We have all heard of the fear of flying. It’s a pretty common phobia, which stands to reason. Despite how rare accidents actually are, your imagination can run away with you. Apart from fear of flying, there are many other phobias related to travel. Holidays can be a stressful time, especially if you’re heading overseas. So, to calm your worries, here are some common travel related concerns and ways to combat them.

Missing the Plane

One of the more common concerns about travel is missing your flight. Plane tickets are expensive, and sometimes there won’t be a convenient alternative flight. Make sure everything is packed and ready to go the day before you’re due to fly. Anything you want to wear should also be picked out and ready, to prevent delays. Leave the house with plenty of time to spare to avoid being caught out by unexpected traffic or other delays on the way to the airport.

Needing Documents You Don't Have

Another common fear is getting to the airport (or worse, your destination) and finding out that you needed a visa or some other documentation that you forgot or didn’t know about. Websites like Smart Traveler can provide you all of the information you need when it comes to documents, visas, insurance, vaccinations and other necessary precautions when travelling from one place to another. This will help to ensure you aren’t caught out by any nasty surprises and find yourself on the first flight home.

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Bad Hotels

Hotels are often the bane of travelers. While some are lovely, many people complain that the beds are uncomfortable, the traffic outside keeps them awake, and they’re generally not comfortable sleeping outside their own environment. To ensure you don’t end up in a particularly bad hotel or in a bad part of town, make sure you read reviews and check maps of the area you’re intending to stay. Often in becomes quite clear how accurate the advertisement for that particular hotel really is. Watch out for hotels with words like “Beachside” or “Waterview” in their names, as they can be used to trick visitors into thinking that they’re quite close to the ocean, when they may actually be on the other side of town.

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Getting Sick or Injured While on Holiday

This one is another quite legitimate concern. Being exposed to new foods, foreign bacteria and viruses, and doing activities you don’t usually do can lead to an increased chance of sickness or injury. You don’t want your holiday to be ruined by something going wrong. If you are injured while in another country, medical bills can be very high because you aren’t covered by the national health care system. Luckily, travel insurance is available to ensure any unexpected medical expenses are covered while you’re there. Also, ensure you read up on precautions you can take, such as vaccinations. Also, it may be wise to drink bottled water rather than tap water while you’re away, as different countries have different organisms and minerals in their water supplies.

Losing Your Passports or Tickets

It’s important to keep your passports, tickets, and other identification documents safe at all times. You may choose to keep them on you, in a special money belt that can be hidden under your clothes. Avoid revealing the money belt to get cash out while in public, as this may make you a target for opportunistic thieves. If you do lose your passport, contact the nearest embassy for your country and ask them what you need to do. If you lose your plane tickets, contact the airline and ask if there is an option to have them replaced with new copies.

Getting Lost or Stranded in a Strange Place

It may be difficult to use public transport in an area that you aren’t familiar with. You may be concerned that you’ll miss the last bus back to the hotel, or your tour group will leave. If this worries you, try to have a backup plan. Keep a timetable for alternative transport options such as trains or trams. Have the number of a local taxi service on you. If all else fails and there are no other options for you to get back to your hotel room, try contacting the local police station. A police officer may be able to take you back if you have no other way. 

Ridiculous Mobile Phone Charges While Travelling

International phone charges can be a huge concern if you intend to take your phone with you. Some people have been hit with hundreds of dollars worth of fees on their phone plan, just from small things like apps updating while overseas. Before you leave, contact your phone provider, let them know that you’re travelling overseas and ask what they suggest. They may have separate plans for people who are travelling, or suspend your service while you’re away to prevent accidental charges. Apps such as Skype can be used on wifi to contact people for free or lower costs than calling, but make sure you aren’t using your mobile internet while overseas.

Misunderstanding of Culture or Language

You might want to read up on the local laws and customs of the place you choose to visit. In some areas, there are rules governing the way you dress, taking photographs of public buildings, or the places you are not allowed to go. Certain behaviour, such as kissing in public, can also be taboo in particular countries. Make sure you’re informed of these cultural differences and laws before you travel, to avoid embarrassing situations or legal trouble.

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It’s normal to feel nervous or excited when heading on a trip. It’s a big experience, heading to places you’ve likely never been before. However, don’t let anxiety ruin what should be a positive experience. If you feel that your fears are excessive and might be affecting your ability to travel, there are options such as hypnotherapy to soothe your nerves and even cure the cause of the anxiety. Once you give travel a go and experience the things that once scared you, you may find that your fear was unnecessary and you’ll be able to enjoy the holidays you previously thought were not possible.