We all love going on vacation, but the experience can be severely hampered if you’re a nervous traveler. Whether you’re afraid of flying or the idea of being in another country is unsettling, you’re not alone. Many people all over the world suffer travel anxiety, even those who fly all the time. Thankfully, here are some simple tips can help ease your nerves.


1. Create an itinerary

Often, anxiety is rooted in the unknown. Therefore, knowing all of your travel arrangements in advance will help you visualize the trip running smoothly and make everything feel less alien. Be sure to include times of flights, buses, transfers, check-ins and any activities you have planned. You may even decide to create a packing list, so you know exactly what you’re taking on vacation.


2. Do your research

Before jetting off, make sure you research your travel destination. Being armed with the knowledge of the local area will make you feel more confident when you arrive. Make sure you have a map to follow when you get there, or that you’ve booked transfers to your hotel or lodgings. It’s a good idea to keep this in a folder containing all your essential travel documents, local emergency numbers, numbers of cab firms and spare cash, basically anything you think you might need in an emergency, and carry it everywhere. Not only is this sensible, especially if you’re traveling alone, but it will also help you feel more secure and in control.


3. Prepare for the worst

It may sound strange to plan for disaster when you’re prone to travel anxiety but preparing for the worst can actually ease travel nerves. Spend time thinking about the things you most fear when you travel and whether or not you have control over them. You may not be able to prevent an accident for instance (although these are extremely rare, especially when flying) but you can avoid missing your flight or losing your passport. Try to prevent what you know you have control over and try to put the other thoughts out of your mind. You can’t change them, so why waste time worrying?


4. Get covered

In the same breath, it’s a good idea to take out travel insurance to cover accidents, theft, loss and flight delays. Incurring costs due to hospital bills or disrupted travel arrangements is a major anxiety for some, but there are ways to prevent this. Familiarize yourself with your insurance documents when you travel, and make sure you have a copy on you at all times. If you’ve been affected by a missed flight or a disruption to your travel plans, you can contact a no-win, no-fee company like FairPlane for advice.


5. Talk to your doctor

If you have severe travel anxiety, talk to your doctor about having a prescription to ease your nerves. If you’re traveling long-haul, some doctors will prescribe light sedatives or sleeping pills to make the flight a little easier. Others can prescribe anti-anxiety medications or suggest herbal remedies to help you stay calm. You may also want to consider taking melatonin tablets to offset jetlag, as this is known for increasing anxiety levels.

If you’re a nervous traveler, the right amount of preparation will help ease your anxieties. The key is to plan so you can avoid your worst anxiety triggers. Ultimately, the more you travel, the easier overcoming your travel nerves will become, which is all the more reason to get out there and enjoy your vacation.