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 your fears keep you from going?
Here are FIVE suggestions to help you overcome your travel anxiety:
1. WRITE OUT YOUR 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 fears in any area of your life!
2. RESEARCH YOUR DESTINATION THOROUGHLY.
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.
Often 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. SEEK ADVICE FROM SOMEONE WHO HAS ACTUALLY TRAVELED THERE RECENTLY.
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 groups full of people who are happy to share their own experiences. They often give recommendations, and 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. BOOK A TOUR
If you still feel anxiety at the thought of traveling to an unfamiliar place, why not try a tour? You will pay a bit more, but you can rest easier to have someone else plan your itinerary. A travel agent or tour guide’s job is to help you get the most of the experience. Even booking day tours that leave right from your accommodation can be a great way to travel.
5. RECRUIT FAMILY AND FRIENDS TO TRAVEL WITH YOU.
Last year we were nervous about crossing into Mexico with our two boys. So, instead of going it alone, we asked a family member who was familiar with the area to accompany us. 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!