Many people worry about the safety of certain destinations, especially if that destination has experienced recent terrorist activity, tourist kidnappings, shootings, unrest, or armed conflicts. But sometimes a place just makes someone uneasy for other reasons. Feeling unsafe is definitely something that is going to cause travel anxiety. There are always a few unstable places in the world where true danger and risk lurk, and both travel security warnings and common sense tell us not to travel there. You are much more likely to get into an automobile accident or drown than be harmed or killed in a plane crash or terrorist attack.
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Do your own research to make your decision about traveling to the destination. Check out travel advisories and recent traveler reports. Is the safety risk just limited to a city or region, or is it country wide? Have tourists been threatened, kidnapped, robbed, harassed, or harmed in the area? Are there ways to help protect yourself from these threats e. No place is ever completely safe e.
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If you go, two things could happen: a you end up getting there and realizing it is not as bad as you thought and feeling safe, OR b you could spend your whole trip worried and anxious. In the unlikely event that something does happen when you are traveling, it can be helpful to know who you should contact and also it might just make you feel better. If are the victim of a crime while traveling, get to safety, seek any needed medical treatment, and contact the local law enforcement.
Call the consulate for assistance as they can help you contact law enforcement and legal services and help you navigate the local criminal justice system. If you are traveling solo, you have only yourself to really consider when planning your trip and traveling. But if you are traveling with a spouse, romantic partner, children, parents, friends, etc.
The more people, the more stressful it can be.
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Everyone has different needs, preferences, and expectations related to travel. Is it lying on a beach sipping a tropical drink? Is it exploring museums and cultural attractions in a big city? Is it completing a multi-day hiking trail? Is it riding roller coasters and sky diving? Is it just staying at home and watching a TV marathon?
Imagine you were traveling with 5 other people and you got back the five above responses for the same trip, you might feel a little stressed! To reduce stress, share the travel planning and decisions with your travel companions, it should not be left to just one person.
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Each person should have a voice, including kids. Unless you and your travel companion s all share the same likes and dislikes, everyone will likely have to make some compromises. For instance, Laurence visits a historic site with me and then we go sit on top of some building to watch the sunset because that is what he wants to do.
But travelers should also not be afraid to split up, I often explore museums without Laurence and he often goes hiking up mountains without me.
Some travelers may be constantly worried about whether or not they are prepared enough for their trip and second guess their decisions. Did we do enough research? Did I book the right hotel? Did I pack the right coat? Should I have booked a rental car instead of a bus tour? What happens if I need medical help on the trip? Do the research you feel you need to do before the trip to be prepared, but know that you cannot be prepared for every eventuality.
Second guessing yourself may lead to anxiety and disappointment. Focus your thoughts and conversations elsewhere. It might be helpful to remind yourself that you did what you could in terms of planning and preparing, and although it may not have been perfect, you want to make the most of your time and the experience! Air travel is probably one of the biggest sources of travel stress for those who travel internationally by plane.
First there is the airport experience. Long lines. Enormous airports with complicated layouts. Baggage fees. Unexpected issues like reservation problems, flight delays and cancellations, and overbooked flights can really turn up the stress levels. Then comes the experience of being in the plane. Being trapped in a metal tube. Dry recycled air. Food in boxes. No legroom. Difficulty sleeping. Limited number of toilets. Annoying fellow passengers.
Some people may have anxiety about flying, or even a phobia of flying , and might be especially anxious during the flight. After the flight most people are anxious to leave the airport, but there are still a few more potential stressors.
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Lost luggage. Currency exchange. Figuring out how to leave the airport. Sketchy taxi drivers. There are a lot of qualities of air travel that are pretty unappealing and can induce travel stress in just about any traveler! Just the thought of long check-in lines, airport security, and long-haul flights can make people anxious.
I know we always dread long-haul flights. But there are things you can to do to prepare for it and lessen the amount of stress and anxiety you feel during the experience. Some people have a hard time letting go of worries back home. Will the neighbor remember to feed the cats everyday? Did I unplug the kitchen appliances? What if X happens at work while I am gone? These are all normal concerns and thoughts to have, but if they are frequent and causing worry, then they are likely to negatively impact your travel experience.
It is hard to enjoy time on the beach if all you can think about is stuff back home. To alleviate some of these concerns, make a plan and checklist to address what you can before you leave. If concerns are about people back home, set up ways to stay in contact as needed when you are gone.
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But you also need to be able to disconnect and limit the amount of contact back home. Find a healthy balance.
If you are traveling to a new place, you will likely experience a lot of new things such as new foods, customs, currency, styles of dress, and modes of transportation. While these can be exciting, they can also feel overwhelming or confusing at times. Language barriers can add to feelings of culture shock and may lead people to feel isolated or overwhelmed in a new place.
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There are lots of books and online resources out there about every destination and culture, and reading up about a place can really make you feel more comfortable once you get there. Also the more you know, the more you can make the most of your trip. If you are traveling to a place with a different language, it is always a good idea to learn at least a few words and phrases so you can greet people, thank people, understand numbers, make purchases, and ask basic questions.
Similarly, learning some of the local customs, gestures, and taboos can go a long way. Differences and changes can be scary or confusing, but in most cases they are just different from the things you are used to back home. One great thing about travel is that it gives you the opportunity to step outside your comfort zone and try new things. However, if something feels more unsafe than just different, leave the situation. Unfortunately, tourists are sometimes targeted for scams and theft, especially in large cities, so do be aware, use your common sense, and trust your gut.
A big source of stress for many travelers comes from unexpected problems and issues that arise during travel, especially when traveling to or from a destination. These are things like traffic jams, flight delays or cancellations, severe weather, natural disasters, lost luggage, or misbooked reservations. In fact, many of these you have little or no control over such as a delayed flight, a labor strike, the weather, or a natural disaster.
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