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Five ways to cope with pre-travel anxiety

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First of all, consider packing your things in advance to feel in control and more organised. Use some good packing tips and start packing in at least 3 days before your trip.

Many people find travelling to be a wonderful experience that is associated with exciting places, unusual food and unforgettable moments. For some, the idea of travelling and visiting a new, unfamiliar place can lead to what is sometimes called pre-travel anxiety. Luckily, we have put together five ways on how you can reduce anxiety before travel.

Be prepared
First of all, consider packing your things in advance to feel in control and more organised. Use some good packing tips and start packing in at least 3 days before your trip. 

Also, research your destination. Become aware of where you are going so you can visualise your daily route and the positive results of what you will be doing. Knowing your destination will address your fear.

Finally, plan your first days in detail. Since anxiety often stems from the feeling that you are out of control, try to plan a detailed itinerary for the first couple of days of your trip. This way, you will have a better understanding of what to expect.

Practice breathing techniques
The way you breathe affects the whole body. Different breathing techniques are used to lower heart rate, reduce pain levels and help to reduce work-related stress and anxiety.

There are various breathing exercises to do to relax. The one you can do anywhere is belly breathing. 

Belly breathing

  • Lie flat or sit in a comfortable position.
  • Put your hand on the belly below your ribs and the other hand on your chest.
  • After that, take a deep breath through your nose and let your belly push your hand out. Don’t move your chest.
  • Breathe out through pursed lips just as if you were whistling. Feel that the hand on your belly goes in and use it to push all the air out.
  • You can do this breathing 3 to 10 times. Take your time with each breath.

When you feel you’ve mastered belly breathing, you may want to a more advanced breathing exercise:

4-7-8 breathing

The exercise also uses belly breathing to help you relax. You can do it either sitting or lying down.

  • Put a hand on your belly and the other on your chest.
  • Take a slow deep breath from your belly and silently count to 4 as you breathe in.
  • Then hold your breath, and silently count from one to seven.
  • Breathe out completely silently counting from one to eight. Try to release all the air from your lungs by count eight.
  • Repeat three to seven times or until you feel calm.

Bring some distractions
There are some activities that can help to reduce pre-travel anxiety. It can be video games and movies for visual distractions or more quiet activities such as books, music and puzzles to pass the time.

Whatever distraction you choose, consider taking it with you on your trip to avoid negative thoughts and focus on something positive.

Travel with a buddy
Many people that are subjected to the panic disorder have one or more closed ones with whom they feel safe and comfortable. If possible, consider travelling with your family member or trusted friend, but make sure your companion is aware of your anxiety and fears.

For most individuals, their loved ones can help to manage symptoms of stress and increase your sense of security while travelling. For others, just having a buddy nearby is all it takes to make the trip more relaxing.

Consider packing CBD products
Using CBD oil for anxiety is also a common method to manage stress levels these days. CBD is thought to provide its calming effects by interacting with your receptors found throughout the body. To experience potential benefits of CBD oil, you can purchase various products, from CBD gummies and vapes to capsules and oral sprays. However, it is advised to research law regulations regarding CBD use at your destination prior to bringing this product with you.

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