If you suffer from travel anxiety, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. Anxiety disorders affect nearly one in five American adults, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
Anxiety, panic attacks, and panic disorders can keep you from reaching your final destination and leave you feeling hopeless. While some people with travel anxiety choose to white-knuckle it through their flight, others can become extremely overwhelmed at the sight of a crowded airport. If you get nervous just thinking about boarding an airplane or taking a trip overseas, continue reading to learn how to ward off your travel anxiety in a healthy and efficient manner.
Protect Yourself As Best You Can
If you’re a worry wart, you probably conjure up a million things that could go wrong before stepping out the door. Who is going to watch your dog, Fido, while you’re away? What happens if you get a splitting headache mid-flight? If you get sick in a foreign country, will you be able to receive the care you need when you need it? These are all great questions to ask yourself, but don’t let them take over your mind and send you into a worry tailspin. Rather, plan ahead as best you can for your trip.
One way to do this is through purchasing travel insurance in the case that you become sick or injured on your trip. This will not only give you tremendous peace of mind, but it will also offer you coverage in the event that something unexpected occurs.
Exercise Before Traveling
Unless you’re catching a flight at the crack of dawn, consider setting aside 30 to 45 minutes of time to exercise before you leave for the airport. Whether you like to take long walks around your neighborhood, attend a hot yoga class, or compete in Crossfit challenges, exercising is a great way to relax your muscles and distract you from those preflight nerves.
If you have a connecting flight, don’t be afraid to walk from terminal to terminal to stretch your legs and keep your body active. This will help to loosen the muscles in your body, so when it comes time to board your flight, you can feel completely relaxed.
Travel With A Friend Or Companion
Traveling with a friend or companion is another great way to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety while traveling. Whether you choose to venture off with your best friend, significant other, or business partner, having someone there to keep you company can do wonders for your anxiety. Your travel companion will keep you distracted with friendly conversation, and they’ll be there to provide support and encouragement as you make your way from point A to point B. Before you leave for your trip, talk to your travel friend or family member about your travel anxiety, so they know what to expect.
Plan A Thorough Travel Itinerary
There are many types of travelers out there. Some love to buy a one-way plane ticket and wing it, but this is not something we recommend for people with travel anxiety. Before your trip, plan a detailed itinerary of each day’s events (the more detailed the better). If there are top attractions you want to visit, make sure you know when each of them opens and closes. Keep in mind: there’s a fine line between a jam-packed schedule and a well thought out itinerary. Give yourself some time to explore on your own.
If flying makes you nervous, don’t opt for that preflight cocktail. Alcohol has been known to alter the way your brain reacts and can actually worsen your travel anxiety. Instead of drinking a beer or mimosa before takeoff, order yourself a tall glass of water (soda is okay too, but caffeinated drinks can dehydrate you even more).
Consume Healthy Snacks
What you eat before a flight can play a tremendous role in your anxiety levels. Instead of eating a hamburger from McDonalds, pack some heart-healthy snacks that will keep you full and happy during your flight. You can pack things like mixed nuts, granola bars, and dried fruit to hold you over until you make it to your final destination.
Focus On Your Breath
A great way to distract yourself from travel anxiety is to simple breathe. Focusing on the movement of your breath can have a calming effect on both the body and mind. To do this, start by focusing on your breath as you breathe in and out. Pay attention to the movement in your chest and abdomen as you breathe, and if you have trouble staying focused, consider counting to five on each inhale and exhale.
We hope that these tips come in handy as you prepare for your next flight. If you’re flying out of the Denver International Airport (DIA) and you’re looking for a safe and secure place to park your vehicle, reserve your space with ParkDIA today.