How to beat
travel anxiety

When was the last time you boarded a plane? The chances are you haven’t been on many flights this year, whether for work or leisure. But with lockdowns starting to lift, you may soon be preparing for your next business trip. And with Covid-19 still in the headlines, it’s completely understandable to be feeling a bit anxious. 

So whether you’re feeling nervous about getting back on the road, or have a longstanding anxiety or phobia about travelling, here are our top tips to help you feel more in control, and to make your trip a smooth and happy one.  

 

1. BE PREPARED

Give yourself plenty of time to prepare. Many people will write a list or two in advance to help them mentally prepare, or plan for certain scenarios such as falling ill abroad or border changes. Find out what your company’s guidelines are for these scenarios and make a note of who to contact, and what you should do.  

You could also start packing well before your trip so that it's one less thing to be anxious about. Things to include on the anti-anxiety travel list are copies (printed or on your travel app) of your travel documents including passport, visas, travel insurance, transport connections and accommodation bookings. And don’t forget to pack enough face masks for your trip! Having these all on hand makes your plans seamless and stress-free. 

For more tips about what to pack, including what you should include in a basic travel health kit, read our Traveller’s Guide to Business Travel.

 

2.    STAY UP-TO-DATE

No, we don’t mean checking travel alerts every five minutes before your flight. But with travel guidelines changing so frequently, knowing where you can find the latest, up-to-date information will give you peace of mind. Our Traveller Hub is a good place to start, and don’t forget our travel experts are here to help should any changes impact your trip. 

Looking up the health and safety protocols of your airline, car hire and hotel could also help relieve any anxiety and let you know what to expect so you don’t get any surprises. For example, your airline may ask you to check in online to avoid unnecessary contact. 

 

3. ENJOY THE EXPERIENCE

Ok, Ok. This is definitely easier said than done. Take your favourite food and snacks with you, or with some airports now letting you pre-order food to enjoy at the airport why not treat yourself to a nice meal before your flight? You could even check yourself into a lounge, just make sure to check which ones are open beforehand. 

Entertainment is a must. Have a friendly mantra: “This is your time to relax and unwind”. Once on the plane, have an activity that you are looking forward to doing, find a movie that you've been wanting to watch or an old favourite, immerse yourself in a good book or pick up those learning French podcasts you've been meaning to listen to. All these distractions will take your mind off the flight. 

Try to refrain from working on the flight as that will only increase anxiety. If preparation needs to be done, try and get it all sorted before stepping in the airport so you have less to be anxious about. 

 

4. GET YOUR BEARINGS

In unfamiliar places you can quickly feel like a fish out of water. Use the destination guides on our free Sam app to get your bearings and perform an 'imaginary orientation'. The quicker you start to become familiar with your surroundings, the more at home you will start to feel.

If you’re stuck in meetings for most of your trip, don’t be tempted to just head straight back to your room afterwards. Enjoy a breath of fresh air and getting acquainted with your new city – just don’t forget to follow local rules such as wearing a mask in public places. 

 

5. DAILY RITUALS

It’s important to maintain your routine during your stay. A daily walk can ease anxieties about the day or workload ahead and get the endorphins flowing. A five-minute yoga ritual or stretching session inside the hotel room can also be a positive way to start your day. 

Regular routines such as having your morning tea or coffee, shower and nutritious breakfast while watching the morning news, are sure to put you in the right mindset and keep you focused on your upcoming schedule.

 

6. WRITE IT DOWN

When things are particularly tough, write it down. It’s amazing what scrawling some words down can do to get those pesky anxious feelings off your chest! Try some meditation and remind yourself that by being away from home, it’s normal for these feelings to arise. 
 

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Preparing for your next trip?

After weeks of home working and zoom calls, preparing for your next business trip – domestic or international – can feel overwhelming. That’s why we’ve created a pack full of travel tips and information to help guide you through your next business trip. After all, it’s important to be as prepared as possible when you head off on your next business trip - the more prepared you are, the easier your trip will be.

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