The travel and tourism industry is booming, contributing a record $8.27 trillion to the global economy in 2017. Yet, despite these figures, there are some people that still put off travel plans, even when they have plenty of destinations on their bucket list. So, what’s going on? Why do so many of us see these beautiful destinations then procrastinate until the opportunity passes us by? The basic answer is letting fears, even irrationally common fears hold us back from moving towards our passion for travel.
Many people decide against going on their dream vacation because they’re nervous about the language barrier. Only 7% of college students enroll in language courses, and most of these will be limited to European languages.
This can leave travelers feeling insecure when they travel to destinations where the use of English might not be so prevalent. Not being able to order a meal, book transport, or make arrangements with a hotel leads to tourist anxiety. A phrase book or smartphone app can be a lifesaver in these situations.
2. Fears of flying (and other forms of transport)
If you have a fear of flying you’ll probably be sick of people telling you it’s “irrational” or to “just calm down” or “get over it”. Common fears, phobias, and anxieties are very real problems and should not be taken lightly or dismissed. A fear that prevents you from doing something you love is something you should get help with, to stop it limiting the quality of your life.
Talk to a medical professional about the best way forward, and find a way to enjoy traveling again. It may even be worth considering a mindfulness app for your smartphone to help deal with any anxiety.
3. What if something goes wrong?
What if you injure yourself? What if you’re mugged? What if you get sick? What if you run out of money? What if the hotel floods? Lots of different worries like these go through travelers’ heads when making vacation plans to exotic destinations. The best thing to do is to remember that most of these things are just as likely to happen anywhere in the world – even in your hometown. Plus, every country you can travel to has its own emergency services. If you’re genuinely still worried about a disaster, look up the relevant details you need before you travel.
All of these fears are perfectly valid, but it’s important to remember that everyone has some fear and anxiety about travel. Yet with travel bookings on the increase every year, it’s clear people are finding ways to overcome these anxieties and just go ahead and book that awesome vacation.
Talk to your doctor about your fear of flying. Sometimes they may be able to prescribe a sedative or recommend mindfulness techniques that can help. Go on forums about your destination and discover other people’s amazing experiences. Get an app like Duolingo and learn a little of the language – it’s easy if you do a little every day. The world is full of exciting places to visit, so don’t let fear hold you back.
Do you have fears that keep you from traveling? What are they? Let’s chat about what’s holding us back in the comments below.
Until our next rendezvous…
This post was a collaborative effort.
11 thoughts on “3 Common Fears That Hold Travelers Back”
We always think we have to be amazing travelers, but the truth is, we don’t! I butcher foreign words, get lost, mess up itineraries and forget stuff all the time! I don’t want to minimize someone’s fears, but I think it helps to think of it as part of the adventure 😉
Besides an actual psychological issue like anxiety for example, I do think that we build up these Instagram fantasies of how travel will be. You know, big hat, flowy dress, perfect images with no downsides. And I agree with you that the occasional hiccups are part of the fun.
I think looking at travel as an adventure always helps assuage certain fears, such as these.
Some people are trained to find the negative, so they fail to find adventure even in the most favorable situations. Counseling might be the only step left after all of that.
I must admit I’m not a huge fan of flying. Once I’m in the air I’m ok – take off and landing I don’t like.
I agreed with you 100%. I’m a wreck when we take off.
I try to be a fearless traveler… it is an acquired talent, though!
Yeah, I’m not that tough yet.
All can cause a little anxiety, but there’s nothing that could hold me back from seeing the world.
I love travelling but hate the actual travelling bit. I can relate to this – the fear of flying in particular is always the most unpleasant part of any journey!
I feel the same way about it.