that anxiety can manifest in many different ways. According to the Mayo Clinic, the following are general signs of anxiety:

  • Feeling nervous, tense, or restless
  • Having a sense of impending doom, danger, or panic
  • Rapid breathing (hyperventilation)
  • Increased heart rate
  • Feeling weak or tired
  • Trembling
  • Sweating
  • Struggling to concentrate or “think straight”
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Experiencing gastrointestinal problems (like nausea or diarrhea)
  • Wanting to avoid things that trigger anxiety
  • Having difficulty controlling worry

If you feel like you identify with any of those symptoms, it might be worth talking to your healthcare professional. You could also check online inventories such as this Generalized Anxiety Disorder Self Test (GAD-7).

Travel anxiety can be triggered by a variety of things. To learn more about this, check out our blog post Travel Anxiety: Symptoms and Coping Strategies. We discuss strategies for coping with anxiety brought on by situations including:

  • Pre-travel anxiety
  • Fear of flying
  • Checking into a hotel
  • Getting sick while traveling
  • Trying new foods while traveling

There are no hard and fast cures for travel anxiety. With patience, time, and practice, though, you can learn to more effectively manage the symptoms when things get stressful. 

How to Cope with Travel Anxiety

Take a look at the list of anxiety symptoms listed above. None of those things feels good. Travel anxiety (or any type of anxiety!) can leave you feeling out of control and alone. It’s so much scarier, though, when you’re away from home. 

So, what can you do about it?

Learning to manage my anxiety symptoms was key to reclaiming my life. As someone who also lives with OCD, I can tell you that it’s not always easy. So, above all else, you should always respect your boundaries and acknowledge what you’re feeling.

Trying to put on a brave face or pretend you’re not feeling anxious won’t solve anything. The moment I started accepting myself for who I am and subtracted shame out of the equation, things started to add up. 

Deep Breathing Techniques for Anxiety

You would be amazed by how much breathing can change how you’re feeling. When I’m feeling anxious I tend to hold my breath and hunch up my shoulders. Neither of those things makes me feel any better. As soon as I focus on my breathing, things start to turn around. 

In this blog post, we share techniques including finding calm through exhaling, equal breathing, and 4-7-8 breathing for anxiety and insomnia. We try to update that post regularly, so check back often or download great apps like the Insight Timer. 

Essential Oils for Travel Anxiety

I’ll admit that I’ve always believed that powerful smells can impact our moods. Think about the last time you smelled freshly baked cookies or rain in the air. Chances are those scents brought up some emotions. Why not use our senses intentionally to help with anxiety?

We have created a list of the best essential oils for travel anxiety. Choose the right now based on your preferences and needs. We’ve included links to scientific research also that supports how each of those essential oils can impact anxiety and our sense of well-being. When we travel, we always have a small diffuser with us so that our hotel room can feel like a sanctuary.  

Avoid Getting Sick While Traveling

Many people feel anxious about getting sick while traveling. These fears have been worsened, of course, by COVID-19. We have worn masks and used copious amounts of sanitizer for years, so this is something that works for us. We know that masks have become political for some sad reason, but if they make you feel more secure and safe, ignore the haters. 

Aside from that, we’ve shared natural ways to stay healthy while traveling as well as the carry-on essentials we can’t live without. Also, we met while working at a travel insurance company, so it’s something we absolutely recommend. It’s important, of course, to thoroughly read the conditions of your coverage before buying a policy!

Holiday Travel Anxiety

There are so many reasons why people feel anxious when traveling during the holiday season. Even during a pandemic, the airports were packed. You’re shoulder to shoulder with swarms of stressed-out travelers waiting to see if the weather has impacted your flight. 

Maybe your plane is overbooked and people are getting bumped. What about all those gifts — will they make it to your destination? Any family feuds or tension waiting for you after you land? There’s soo much to think about. If you’re feeling worried, we’ve got tips for that too! 

Air Travel With Anxiety

Do you ever feel anxiety at airports? What a coincidence — me too! All jokes aside, though, this is probably the most stressful part of any trip for me. Once you enter the airport, so much is beyond your control. 

  • Have you been bumped from your flight?
  • Are you going to be forced to check your bag?
  • Will you get past security?
  • Is your flight on time?
  • Has the weather caused delays or cancelations?
  • Will your seatmate be healthy?
  • Does this airline offer snacks?
  • Has your gate been changed?

