General Travel Advice
How to Take the Anxiety Out of Travel
As relaxing as travel can be, it can cause a lot of anxiety. Worrying about logistics, flights, costs, unexpected changes and things like our health can create a major headache, and distract from the enjoyment of the destination. At a certain point, we all need to take a moment to take a deeper look at the way that we organize our travel. We need to see what we can do to lessen the worry and to enjoy our trips more!
There are so many different stages of planning a trip, and each has a different anxiety that goes with them, so we’ve broken them down and discussed each of them here, with some tips and tricks to ease your travel anxieties.
Taking the Anxiety out of Leaving Home
Leaving home can cause a lot of apprehensions, whether it’s due to leaving family members, your pets or just your home behind. It’s a lot of work to leave the country for even a few days – not to mention weeks! The more prepared you are, the easier it will be. Knowing who will take care of cutting your grass, picking up your mail or taking care of Fluffy will help to lessen the worry and get you more excited about your trip.
If you’re worried about being so far away, make sure to give your contact information as well as the info of the hotels that you will be staying at to friends or family members. This way, if they don’t hear from you via phone or email, they know where to find you. You can also figure out how to stay in touch via FaceTime, Skype or email on your devices if you don’t want to miss any updates from back home.
Taking the Anxiety Out of Planning a Trip
Planning a trip is a ton of work, especially an international, multi-day trip. Currency, language barriers, customs, food – there is so much to learn and understand about where you’re going. It can very quickly become totally overwhelming. There are so many incredible resources to help you understand your destination a bit more – from online blogs like this one to guidebooks and fellow travelers. Just make sure not to overdo it – reading too much might overwhelm you more!
You might also want to consider working with a tour operator rather than planning your trip on your own. Tour operators take the stress out of planning a vacation – they do all of the hard work for you so you can show up complete with the required information, and someone does all the planning for you. No more worrying about hotel reservations, or how you’re going to get from place to place. They take care of all of the details.
Taking the Anxiety Out of Travel Budgets
As fun and exciting as travel is, the costs can rack up pretty quickly. If you consider travel as an investment, that can help a bit with wrapping your head around it…although it doesn’t quite help when your Visa bill arrives. Whenever you can, try to focus on maximizing your budget, and finding value. Hotels with breakfast included or shuttles/transfers to and from the airport, or finding a tour operator that is all-inclusive are all great value-adds.
A Tour Company Can Reduce Anxiety
ElderTreks, a small-group adventure travel company for those 50+, offers all-inclusive itineraries where you don’t have to add on any extra tours or meals. That way you don’t have to pull out your wallet while on your tour. Be very wary of operators that give you a low starting price…what they don’t tell you is all of the extra cash you will have to shell out while you’re on the tour!
Overall, don’t stress too much about money while you are traveling. You don’t want to regret not spending a few dollars on an experience you will (probably) never have the chance to do again.
Taking the Anxiety out of Plane Travel
Planes can be scary – you’re flying through the air, for goodness sake – with absolutely no control. If you’re a backseat driver like myself, planes can be the epitome of a struggle. You can’t see or anticipate turbulence, and there is nothing you can do about anything if things were to (very unlikely) go wrong. I’ve found recognizing that fact, and deep breathing very helpful during very bumpy flights.
I also always check out the expressions on the flight attendant’s faces – if they are smiling or are bored at the back reading a magazine through what I would consider a major bout of the bumps, I should be just fine. There’s also a new app that has just come out that claims to help you through turbulence called SkyGuru, http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/mobile-apps/fear-of-flying-app that helps predict turbulence and sends you reassuring messages throughout the flight. Worth a try if you have a lot of flight anxiety.
Taking the Anxiety out of Your Time in Destination
So once you’ve actually made it through the planning/budgeting phase, you’ve boarded your flight, and you’ve made it to your destination, it’s time to stop worrying! So often we have a difficult time fully relaxing and detaching from our lives at home. Focus on living in the moment and put those electronics away! We will get so much more out of the experience if we learn to enjoy the moment, at that exact second, and leave the photos, updates or emails till we get back (or at least to one time during the day instead of regular check-ins). Otherwise, you’ll need a vacation from your vacation!
There it is – steps and ways to manage anxiety and worry for your travels from start to finish. What are your tips? Our biggest tip is to travel with an experienced tour operator, who can help you through the research, planning, and the trip phases. A small group adventure tour company like ElderTreks (www.eldertreks.com), the world’s first adventure tour operator for travelers 50+ is the way to travel without worry. Traveling to over 80 countries and all seven continents, you are sure to find your ideal trip with ElderTreks. When you think of ElderTrek just imagine what it would be like trekking with a local Elder. Wouldn’t traveling with a local Elder remove all your anxieties!
You can contact Amanda at [email protected]. She will get you to the right person in their office if you need more help.
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