Many of us dream of getting away and relaxing on a cruise. Taking in the ocean views during the day, and watching as the sky turns into a sea of stars at night.
Yet travel fears may get in the way of pursuing your dream of a cruise. With constant updates of natural disasters, terrorism, and cyberattacks, it’s easy to feel like the world is unsafe, and therefore travel itself is perceived to be unsafe.
However, travel allows people to escape their routines and refresh their bodies and spirits, so the appeal is still universal. According to a recent Travel Market report, Priceline’s CEO believes that travel is such a healing salve, people will still book trips despite negative headlines.
Even with recent devastation in the Caribbean and Gulf Coast, cruise companies are anticipating good travel numbers in the upcoming months. The chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises says that guests are reporting almost no noticeable damage in Key West, Florida, and that he expects Puerto Rico to rebuild and be stronger than ever in a few years.
Of course, anxiety won’t necessarily just go away on its own. If you’ve been dreaming of a cruise and your fears have gotten in the way, now is the time to learn how to handle your anxiety so you can go on an adventure.
How? By engaging in a little bit of strategizing.
First, let’s look at what causes travel anxiety for most people.
What are People Anxious about When They Take a Trip?
The travel companies know that people are more anxious than they used to be.
The more you feel anxious in your daily life, the more travel will be a source of anxiety for you. However, you may not even realize that travel is a trigger for extra anxiety.
You may have avoided travel in the past by making other plans. Or perhaps you came up with excuses so you didn’t have to travel. You may feel a deep sense of comfort from staying at home, and travel may feel overwhelming to you.
Here are the most common causes of travel anxiety for travelers.
- Flying fears—The fear of flying is very common. It’s difficult for most people to relinquish total travel control into the hands of others. This can be true of cruise travelers too. Passing through security, dealing with turbulence, and sitting in close quarters with total strangers can all serve as anxiety triggers.
- Fears of the unknown—The more attached you are to your home, the more difficult it may be for you to leave that comfort, especially as you age. Travel can feel like a threat to your safety because you are far removed from your safe haven.
- Fear-inducing stories—You may have heard stories of inconveniences, injuries, or illnesses others encountered far from home, and these can serve to scare you off from traveling yourself.
Fortunately, you can take steps to manage your travel anxiety.
The Secret to Alleviating Travel Anxiety: Preparation, Preparation, Preparation
Here are several ways you can prepare yourself for travel so you can relax and enjoy a well-deserved cruise.
- Make lists. One way to conquer anxiety is by writing a detailed packing list. Additionally, you can write down what worries you most and see if there is anything you can do to make those fears more bearable. For example, if you are worried about someone breaking into your home while you’re gone, arrange for a friend to stop by daily to check on your house.
- Take screenshots. If you take a photo of every necessary paper, itinerary, receipt, and map, you won’t panic if you lose an internet connection or misplace a document. Also, if you worry whether you turned off appliances or locked the doors, take photos after doing so if it will reassure you while traveling.
- Plan ahead. Research your location, place all important items like credit cards and chargers in a single pouch or bag, and don’t leave the packing for the morning of travel.
- Pack for safety and comfort. Wear comfortable shoes with good traction to prevent slipping. Take a backup pair of glasses or contact lenses, and don’t forget to pack all prescriptions and medical supplies.
- Use controlled breathing. Practicing mindful breathing increases your oxygen level and promotes a sense of well-being. Try this when you are boarding the cruise ship.
- Rely on medication if necessary. It’s always wise to take travel sickness medicine along on a cruise, just in case your body is sensitive to the ocean waves. Also, ask your doctor to prescribe anti-anxiety medication if it will help you stay calm.
You deserve a safe, enjoyable trip that will refresh your senses and rejuvenate your spirit. With these travel tips, you can book your next cruise with greater peace-of-mind.
One last tip – if you’re worried about the aftermath of some kind of cruise accident or injury, start researching knowledgeable cruise lawyers ahead of time and take their information with you. It’s impossible to prevent every possible bad thing from happening, but by being prepared, you’ll at least be able to handle it better if something does occur.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented cruise victims who have suffered all kinds of injuries and illnesses due to negligence. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2017 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – and was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite” and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015, 2016, and 2017.