Travel anxiety is one of the most common forms of anxiety. It can be tough for an anxious mind to navigate the intricacies of traveling, such as catching public transport, making connections, dealing with traffic and other delays, and even just the act of traveling itself.
There are some simple ways that you can deal with anxiety both before a journey and during one, and this article aims to provide help for those who seek it.
Tip #1: Plan in advance
Where possible, especially for longer journeys or using public transport, put a plan in place that is written down somewhere for you to refer back to. An example of a plan is below:
- Leave the house and walk to bus stop A at 3:45 pm (a 10-minute walk)
- Catch the bus at 4 pm
- The bus arrives at stop B at 4:37 pm
- Bus B goes from stop C at 4:55 pm (walk from B to C takes 2 minutes)
- Bus B arrives at its destination at 5:28 pm
Having a written plan in place can help when searching for the correct bus/train or help you decide when to stop for a break at a service station.
Tip #2: Always leave 5-10 minutes earlier than necessary
When driving or going to catch public transport, always allow for any delays such as traffic jams by leaving 5-10 minutes early. Check the local radio stations for traffic updates and any apps related to public transport to prepare for delays.
Tip #3: Technology can be your best friend
Technology can help you prepare for a journey by allowing you to look up any potential delays to plan for them, help with navigation when you are going to an unfamiliar place, can tell you how many stops you have to ride the bus/train for until it is time to disembark, and can act as a distraction (if you aren’t the one driving) for anxiety on the way.
Tip #4: Use techniques for anxiety when actively traveling
Anxiety techniques can be very effective when you are in the car, on public transport, or even on a plane. Simple breathing techniques can slow your heart down and help you stay in the present, whilst music can act as a distraction from the thoughts causing the anxiety.
Use the test of the senses to be aware of your surroundings – maybe commence a game of I Spy if you are traveling with people. Ensure you stay hydrated, and finally, take breaks when you can.
Tip #5: Have a backup plan in place
Anxious people love to plan for every eventuality, but only one backup plan is needed. For example, look up the bus or train after the one you intend to catch just in case something goes wrong. Have your mobile handy to inform people of the change in plans or any delays. Remember that the majority of delays and missed buses/trains are out of your control.
Hopefully, you have found these tips helpful. Good luck on your next journey, and we hope that you can use these tips to make it a more pleasant experience.