9 Minutes

By THE BALANCE
Fact checked

Traveling is the activity of exploring alluring and enchanting spots of the universe. Traveling is known to procure mental pleasure and placidness, enhance communication skills, embellish your creativity, broaden your horizons, give you an idea about your genuine personality, accompany real-life education, build up memories, improve your physical & mental health, and cultivate a real fun time. The love of humans regarding traveling has also been supported by scientists’ researches claiming that traveling uplifts our mind, soul, and body. 

Many people remain incapable of getting all these benefits and enjoyments of traveling due to their travel anxiety. The timidity of going to a new, unknown place and worrying about making travel plans can result in nervousness, called travel anxiety. Those who suffer from travel anxiety can only dream of traveling but cannot fulfill their dream because they experience high anxiety. During travel, people with travel anxiety confront various physical, sensational, mental-cognitive, and emotional anxiety symptoms, which cause fear and restrain them from traveling. Although travel anxiety has not been diagnosed and declared a mental disorder yet, it can make you miss many memorable and fun trips of your life.

The fear of visiting a new, uncommon place and the stress of travel plans can lead to travel anxiety. According to Calm Clinic, travel anxiety is a widespread and complex issue, causing people to feel depressed or anxious while preparing for a trip. Some people have a fundamental fear of travel, which manifests as stress leading to a trip. Traveling to foreign countries or other regions of their own country is the dream of many people. 

Still, some people go through intense fear whenever they have to leave, even on the shortest journey, plus a few of them becomes fearful whenever they think of traveling. For some people, what’s the scariest thing in a trip is the vehicle, they have to use_many people are afraid of large bodies of water and ships, others feel scared or even uncomfortable on airplanes and for some people, driving over long distances can also cause anxiety. 

Anxiety Attack Treatment and Therapies

Concerns related to personal stuff and comfort are also known to develop travel anxiety. If you feel that travel anxiety is affecting your life, then you should seek help. It would help if you discuss with your family doctor, who can refer you to a skilled counselor or psychotherapist.    

There is not any specific cause of travel anxiety, and the results differ from person to person. Many people experience travel anxiety throughout their lives. You can suffer travel anxiety after having a worse experience related to travel or for no reason at all. According to research, 65% of people who had gone through a major car accident developed travel anxiety. Getting a panic attack in an unknown area can also lead to travel anxiety. Hearing about negative travel experiences such as foreign illnesses or plane crashes can also cause anxiety in some people. Some of the customary causes that can lead to travel or vacation stress include:

Fear Of Flying

Probably, the most common cause of travel anxiety is the fear of flying. More than 25 million people in the US suffer from the fear of flying and have different anxiety levels. This phobia is linked to various factors such as:

  • Take off and landing
  • Fears of crashing
  • Air turbulence
  • Feelings of claustrophobia
  • Changes in air pressure
  • Lack of control
  • The general discomfort 
  • Going through security
  • Unsavory seatmate
  • Becoming ill while onboard

These all contribute to the fear of flying, especially during your childhood. You can experience these feelings even when you know that flight is statistically safe.

Horror Travel Stories

Hearing lots of bad news about injuries and crimes that happen to people while traveling can affect your psychological health. Some people are manipulated by the stories they hear on the news, such as “worse case scenario.” You cannot even realize that you are brainwashed. Still, when you read or watch the news about injuries, kidnappings, and other accidents, you can involuntarily associate yourself with travel and tragedy. 

Mid-Trip Concerns

Sometimes, you may not develop anxiety before you travel, but it can catch up when you are on the road. Might you worry about:

  • The details of your residence once you arrive
  • The discomfort of being in an unknown place, including not knowing the people or language in the area
  • The effects of the jet syndrome
  • Not to have money to last through the trip
  • How to get to locations you need to visit like shopping malls or supermarkets

Home Comfort

You can also fear being far from home because your home is your source of comfort. Believe it or not, being far from your home and missing family can lead to travel anxiety, especially for people traveling for the first time. It’s very usual in people with anxiety disorders such as panic attacks or agoraphobia, for example, because their homes become linked with being safe. This fear has become more familiar since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Your Genes And Your Brains

Some researchers have established a strong genetic link between the development of travel anxiety in the young majority and beyond. Scientists have also found that people with anxiety disorders have alterations in some parts of their brain. 

Like in other anxiety conditions, symptoms differ from person to person, so is the case with travel anxiety, where there are as many symptoms as are people with travel anxiety. All people with travel anxiety report different symptoms depending on the severity of their issue. If you doubt to have travel anxiety, then the following are the most probable symptoms that you can encounter:

  • Breathing problems, particularly common in people suffering from asthma
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Restlessness, irritation, and agitation
  • Diarrohea and nausea
  • Gastric pains and chest convulsions
  • Difficulty in focusing and concentrating 
  • Motion sickness like not being able to focus on devices while traveling and vomiting
  • Panic attacks in case of exceeded symptoms
  • Difficult sleeping and insomnia

As indicated by its name, it is stressful and worrying feelings of anxiety before the trip starts. On average, everyone experiences a mild level of these feelings, but caution you to hold back your trip plan when these feelings occur overwhelmingly. If you are tackling these feelings rigorously, you must seek some betterment because it can intentionally prevent you from living up to your dream of traveling.