We really could go on and on and on. When so many things are beyond your control, the only thing you can do is focus on what you can actually do to feel more prepared. Here are some suggestions:

  • Enroll in TSA Precheck. We’ve found that this really streamlines the airport experience and allows us to keep our shoes on. 
  • We try to avoid flying through the most delayed airports. If we can’t avoid it, we take extra measures to prepare for potential problems. 
  • Plan appropriately for long-haul flights by packing what you need and dressing comfortably. 
  • Finally, we’ve learned what to do when our flights get delayed. Again, that old travel insurance experience comes in handy! 

Can CBD Help?

Whether to use CBD products is a personal decision. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of confusion that keeps people from accessing therapeutic options that could really help them. You’re not going to get high from CBD, but you might find it helps with travel anxiety. To learn more, read our blog post about CBD and anxiety

Keto Diet

For two years, my daughter and I followed a pretty strict low-carb diet. What we learned was that eating keto helps anxiety. At least for us! We found great recipes we could make at home, but also discovered that many restaurants will accommodate keto requests — even in Vegas! Before adopting a low-carb eating routine, it’s a good idea to check with your healthcare professional. 

How to Help Someone with Anxiety

Does your travel companion live with anxiety? It can be hard to know what to do, or how to help. Being impatient or judgmental, though, won’t make things better. We’ve written a quick guide for tips on how to show support for someone with travel anxiety. We hope our suggestions help! 

Theme Park Visits

Every year, even with a deadly virus circling the globe, travelers couldn’t stay away from theme parks. We didn’t make any visits, but we can certainly understand the allure. Despite how germy and chaotic they can be, amusement parks are among our favorite destinations. 

If you’re feeling a bit anxious, our best suggestion is to “know before you go.” Visit the theme park’s website and get familiar with its rules and regulations. If you can’t follow the guidelines, don’t go. We’ve also shared tips on how to overcome fear on roller coasters and rides to help make your visit more thrilling! If you’re concerned about getting sick, follow our tips to avoid germs at theme parks. Nothing is foolproof, but it might help!

What I’ve Learned From Traveling with Anxiety

Whether you’re dealing with a fear of flying, are stressed by crowds, or have germaphobia, you can take small steps towards learning new ways to cope and manage your symptoms. Here’s what I’ve learned from traveling with anxiety.

I’m Stronger Than I Thought

Living with anxiety sure has been hard on me, at times. There have been so many moments when self-doubt threatened to completely derail my life. My OCD questions me constantly, and there were things, like traveling back to Japan, that I never thought I could do again. Yet, here I am writing a travel blog all about my adventures! 

Jeanne Jim Haberl Hut Tantalus Mountain Range

For years I was too scared to get on small roller coasters, but did I tackle Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point? Yes! Did I ever think I’d find the courage to climb a mountain in the Tantalus Range of British Columbia? Nope, but I did It! How about winning a Transformation Challenge fewer than two years after giving birth to twins? Yep, I did that too! 

There are moments when I really struggle, but I’m learning to see that everyone does. It doesn’t mean I’m defective or less than anyone else. I’m human — but I’m strong as hell!

Disasters Can Be Survived

One of my biggest fears has always been getting sick while traveling. That’s why I wrote a hotel guide and airplane tips to avoid coming down with something on vacation. Until it finally happened (twice!) I just thought that a situation like that was something I could never survive. 

Montreal Traveling with Anxiety

The first instance was absolutely horrible. I came down with a terrible virus that left me on the floor vomiting (and more!) at a grocery store. My kids had to call an ambulance and Josh had to fly out to get me. By the time I was wheeled into the hospital, I was laughing to myself about how embarrassing it all was. 

Then, during a trip up to Montréal, Josh contracted norovirus. He was doubled over a toilet for hours, which was a complete nightmare for me. Not only was I scared that I’d catch it, but I was also worried it would derail my plans to spend time with my grandmother. Instead of succumbing to the anxiety, I kept up with my natural remedies, stayed healthy, and actually helped him through the long trek back to Idaho!

Lots of People Have Travel Anxiety

We were on our way home from Columbus, Ohio recently when our flight was delayed. Everyone was disappointed, but one woman started sobbing uncontrollably. With sympathetic eyes, I looked over at her, assuming I knew what was going on. When my grandmother was dying, my flight was delayed and I started panicking because I thought I’d miss being able to say goodbye. 

