The pandemic has no doubt increased our worries in the majority of travel-related situations and for many, its no longer only fears of getting COVID. Even despite receiving vaccinations, a sizable portion of the travelling public still feel anxious about returning to the outside world.

    Even pre-pandemic, many people found that travel anxiety was brought on by the stress of making travel plans and the fear of visiting an unfamiliar, new area. Travel anxiety can become severe for some people, preventing them from taking a holiday or appreciating any part of travelling.

    Cause of travel anxiety

    There is no one single cause of travel anxiety, and that is because the triggers will be different for each person. For example, some may have struggled with travel anxiety their entire lives, others may feel it after having an unpleasant experience that was travel related – or there may be no obvious reason at all.

    However, there are a few common causes of travel anxiety, these include:

    • Fear of flying
    • Being outside your comfort zone
    • Hearing a travel related horror story
    • Mid-trip concerns and uncertainties

    Tips for managing travel anxiety

    Whatever the reason for your travel anxiety, try the following tips to help you have a stress-free get away:

    Start slow

    If you are finding it hard to get back to life as we knew it, the recommendation is to start off slow and gently ease yourself back into social situations. For example, if you are concerned about a long plane ride, why not try out a shorter trip first or even with another type of public transport, such as taking the bus to work one morning instead of driving. If you feel nervous about eating out in a new city, try going to a restaurant you are familiar with in your hometown first. If you’re worried about staying at a large hotel where there could be queues and crowds, consider booking an Airbnb for your accommodation.

    Think ahead

    One helpful strategy to make your travel anxiety easier could be to remember the reason for your trip. Whether its visiting family and friends or relaxing on a well-deserved beach somewhere, having something positive to look forward to can help override feelings of travel anxiety.

    Travel with friends

    If you have anxiety about traveling by yourself, why not travel with a friend? Not only will you feel safer, but you’ll likely find that you feel more adventurous and opened minded with someone you trust at your side, making for a more pleasant and enjoyable trip.

    Be kind to yourself

    Above all, recognise that we are living in uncertain times and feelings of uneasiness and anxiety are understandable and extremely common. Take care of yourself and do things at a pace that suits you. Don’t feel pressured to book an overseas trip or plane ticket – if you are not ready yet, that is perfectly OK. Even before the pandemic, travel had elements of stress due to the uncertainties it can present, so acknowledge you may need a little more time before jetting away.

    If you are struggling with anxiety and its beginning to impact your life, why not reach out to a professional? Our team of psychologists are here to listen and can recommend effective strategies to help you deal your anxiety pre-travel and during your holiday to ensure you have a stress-free and enjoyable trip.

    To book, call 1800 327 477 (AU) or 0800 327 477 (NZ) or click here to book online.