Travel anxiety made easy when your partner is anxious
You’ve been dying to go on this trip for so long, but now that you’re getting ready to travel with your partner you’re not so sure. It’ll be great, but there’s just one thing on your mind, or rather, just a million things on your mind. Travel anxiety isn’t fun for the sufferer or their partner, but there are a few ways to keep it at bay.
Let them plan
It’s a common myth that there are only two types of travellers. One who buys a ticket with no plans and only the clothes on their back. The other who packs twice as much as needed and has every minute of the day planned out with an alternative arrangement just in case. You’ll be pleased to know that there is in fact a middle ground.
A little bit of planning can make things a lot easier, but it doesn’t mean you need a rigid schedule. Having 2-3 options picked out for each day lets you wake up and decide what to do each morning without any last-minute planning. It could be that the weather isn’t right for that activity or you’re not in the mood for doing something else. Giving you and your partner options takes some of the stress out of travel.
It’s possible to plan smaller things, such as transport, and work other things around that. If you know you need to be outside the monument at 6.00pm you can arrange your day around that. For extra preparedness, choose an activity located close by so you’re already on site. It will give your partner one less thing to worry about at least.
Assign roles to each of you
You might want to plan everything but that’s a little unreasonable and not to mention exhausting. Let your partner take some of the burden by assigning roles. If you struggle to make decisions about what to eat, let your partner be the expert. They can do research before you go and make an educated guess, choosing a restaurant or dish they know you’ll love. Struggle with hotel bookings? Let your partner take care of the accommodation so you can worry about everything else. By splitting up the tasks between yourselves, you lighten the load for your anxious partner.
If you’re worried that they won’t do a good job, then you need to remember to practice trust. If you’re worried about burdening them, then don’t. You are a team and they are willing to do their part too. They might even prefer having responsibility and feeling as if they too are in control of your adventure. Help overcome travel anxiety by working together.
Whip out the statistics
This won’t work for everyone, so it’s important only to try it if you know it will work on your partner. If they are worried about what might happen, you need to make them realise how unlikely that possibility is. Millions of people travel each year and very few catastrophes strike!
They may be worried about getting robbed in New York for example, the figures are high, but only 1.74% of NYC tourists actually get pick-pocketed. For perspective, that’s the same odds as drowning. Most of us will agree that we’re careful of the sea when travelling but it’s not something we worry about on a daily basis. No doubt your partner doesn’t either.
In the best-case scenario, putting a problem into perspective shows how unlikely it is to happen. Right before our next upcoming trip and my travel anxiety is playing havoc, I actually watch Air Crash Investigation to help settle me! It’s weird, but watching documentaries on plane crashes puts it into perspective that these events happen rarely. You’re more likely to get in a car accident on the way to the airport than you are of being in a plane accident.
Worst case though is you’ve given them something else to worry about, so please be careful with this tip. If this stress of travelling starts to cause conflict, you might need try these tips out.
Get comprehensive travel insurance
You might not be able to stop them worrying about things that could happen, but you can minimise the amount they worry about what happens next. Taking out travel insurance is a wise investment, but make sure you read your policy carefully. There are a lot of rules in place, so make sure you understand what evidence you will need to claim from your insurer ahead of time.
Check what your policy actually covers and for what amounts. If your trip cost thousands and your policy only covers for cancellations amounting to £1500 then you’ll lose out. I like to include medical expense coverage of at least £5 million. It sounds a lot, but medical costs in certain countries like the USA can be pricey. A friend had an overnight trip to A&E in an ambulance in Florida which cost over £1000!
I like to make a handy l booklet with step-by-step guides and checklists. Once I have made them, I never actually look at them; knowing that they exist and where to find them in an emergency is enough to stop worrying about it.
Tips for travel anxiety
No matter how well you prepared travel anxiety doesn’t care. Prepare for the worst but hope for the best. It’s best to have materials on hand for every eventuality and bring along some distractions. Breathing and relaxation techniques are great for on the go, but many anxious people need an activity to help them calm down. You should know what works best for you, whether that’s a colouring book, making a to-do list or playing a game to distract you.
Chances are you won’t need any of these things, but just knowing that they are at your disposal can help you ease up and enjoy yourself. If you’re travelling with someone anxious, you might find yourself reassuring your partner more often than you usually would. At the end of the day though, the more time passes the more they’ll realise things will turn out okay in the end. Travel anxiety isn’t easy for anyone, but hopefully with these tips you’ll learn to manage it.
We're Rio and Law of Opposite Tourists. A couple who loves to travel and blogs about our adventures and relationship. Check out our posts on Destinations, How to Guides and Relationship advice!
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