Worldwide travel is on the rise: the number of international tourists reached an estimated 1.4 billion people in 2018, a 6% rise on the year before. But while many people see traveling as a useful way to relieve stress, many others find that it can actually make them feel more stressed.
This stress can be a feeling of mental strain and pressure directly related to traveling. Although traveling has a number of positive benefits, travel stress from planning, air travel, concerns about safety, financial worries, or unrealistic expectations can cause some people to have a negative vacation.
But there are simple things you can do to alleviate this stress, and ensure you can enjoy your entire vacation.
For many people, traveling is a chance to learn new things, relax, increase cultural awareness, boost health and well-being, spend more time with friends and family, enjoy new experiences, and make positive memories.
But for some people, it can be an acutely stressful experience. Research into traveling experiences found that the most common stressful travel experience was related to pre-travel issues and planning. These include packing, concerns over finances, making travel arrangements, and deciding on an itinerary.
Meanwhile, for other people, stress can happen during the trip and can be triggered by traffic jams, weather conditions, flight delays, conflict with traveling companions, and transportation. Those who admit to finding their travel experience to be stressful are less likely to benefit from the positive aspects of their trip.
Plan Your Journey
In most cases, it is possible to reduce or even altogether prevent the stressors experienced during travel. Planning ahead may seem obvious advice, but it can really help to reduce travel anxiety and enable you to feel more in control and able to handle anything that happens along the way.
Decide on a deadline to schedule the flight, pack your bags, and work on creating your itinerary. Making sure that you have organized adequate insurance for your trip that covers everything from flight delays to lost luggage or medical issues that occur, will give you added peace of mind that all those things will be taken care of if the worst happens.
Completing all of these tasks can help you avoid procrastinating, and give you more time to ensure you have a more productive and enjoyable trip.
Relax And Enjoy The Downtime
For even the most experienced travelers, airports can be hugely stressful places. But don’t let the busy environment of the airport overshadow your trip. While you need to arrive at the airport at least two hours before the plane is scheduled to leave, you should give yourself extra time on top of that to ensure the day is as unstressful as possible.
This cushion of extra time means you can relax in the airport lounge or enjoy a cup of coffee before your flight. Relish the time to just read a book or listen to some music. If you find yourself feeling anxious, take a few deep breaths, and try to distract yourself.
Instead of assuming something will go wrong, consider what is the worst and best that can happen, and importantly, what is the most realistic thing that could happen. This will help you to feel less stressed, and also help you prepare for the worst, so you can get in the right mindset to accept and even enjoy a smooth trip.