Symptoms Of Pre-Travel Anxiety

People facing these uneasy feelings of pre-travel anxiety often seem to record the following symptoms of immoderate concerns regarding:

  • Weather tumbling travel
  • Getting on a plane
  • Trip plans falling through
  • Checking in into a hotel
  • Missing a flight due to oversleeping
  • Getting sick while traveling
  • Leaving their family alone at home
  • Driving a rental car
  • Helming an out-of-the-way city
  • Missing out on an experience or landmark
  • Trying and tasting new foods

If you and someone around you are experiencing these pre-travel anxiety symptoms, you should not make fun of or downplay these strange indications. The source of these feelings and symptoms is unclear, but they can become violent if they are left ignored. We can do nothing to pacify these feelings but learn different travel anxiety coping techniques prescribed by the experts to minimize the loss.   

Travel anxiety diarrhea is a digestive tract disorder that typically causes abdominal cramps and can lead to dysentery. It is caused by taking in contaminated water or by eating contaminated food. Usually, travel anxiety diarrhea is not severe in most people_it is just unpleasant. While visiting a place with a different climate or sanitary practices than your home, you can have an increased risk of developing travel anxiety diarrhea. To reduce your risk of travelers diarrhea, you should be careful about what you drink and eat while traveling. If you develop travel anxiety diarrhea, there are many chances that it will be resolved without treatment or with prevention. Nevertheless, it’s an excellent idea to carry doctor-approved medications with you when you travel to risky areas to use in case of diarrhea remains or gets severe.

Symptoms Of Travel Anxiety Diarrhea

Travel anxiety diarrhea can begin suddenly during your trip or after you arrive home. Most people feel an improvement within 1-2 days without treatment and get well completely within a week. Although, you can have numerous episodes of travel anxiety diarrhea during one trip.

The most occurring symptoms of traveler’s diarrhea are: 

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Vomiting 
  • Nausea
  • Having a bowel movement
  • The sudden arrival of the passage of three or more loose, watery stools per day

Sometimes, people experience persistent vomiting, moderate to severe dehydration, bloody stools, high fever, or severe pain in the abdomen or rectum. If diarrhea lasts longer than 2-3 days, then it’s time to see a doctor. 

How To Overcome Travel Anxiety Diarrhea?

it would be best if you adopted the following habits to avoid travel diarrhea:

  • Avoid unsterilized water 
  • Don’t eat food from street vendors
  • Avoid undercooked or raw meat, fish, and shellfish
  • Avoid unpasteurized dairy products, including ice cream
  • Eat foods that are served hot and well cooked
  • Avoid local mixed fruit juices or ice cubes made with tap water
  • Keep washing your hands and if not possible, then use a sanitizer
  • Use boiled or bottled water to mix baby formula 
  • Order hot beverages, such as tea or coffee, and make sure that they are steaming hot
  • Brush your teeth with bottled water
  • Don’t swim in contaminated water
  • Keep your mouth shut while showering
  • If it’s too expensive to buy bottled water, then boiling the water is the best idea.

As travel anxiety is not announced as an actual disease, the only thing you can do to avoid and sedate travel anxiety is self-effort by adopting different coping practices. You will feel more comfortable and relaxed by becoming more proactive regarding managing your triggers and symptoms. Given below, easy conventions will do best to reduce your travel anxiety:

Planning Everything Graciously

Efficient mapping out of a first few earlier days of a trip diminishes the chances of travel anxiety to a greater extent, and only 20 percent of chances leave behind. The feeling of everything being uncontrolled intensifies the anxiety, so better management and planning strategies can help avoid this.

Sustaining And Coping Skills

The way of coping with scenarios decides the extent of travel anxiety triggers. So better managing and sustaining skills are some of the essential things for underpowering travel anxiety. Mediation and relaxing exercises and techniques can aid significantly in sedating anxiety.

Research About The Country That You Are Going To Visit

One of the primary causes of travel anxiety is the lack and limitation of available knowledge about your travel destination. Traveling to new places without sufficient knowledge about them can contribute to uncomfortable symptoms of travel anxiety. So a proper and deep understanding of your visiting spot will ease your anxiety mindset. 

Own Your Anxiety And Challenge It

If you succumb to travel anxiety, you can only evaluate whether it is the peak time of your symptoms or not and then tackle this accordingly. Every time anxiety can be conquered by relevant logic because logic never goes out of the ark.

Ask For Assistance

If you are sharing your trip with a companion or friend, let him be aware of your travel anxiety and ask for his assistance whenever the anxiety indications go beyond your control. This courteous support will not let you feel alone and help you in enjoying your traveling.

Take Out Your Medical Kit With You

It is imperative and feasible for you to carry your medical kit along with you on your journey. If you confront the symptoms like nausea, medication will be the best solution, and tablets to avoid vomiting can also be carried down.

Suppose you are avoiding and missing your travel dream due to your travel anxiety. In that case, you need to cautiously think about this and ask for a therapist to help you and make you learn the anti-travel anxiety techniques so that you can go and enjoy various marvels of nature and kick off these annoying thoughts and fears concerning your traveling thought.

When you start experiencing the travel anxiety signals, keep in mind that many other travelers might be encountering similar or varying symptoms. This will give you the sensation that you are not alone on this earth with these susceptibilities. It is not a thing that we can’t overthrow, so start working against this travel anxiety today to drive a pleasure by going to your favorite spot tomorrow.