Managing Travel Anxiety And Expanding Your Comfort Zone

June 24, 2020

As the world slowly and carefully starts to come out of various lockdown and quarantine measures, travel too, is slowly opening up. With that, many are breathing a sigh of relief with a sense of normalcy once again, but at the same time, it can cause anxiety for those looking to travel in the near future. There is that very real and warranted fear of contracting COVID-19 while in transit, especially if your travel involves air, bus, or train travel.

So how do you effectively expand your comfort zone and travel in the post-lockdown era all while managing your travel anxiety? There are some steps you can take that will make travel smoother, less stressful, and as safe as possible.

Wear a Mask While Traveling

Depending on where you live and what mode of travel you will be using, there may already be rules and regulations in place regarding face masks or face coverings. When you are on a train, bus, or airplane physical distancing is not always possible, which means the virus can be transmitted much easier.

The goal of face masks is to stop the spread of the virus as it prevents someone who is currently infected with the virus from spreading it to others. The idea is that if everyone is wearing a mask in public where physical distancing isn’t possible, spreading won’t occur. And as stated, depending on the state you live in, the airline, the bus company, etc., there may already be measures in place that require you to wear a mask to keep safe while traveling.

Carry Hand Sanitizer With You

As any doctor and medical researcher will tell you, the very best prevention measure is to wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Each time you touch high contact surfaces and items that other people have handled you need to wash your hands. The problem is that when you are traveling it may not always be possible to stop and wash your hands at a sink. In those cases, it is important to have hand sanitizer with you.

While hand sanitizer should never replace hand washing when the option is available, it can certainly do a great job of disinfecting your hands and killing any germs. Keep in mind that in order for a hand sanitizer to be effective it needs to have a high percentage of alcohol in it. Most agree that over 60% is necessary. Also, you need to rub your hands well for at least 20 seconds when using the sanitizer.

Stop Touching Your Face

Another tip is to re-train yourself if you are in the habit of touching your face. Anytime you are touching your nose, eyes, and mouth while out and about you could essentially be spreading a virus into your body. The less you touch your face, the safer you will be.

Keep Distance Whenever Possible

Of course, you also want to adhere to the guidelines of keeping a safe physical distance between you and others at all times. This means in the airport, in concourses, at the restaurant, and even waiting in line to use washroom facilities. Keeping at least six feet between you and others will significantly reduce your chances of contracting the virus.

Do Not Book The Popular Travel Times

The final tip is to resist booking those prime travel times and pick bookings that may be less crowded, and less popular. For example, rather than an early morning flight, look at the evening or even overnight flights that most people like to avoid. The fewer people you are traveling with, the safer it will be for you.

Give Yourself Permission To Feel Scared

At the end of the day feeling scared and anxious is completely normal, and it’s okay to have those feelings. It’s how you manage them that makes the difference.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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