Complicated flight schedules, suitcases that just won’t close, and a feeling of impending dread – is this what a vacation getaway should entail? Travel anxiety is an unwelcome presence that can hinder you from experiencing your South African escape to the fullest.
There are a variety of tried and tested methods to prevent and combat the unpleasant effects of travel anxiety. Whether you prefer heading to a local cannabis dispensary or enjoy anxiety-relieving practices, you’ll be sure to kick it to the curb.
Unsure how to get over travel anxiety? We’ll walk you through the various elements that can contribute to anxiety while traveling. We will also guide you through a variety of symptoms and techniques to deal with anxiousness to enjoy the best sights in South Africa.
From the majesty of Table Mountain to exciting safari adventures, you’ll be able to fully appreciate your travel adventures and have a fun time away.
Causes of Traveling Anxiety
When the term ‘travel anxiety’ is mentioned, it is often associated with the fear of travel. This kind of stress, however, is not a one-size-fits-all kind of phenomenon. There are various elements and concerns of traveling that can cause a feeling of uneasiness and worry in an individual.
Anxiety Before Travel
Even before booking your flight ticket to the wild wonderment of South Africa, you can find yourself feeling stressed. Being far from your home and spaces of unfamiliarity can be scary and can cause vacation anxiety.
Life does not always happen according to plan, and this fact can cause a feeling of panic. Pre-travel anxiety can be triggered by the uncertainty of a new place and what it might hold.
Traveling With Anxiety
If you suffer from an existing anxiety-associated disorder, the prospect of traveling might be a stress-inducing thought. It can be hard to cope with the extra panic of navigating your way in a foreign place, which causes travel anxiety.
Anxiety When Traveling in a Car
Travel anxiety can be triggered by using a certain form of transportation as your method of travel. This element of travel anxiety can be caused by previous incidents, such as a car accident. This phobia is often referred to as amaxophobia.
Travel Anxiety Symptoms
Providing a comprehensive list of symptoms of travel anxiety can be tricky, as people experience anxiety and stress in different ways. Listed below are some common signs of anxiety to look out for:
- Trouble falling or staying asleep
- Stomach problems (such as diarrhea, stomachaches, etc.)
- Change in eating habits (eating too much or too little)
- Breathing difficulties, increased heart rate
If you feel like you are experiencing two or more of these symptoms while thinking about your upcoming trip, you could be suffering from travel anxiety.
How to Deal with Travel Anxiety | Tips & Tricks
While we can’t promise your anxiety about traveling will magically disappear, there are various travel anxiety tips to help ease your stress. Be sure to try out these easy steps to create a variety of safety nets before and during your travels.
Organizing your trip can be overwhelming if the element of “what ifs” plays a role in your planning. Getting lost in an unknown city is a fearful experience that resonates with any traveler.
What could be a triggering factor might be the feeling that you are not entirely in control. So, be sure to do extensive research on South Africa to familiarize yourself with what you can expect.
The important thing to remember is – you can’t prepare for everything. But, creating a handy checklist of specific worries can be a great way to stop yourself from quadruple-checking your luggage. This may include factors such as:
- Passport checked
- Emergency cash packed
- Name, number, and address of accommodation noted
- Map or guide book of South Africa packed
Be sure not to fall into the overplanning trap, as it does more harm than good. Remember, getting lost might lead you to some of the best-hidden gems of the area.
Be Equipped with Natural Remedies
If physical activities to damper the burning ember of anxiety do not work, there are products available that have been known to help. Chamomile can be used to help reduce the symptoms of stress. CBD oil, a popular cannabidiol natural anxiety remedy, is also a good option to try.
Overcoming travel anxiety can feel like a hard uphill battle, as you essentially take your brain filled with worries with you on vacation. It can be hard to simply turn off the warning bells, so find activities you enjoy to keep your mind preoccupied. From books to television series, be sure to add it to your luggage in case you need a break from your busy brain.
Learn Some Deep Breathing Techniques
The art of efficient and effective breathing to reduce stress should not be overlooked. We tend to take shallow breaths when we are feeling anxious, leading to fewer oxygen levels in our bodies. Deep breathing practices are often used in meditation and are a great way to exercise the art of calming down.
Practicing diaphragmatic breathing (or belly breathing) can decrease your rapid heart rate and help lower your blood pressure. Deep rhythmic breathing is important for any type of stress, as it induces a feeling of calmness and regularity in the body. There are a variety of breathing exercises to choose from to help with relaxation. It all depends on what type suits you best.
Note: See these stress-relieving tips as a trial and error experiment. Different things work for different people, so don’t lose hope if one doesn’t help.
Final Thoughts on Trip Anxiety
Enjoying the tranquil scenery of whale watching to experiencing the excitement of bungee jumping, a trip to South Africa is a wonderful journey. However, the fluttering excitement of butterflies can quickly turn into buzzing bees of worry in your stomach.
Whether it’s from planning your trip or traveling with road trip anxiety, the fear of travel can be a dark cloud to your vacation experience. This is why identifying and dealing with the effects of travel anxiety is so important. By actively incorporating anxiety-reducing practices in your daily life, you’ll be able to jump into the unknown with confidence.