We all have fears and are often told ‘The best way to overcome your fears is by facing it head on!’
Travel fears are slightly different as these can be insecurities that could prevent individuals from making the journey due to a single ‘fear’ factor.
Safety is one of the most common travel fears but the truth is that you’re more likely to get pick-pocketed in busy areas in South Africa, India, Morocco, United States, and many other places in the world. Bad things can happen anywhere in this beautiful world, so first things first: Do your research!
One of the reasons many people are afraid of new destinations is because they don’t know what to expect or they live through other people’s perspectives.
Research, research and more research! Read blogs, Google image search, use Google maps street view to see your hotel. Remember that news reports focuses on the negative 99% of the time and if a tourist was kidnapped in Kenya near the border of Somalia it does not mean that you cannot experience the most fantastic safari of your life while on holiday in Kenya!
Hands down the fear of flying is the most common travel-related anxiety. Even though the odds of being killed in a plane crash, which is said to be 1 in 11 million. Air travellers are made to feel they could be the unlucky number 11 million every time their plane encounters unexpected turbulence. While fear of flying makes some sense, because you’re are not in control and soaring thousands of feet in the air, and is difficult to understand that you are much safer in a plane than you are in a car or walking.
A passport is without a doubt your lifeline. It is not the end of the world by any means if it gets lost or stolen. It should not ruin your entire trip either. You only really require your document at airports and certain money exchange bureaux. Other than that, the rule of thumb is do not keep it on you. As soon as you arrive at your hotel, stash it in the hotel safe. It is good to keep certified photocopies of your passport in a different place. It will make the process much easier to get a replacement if you have a certified copy of the original. Before you go, jot down the address and location of the nearest consulate so you know where you’ll need to go should the need arise.
If you’re travelling abroad to a country where you know English may not ‘fly’ so easily, of course it’s a bit nerve-wrecking to think of getting yourself into a situation where you won’t be able to express your needs or ask for help. For one thing, you can get by with English in almost every corner of the world these days, especially in places that are more or less on the tourist path. If you’re still worried, pick up a phrase book a couple of weeks before you take-off and get practising! Learn a few key phrases like “Where is the… (toilet/train station/Eiffel Tower/bank/police station/hospital, etc.)?” For getting around, learn “I want a (single/return) ticket, please.” Carry a notepad and pen around because when gestures fail you can always rely on your amazing Pictionary skills.
It is good and comforting to remember that if things go totally awry and turn out disastrous, just go to the airport and head home! End of story!
But you could find yourself on the adventure of a lifetime… It may be the best cure for your travel phobia. What’s the scariest thing about travelling for you?