You’ve stumbled across our website, have read one of the many articles in our travel section and have hopefully become excited by the idea of discovering the big wide world. The world, as they say, is your oyster. But then it happens. Those ‘what if’ fears trickle into your mind, and despite wanting to travel, you might be put off by the thoughts running through your head.
Don’t let hodophobia, the fear to travel, stop you. Travel fears or generel travel anxiety are incredibly common and we have a couple of suggestions and tips to help you overcome them.
#1 The fear of flying
The fear of flying is common to many of us, although it’s usually the fear of crashing rather than flying that puts many of us off. But then there are other fears associated with aeroplanes that are difficult to overcome for many. What if there are terrorists on board? What if I have a panic attack because of vertigo? What if the toilet falls through the plane floor? Understandable fears all; well, apart from that last one!
Tip: Here’s the thing about travel. You don’t need to travel the world in an aeroplane. If the fear of flying overwhelms you, why not consider a coach trip instead? Sure, it will take you forever to get from A to B, but at least you will be on ground level. Or why not consider a cruise? Taking these cruises from Southampton UK as examples, you can get around most of the known world on a boat instead of a plane. If you don’t have a fear of water and/or icebergs (one for Titanic fans), this could be the best way to travel for you.
Alternatively, look for ways to conquer your fear of flying. As with many fears, the best way to overcome the fear of flying is to do what you’re afraid of. With counselling and medical support, your doctor can ensure you have the best help possible before leaving. You can also talk to your local airport, as many offer a training simulator to help nervous flyers. And as Superman once said, statistically, flying is still the safest way to travel, so if you’re afraid of crashing, you can use the knowledge gained from the linked article to put your fears to rest.
Fear #2: Running out of money
Understandably, you don’t want to get stuck in a foreign country with no money. How would you eat? Where would you sleep? How could you pay for those …erm… wonderful keepsakes at the souvenir shop? Travel can be expensive, but there are ways to alleviate this fear.
Tip: For starters, you need to start saving money. Not only do you need money for travel, but you also need money for accommodation, food, and anything else that might be required when you’re away. Research the country you are interested in, check the currency exchange rates so you aren’t taken by surprise while away, and put aside more money than you need for the trip. This way, you will have money for the essentials and any unexpected expenses.
Then look for ways to cut costs. Check out these tips for saving money on airfare. Save on accommodation by staying at an Airbnb or hostel instead of forking out for an expensive hotel. Download a travel app to find the cheapest places to eat. Look for free things to do while you’re away. And despite your need to fill your bags with those wonderful/tacky keepsakes we mentioned, limit what you buy to reduce the luggage fees on your return journey home.
Fear #3: Being in a strange country
In other words, you are afraid of stepping out of your comfort zone. You are entering a world with (potentially) a different language to your own. There will be customs you are unfamiliar with. You might be afraid of getting lost. When thinking about all of these things, you might choose to stay at home, because despite the mundanity of staying where you are, at least you are familiar with the people and routines of your own locale.
Tip: One of the greatest joys of travelling is the sense of adventure. Sure, it can be scary to step out of your comfort zone, but when considering what you might miss out on by staying at home, you might decide that the risks are worth it. Instead of being afraid of unfamiliar customs, why not consider what you might learn from different ways of life to your own? Instead of being afraid of a new language, why not learn the lingo so you aren’t stuck for words while you’re away? And instead of being afraid of getting lost, why not download a travel GPS app on your phone to keep you on the straight and narrow, and then make the effort to wander off the well-travelled path, because you might actually discover something amazing!
The world is just begging to be explored. But if you continually let this fear or any of the other fears on this short list deter you, you might one day regret a life spent sitting in your comfort zone. Sure, you would have lived a comfortable life, but if after reading through the many articles on our site, wouldn’t you rather shake things up a little and explore? You might only regret it later on in life if you don’t!
Of course, I haven’t covered every possible fear on this list, but then again, I don’t I have to. You can research your own ideas for overcoming the fears that are relevant to you. However, my point will always be the same. Don’t let your fears limit your travels. If you want to explore more of the world, and if you are tired of visiting the same familiar places year in and year out, take steps to conquer your fears to give you the opportunity to travel further even if they are small ones. Sure, there are risks, but when it comes to experiencing more of what life can offer you, some risks are worth taking.
Do you have a fear of traveling? Does it stop you seeing the world or have you developed strategies to overcome them?
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