Airport Luggage Travel Anxiety SeaTac Airport

When we boarded the flight, I noticed the same woman sitting across the aisle from us, but quickly got caught up in my own life. We’d just scattered some of Granny’s ashes in Detroit and were discussing the experience. She caught my attention again, however, when she started weeping after we landed. We hadn’t been assigned a gate and we would be delayed getting off the plane. She cried, “I just want to get off of this plane!” 

Reaching over, I asked if I could help and she simply said, “I’m okay. I’ve just got really bad anxiety and I hate being on airplanes. I just want this flight to be over!” We embraced and shared our stories of overcoming those feelings of being overwhelmed in order to travel and enjoy our lives. Others chimed in. Traveling with anxiety isn’t rare — it’s pretty common but we just don’t talk about it. I’m writing this blog in hopes of bringing my tribe out of the shadows. 

Most Amusement Parks Are Awesome

For a long time, amusement parks really freaked me out. There were so many things that triggered my OCD. First of all, theme parks are full of people, many of whom might be sick. Then, I’m supposed to get on rides with people who have been coughing or worse!

Canada's Wonderland On Ride Yukon Striker

On top of that, the rides themselves seemed terrifying. Were they safe? Would I be thrown from a roller coaster and fall to my death? Why would anyone get on thrill rides, anyway? Why would you think something like that is fun? It just didn’t make sense to me. Those thoughts, and more, were the types of things I said to myself when I would think about amusement parks. 

Then, I came up with strategies for making myself feel safer around all the germs lurking on the seats and lap bars. After that, I started learning more about how to prevent motion sickness. Finally, I researched how to overcome my fear of roller coasters — and then I did it! I’m so grateful, too, because visiting amusement parks has added so much joy to my life! 

Long-Haul Flights Can Be Worth Traveling with Anxiety

Fear of flying is pretty common, but my reasons for feeling terrified during a flight are different than most. While some are preoccupied with the safety of an aircraft, I’m worried that someone sitting near me will be coughing, sneezing, or vomiting. As such, even though it was fine in my youth, my older self wanted to avoid long-haul flights at all costs. 

ANA Air Travel Japan

When my youngest daughter showed an interest in Japan, I knew I wanted to take her. More than 20 years after my first trip, I still thought about it all the time. In order to get there, though, we’d have to be on a plane for hours. Ultimately, I decided it was worth it and we went. 

To make traveling with anxiety a little easier, we packed masks, hand sanitizer, wipes, and all of my favorite essentials in my carry-on. We prepared for staying in hotels we’d never seen before — and then we had the time of our lives. There’s no doubt that we would do it again in a heartbeat.  

My Anxiety Has a Culture

While I was born in Canada and currently live in the United States, my heart belongs to a different country. By now, you’ve probably guessed that it’s Japan. I’ve been to many other places in the world, but nothing compares to how I feel when I’m walking down the streets of Osaka. 

Face Mask How Japan Helped My Anxiety and OCD Hello Kitty Train

The way things are organized, the respect people have for each other, the way food is packaged (so that you don’t have to use your dirty fingers), the fact that it’s normal and encouraged to wear a mask when you’re sick… it’s almost like an entire society designed to soothe my anxiety! 

Obviously, that’s not the case, but Japan still feels like home to me. When I’m there, it doesn’t feel like I’m traveling with anxiety much at all. In fact, it does wonders for my anxiety and OCD, and I hope to live there in the future. My daughter felt the exact same way. 

Commit to Working on Your Travel Anxiety

Anxiety can make you feel like you’ve lost all control over your life. If you’re in the middle of an anxiety attack, it can even feel like you’re dying. The idea of trying to overcome anxiety can be overwhelming. It’s even worse if you’ve tried in the past, but feel like you failed. 

Avoid Getting Sick During Cold & Flu Season Travel Face Mask How Japan Helped My Anxiety and OCD Hello Kitty Train

There was a time when my obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) was so strong that I almost gave up. After years of feeling like I wasn’t getting anywhere, I’d become resigned to my fate. Fear of poor food handling meant we stopped going out for meals. The only place we shopped was was Walmart in the middle of the night to avoid being around other people. We never went to the movies and avoided malls. 

