Travel can be a touchy subject right now. With a spike in Omicron cases, some people feel more comfortable diving into the travel experience than others. In fact, Destination Analysts found that although the number of Americans making travel plans continues to rise steeply, 25 per cent of those surveyed are experiencing their highest levels of travel anxiety since last October.
It’s alright to feel nervous, but it shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying your trip. To help you mitigate COVID anxieties when traveling, here are some practical tips.
Set healthy boundaries
If you’re traveling with friends or family, talk to them when planning the trip. Let them know what you’re comfortable with. If you don’t communicate beforehand, you could end up fortified in your cabin regretting the seven-day cruise you agreed to.
Everyone will have different comfort levels, and it may mean you participate in separate activities during the trip, but don’t let yourself be pressured into an uncomfortable situation. Put your safety and peace of mind first.
Learn your triggers
You may not know what sets off your travel anxiety until it’s confronted you. It could be large crowds or the flight over. Before leaving, make a list trying to pinpoint circumstances that will make you anxious.
Once you have your list, start tackling solutions. For instance, maybe the solution for large crowds is double masking, or bringing calming music or an engaging book on a stressful flight. Creature comforts like these can make a huge difference in reducing anxiety.
Travel is chaotic. There will be events outside your control. But knowing how the trip will progress can give you a sense of comfort.
Make a list of things you can control, like what hotel you’re staying at, items you’ve packed, and what time you’re leaving for the airport. These details will help anchor your trip, making it feel less daunting.
Take it slow
Scratching your travel itch doesn’t mean you have to participate in every activity your destination has to offer. Immerse yourself slowly through exposure. For example, if you’re worried about going to a restaurant, try eating outdoors on the patio first. Once you see how many precautions are in place and how normal the experience is, you should feel safer.
Although, if COVID anxieties continue to nag, you can always do takeout!