Some travelers take great joy in planning trips, but to others, traveling can be stressful and overwhelming. When you add in things like increased airport security and screaming toddlers, it can make most people want to pull their hair out. Whether your travel itinerary calls for a five-hour flight or a series of bus and car rides, there are a few ways you can avoid the hiccups that come with traveling.
What Causes Travel Anxiety?
Travel anxiety can happen to anyone, at any time, and from anything. Some people were born with the innate fear of flying, and others fear it because they had a poor experience in the past. Some of the most common causes of travel anxiety include:
- Fear of flying – The number one cause of travel anxiety is the fear of flying. This is a common phobia that can be caused by a wide range of factors.
- Media coverage – Some people develop a fear of flying when they see media coverage of a recent airplane crash.
- Claustrophobia – People who suffer from claustrophobia often fear flying due to the confined quarters on an airplane and the lack of personal space.
- Traumatic flight – If someone has memories of a traumatic flight from their past, they may get travel anxiety the next time they fly.
Plan Ahead (Way Ahead!)
As you prepare for an upcoming trip, the easiest way to ensure a smooth travel experience is to plan ahead. A simple way to make the planning process less stressful is to approach it in parts or stages, rather than trying to plan everything at once. Create a checklist of must-do tasks and work your way through it, starting with the most important items.
Traveling can be expensive, and while there are several ways to save money while traveling, it is still a fairly large expense for most. Many families work hard to save up money for a vacation, and therefore feel the need to maximize each and every dollar they spend, which can be stressful. Worrying about the costs associated with a trip can make the experience difficult to enjoy. To lessen your stress on these financial concerns, consider the following tips:
- Set a realistic travel budget. Once you have an idea of how much money you’re comfortable spending, it will be easier to make decisions when it comes to hotels, accommodations, rental cars, and more.
- Research various airline fares to find the best deal so you don’t have to worry about spending an arm and a leg on a plane ticket. Most travel aficionados recommend buying your plane ticket within 40 to 60 days of your departure date for the best possible price.
- Give yourself plenty of time before your flight. While it may be tempting to get some extra sleep or run an errand before your departure, it could also create a time crunch.
- Check in to your flight 24 hours in advance. This will save you some time at the airport so you don’t have to stop at the check-in counter upon your arrival. Instead, you can walk straight to security with your printed boarding pass.
Pack Your Bags Smart
If you’re like most people, you probably save your packing until the very last minute. However, you can save yourself a significant amount of stress by packing early and wisely. Samantha Brown of the Travel Channel recommends to “Lay out everything that you think you want to pack on your bed and take a good hard look.” This will help you avoid packing ten pairs of shorts for a weekend trip. Also, choosing thin clothes that can be packed flat can make a huge difference when it comes to how much you can fit in your suitcase. For example, instead of packing a heavy sweater, consider opting for a travel-friendly micro-fleece pullover.
If you take any medications on a regular basis or suffer from a medical condition, you’ll want to address these concerns ahead of time as well. Make sure to speak with your doctor to obtain enough medication to get you through your trip (account for possible delays, just to be safe). Depending on how long you will be traveling, you may need to stock up on extra medications.
Reserve Airport Parking
Another thing that you can do to make your travel experience less stressful is to reserve your airport parking space ahead of time. This will eliminate all the guesswork when you arrive at the airport, so you can focus on making it to your gate in a timely manner.
If you’re flying out of the Denver International Airport and you’d like to reserve a parking space for your trip, be sure to download the ParkDIA app on your smartphone. Our parking lot is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and we offer uncovered or covered parking spaces.