It took nearly two years, but I looked around and realized that I wasn’t fighting back. My OCD and anxiety were winning and robbing me of living a full life. Rather than give up, I started seeing a therapist. For eight months, she taught me about mindfulness, deep breathing techniques, and eliminating shame. 

There was no need to be embarrassed by my anxiety — and that was the most important lesson I learned. It gave me the freedom to openly come up with strategies for feeling more at ease on flights and in hotel rooms. That would have never happened, though, if I hadn’t made the commitment to work on my anxiety. It’s hard work, but you can do it! 

Set Goals

People get really hung up on “New Year’s Resolutions,” which is why I’m not a fan. There’s just a different type of pressure associated with them, so I make goals, instead. Think about one or two things you really want to accomplish and then come up with small, actionable steps you can take to get there. 

You don’t have to share your goals with anyone, by the way. I’m one of those people who keeps those things to myself. I’ve found that people tend to put doubt in my mind or make me question myself. Sometimes, it’s best to just quietly focus on what you need to do, then you can share your success with everyone when cross the finish line! 

Stop Apologizing

I’m Canadian, so apologizing is kind of in my nature. All jokes aside, though, while it’s important to say sorry when we’re wrong, we need to stop apologizing for our dreams. You don’t need to explain yourself to anyone, even people who question the environmental impact of travel. 

There are many ways to offset your carbon footprint as you travel. You can choose sustainable destinations and hotels or you can donate to sites such as Cool Effect, an organization that accepts travel offset donations and puts the money towards green initiatives. Finally, don’t apologize for who you are — especially your anxiety. Instead, you can thank people for being patient or compassionate. Just don’t feel bad for being yourself.

Make Travel Plans

Where should you travel this year? People are always jetting off to Europe or the Caribbean. Why not try something a little different. As mentioned, I grew up in Canada so I’m a little biased, but I think it should be on your bucket list. Just keep in mind that, in most parts of the country, you could see snow from September through May. Keep an eye on the forecast!

Vancouver Olympic Cauldron
Vancouver Olympic Cauldron

Here are some suggestions to help you plan a trip to Canada:

While we currently live in the United States, I’ve always considered my second homeland Japan. Trust me, I’m trying to get there! It’s the perfect destination for travel in 2020 because the Summer Olympic Games are being held in Tokyo! If you’re planning to visit, learn about the culture and customs before you arrive. Also, read our guide to the Shinkansen train system and Japan Rail Pass. 

Universal Studios Japan Wizarding World of Harry Potter Hogwarts

Here are some suggestions to help you plan your first trip to Japan (a very environmentally-conscious destination):

One last thing about Japan — it’s more affordable than you think. You can grab ready-made items from convenience stores and get cheap eats from inexpensive restaurants for very, very little. On our last trip, we spent about $30 a day on food for two people, and that included splurging! 

How to Overcome Travel Anxiety

You’re motivated and ready to pack your bags, so why would you let travel anxiety derail your travel plans? Of course, there’s no easy fix and working through anxiety takes time and a lot of effort. That being said, here are some things you can do to prevent travel anxiety before your trip.

Identify Your Triggers

You can’t calm your fears unless you understand them. Think about what’s holding you back and focus on addressing it. You might be tempted to avoid this entirely, but you’ll get a lot further by tackling it head-on.

Communicate Better About Your Travel Anxiety

It can be hard to say what you want to say, especially when you’ve got anxiety. There have been many times in my life when I’ve realized that the frustration I was feeling was my own fault. I wasn’t telling people what I wanted or needed. As a result, I suffered. 

In 2020, make yourself a priority by learning to communicate better. Share how you’re feeling. Ask for what you need. Set clear boundaries. Learn to say no. Yes, this is very hard work, but if you put in the effort, I promise it will be worth it. Give the people around you time to adjust, because they will be surprised, but don’t cave. You need and deserve to make yourself a priority.

Research Your Destination

Many people with anxiety really hate surprises, we also fear the unknown. Before you book your trip, find out about the area so that you can be prepared. The internet is filled with incredible resources, from blogs to official tourism sites. There are some great travel apps out there, too. 

You don’t want to get somewhere and discover they don’t accept credit cards. You also don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars in unexpected resort fees when you thought you’d already paid for your all-inclusive vacation. By preventing unexpected surprises, you can avoid triggering events and continue to enjoy your trip!

Have a Plan, But Rethink the Itinerary

We’re all planners in this house. I’ve got notes and Google docs for all my trips to serve as reminders of what I want to do, see, and eat on my visit. Whenever we go somewhere, it’s heavily researched, so that we know what to expect. 

*A travel plan is not the same as an itinerary*

The rigidity of an itinerary, when you’ve got every detail of your trip on a tight schedule, can actually increase travel anxiety. There’s a good chance that something will go wrong (flight delays, long lines, not bringing cash, closed attractions, etc…), and if you’ve got your heart set on doing things a certain way, it could be very upsetting and trigger your travel anxiety. 

We suggest looking at all the options and then prioritizing what everyone in your group wants to do (this is much easier for solo travelers!). Do the most important stuff first, then come up with a loose plan for everything else. Accept that you might not see everything on your wish list, and that’s okay. Some of our favorite travel moments were unplanned! 

Set Aside Emergency Money

We won’t lie to you. There have been many trips when we were traveling well outside our budget. Our credit cards were maxed out and our bank account was empty. We have no regrets! At the same time, though, it’s really not the smartest way to travel. 

In the weeks (or months) leading up to your trip, set aside loose change in a jar. Make that your emergency money. Build it up as much as you can and then before you travel, exchange it for bills/local currency, put it in a savings account, or onto a credit card. Guard that money carefully and save it in case something happens. You should always have a backup plan when traveling, especially overseas. 

Learn the Language

I’m allergic to fish and seafood, so I’m always nervous about trying new foods. What if I start having a reaction and need medical assistance? One of the best ways to keep my travel anxiety in check (and stay safe!) is to learn some important phrases. This will take some effort and planning on your part, but we highly recommend it. 

Not only will it make your everyday interactions go more smoothly on your trip, but it could be life-saving in the event of a natural disaster, outbreak of violence, or health-related emergency. Grab a guidebook from Lonely Planet or use Rosetta Stone (we recommend both). It’s a worthy investment! 

Buy Travel Insurance

Josh and I met while working at one of the world’s biggest travel insurance providers. While there, we worked together in one department for a while, then we each spent time in other areas of the company. As a result, we’ve got a pretty rounded perspective on why having a travel insurance policy is a good idea. 

Like any insurance, you may spend money on it and never need it. Instead of seeing this as a waste of resources, be grateful you’ve never had to file a claim. We’ve spoken to people who were experiencing major issues while traveling (I was even a medical case manager!) and we can tell you that having coverage can mean the difference between life and death.

Get Healthy

You can’t control everything (I live with chronic medical conditions myself), but you should make every effort to get healthy. What that means is different for everyone (for example, the keto diet helps my travel anxiety), but the goals should look something like this:

  • Get enough sleep every night
  • Stay hydrated
  • Declutter your home
  • Clean up your diet
  • Move your body for 30 mins every day
  • Get into a healthy weight range
  • Stretch before bed at night
  • Develop strategies for coping with stress and anxiety
  • Consider unplugging from technology every day

Why is it important to get healthy? When we don’t feel our best, it impacts our mental and emotional health. Not getting enough sleep, carrying extra weight, or eating a poor diet can also leave us feeling sluggish. Life is busier than ever, so it’s even more important to make good health a priority.

Orangetheory Transformation Challenge Keto for Travel Anxiety
Winning the Orangetheory Transformation Challenge!

Keep your health a priority even when you’re traveling by planning an active vacation. Choose destinations that will challenge you. Then, use that as a goal to motivate you to become more physically fit. Want to climb Japan’s Mt. Fuji? You’ll have to work hard to prepare! 

Change Jobs

Do you feel stuck in a job that you hate? That’s the kind of thing that wears down your soul. I’ve been there, and it’s awful. When you’ve got bills to pay and mouths to feed, though, sometimes you just do what you’ve got to do. It can feel like you don’t have any options, but many times, we’ve got choices that we take for granted. 

You may need to upgrade your education or training or have a conversation with your boss, but there are often things you can do to make earning an income less painful. When my three oldest kids were young, I decided to go back to school. My health was not great, so I signed up for online classes. In three years, I completed a four-year degree. It took a lot of sleepless nights and tears, but it went well enough that I signed up for graduate courses too. 

Today, I’m teaching online classes. I’m also contributing articles to multiple websites and writing this blog. As a remote worker, I can review assignments and put together blog posts from anywhere in the world. My travel anxiety no longer includes worrying whether I’ll get the time off from work — I bring it with me. I’ve even graded papers on a bullet train speeding between Osaka and Tokyo! If you’d told me this would be my life 15 years ago, I would have never believed it. It took a lot of effort, but I came up with a plan and followed through. You can do the same!

Change Cities

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m a bit of a nomad. While I spent the first 23 years of my life in Montreal, I’ve made several big moves since then. We’ve lived in different cities in Alberta, moved to Virginia, and now we’re here in Idaho. Are we planning another move? Maybe.  In the meantime, we’re figuring out what we need in our lives for the next five years. 

That’s the key, of course. You have to evaluate what you’re missing and what you’re looking for in a home base. In addition to wanting a fresh start as a family, we chose to leave Virginia in search of a more walkable city with an outdoor lifestyle. We’ve found that in Boise. 

Bogus Basin Tubing

Let’s get real, though. It’s not easy to relocate, especially as often as we have. That being said, if you’re feeling trapped and stuck where you currently live, it’s worth researching other cities. Find out about the people, local culture (this can even vary greatly from state to state!), restaurants, cost of living, crime, medical facilities, and anything else you feel is important. 

Hot tip: as a world explorer, look for a city that’s near a great airport for all your travel in 2020! Here are some of my favorite sites for comparing cities (make sure you see how your current location stacks up against the ones you’re considering):

Once you’ve settled on something, come up with a plan of action. Make it as detailed as possible with small one-month, three-month, six-month, and 12-month goals. Then, follow through. Don’t give up — you only live once!

Get Rid of Toxic People

Are there people in your life who drain your energy, cross/ignore boundaries, and leave you feeling disrespected? We’ve all had to deal with this type of thing in our lives, whether it’s family members, coworkers, or friends. Did you know that you don’t have to put up with it forever? 

Start by having a conversation with whomever is hurting you in your life. Calmly point out the behaviors and explain how their behavior is impacting your relationship. Give them a chance to respond and discuss what will happen if things don’t improve. Then, if the problems persist and nothing changes, do whatever you need to do to protect yourself and live a more positive life. 

It can be really hard to limit or eliminate contact with certain people. There’s a good chance that you’ll feel really sad. It’s okay to mourn the loss of that relationship. As time goes by, though, you’ll probably realize how much healthier it is for everyone involved. You can always leave the door open if you want to give someone a second chance, but keep your boundaries intact.

Find a New Routine

It’s hard to break old habits when we’ve fallen into a stale routine. Without even thinking about it, we do the same things day in and day out. It’s not a bad thing if you’re happy with how things are going, but if you’re feeling like you’re in a rut, you’ve got to find a new routine. 

Hot Yoga

Take a different route to work. Have your big meal in the middle of the day instead of in the evening. Wake up and go to bed an hour earlier. Banish smartphones and devices from bedtime and date night. Go on a road trip once a week just to explore the nearby surroundings (no need to stay overnight!). Try a new hobby or restaurant. The goal is to shake things up a bit and give your outlook on life an upgrade. 

Remember Why You Want to Travel

When you’re feeling overwhelmed and the idea of boarding a plane makes you feel stressed, take a step back and remember all of the reasons why you want to travel. How might your life be improved by taking this trip? How will you feel if you back out?

Write out some reasons why you want to see the world and then use that as motivation to work through your travel anxiety. I’ve been known to put sticky notes for myself on mirrors and on the wall next to my desk. When you reflect on the why, you’ll get determined to figure out the how.

Thank Your Travel Anxiety

This might seem a little odd, but why not take a few moments to thank your travel anxiety? Why would you do that? Because it has helped you become an informed and invested explorer! 

Volcano Bay at Universal Orlando Travel Anxiety

You can’t plan for everything, of course, but anxious travelers tend to prepare well. So, on your next trip, thank your travel anxiety, trust your skills, and enjoy your trip. You’ve earned it!

At the end of the day, you can experience travel anxiety and still live your best life. We’ve come a long way over the past few years, and we look forward to the day when it’s safe to get out there again. 

In the meantime, we’ll be over here dreaming up post-COVID vacation ideas, planning our relocation, and reviewing all of the scientifically-proven health benefits that can come from traveling and living abroad. We can do this!

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