Traveling can be stressful, drive anxiety, worrisome, and just plain complicated sometimes. After talking with many people- big travelers and non travelers and everyone in between I’ve collected 7 common travel worries that I’ve noticed. My goal here is to help you resolve these worries and create a very stress-free and exciting travel experience! You may share these worries or have other worries too, I sure know that I did and I still do at times. But that’s the fun in traveling- It’s an adventure, you might make some mistakes, but you sure learn a lot about yourself and improve your problem solving skills! So here’s to a happy, fun, and rewarding travel experience.
1. I don’t have enough money/time to travel
This worry is normally the first excuse or reason why many people don’t travel at all. And to be honest, it’s just flat out not true, even for minimum wage workers. Most full time jobs, if not all, include vacation time. Unfortunately in the United States that vacation time is less than many other countries in the world, but that’s not going to stop us from traveling. I know many people have family obligations and traditions that take up some or most of that vacation time. BUT, you don’t have to use your vacation time to travel! You can have amazing trips and experiences on three day weekends, or even just weekends alone. If you want to go on a longer vacation, then plan that out far in advance to schedule a time with your job that works for your situation. If you have kids and pets, send them off to grandma’s house or a friend’s house for the time you’re gone. And traveling doesn’t have to mean going to Europe for 2 weeks or going on a 7 day cruise. Traveling can be going to a state park, going to a cool town in your state, going on a hike somewhere cool, just getting out of town and taking a drive somewhere and staying the night. Just getting away can be great in itself!
Now that’s all good but what about the money?? Well, I have a simple solution that I wrote about in another article titled: How to Budget Your Money for Travel. In a nutshell, that explains the importance of saving a set amount of money for your travel financial goal on a regular basis throughout the year and by the end you’ll have enough for your trip. Think of it as paying another bill accept this bill is a fun bill and is really going to pay off in the end!
2. How am I going to get around once I get there and what am I going to do?
This just requires a little research before you go on your trip. A lot of people just think they’re going to figure it out when they get there which can work and can be an adventure in its own right, but if you’re worried about this, you should plan ahead. There are THOUSANDS of travel bloggers out there if not hundreds of thousands, with great tips on what to do in certain travel destinations, how to get there, how to get around once you’re there. If you simply do an internet search of your destination, you will instantly find results on what to do there, and how to get around. Those two topics are probably the most common topics bloggers and travel guides/books will talk about. Brainstorming ideas of what to do when you travel is a lot of fun too! And also think about how much money you would like to spend on things like entertainment, food, accommodations, and what type of transportation you prefer- train, bus, taxi, airplane, rental car, walking, biking, etc. Your budget has a lot to do with what you can do and what types of transportation you can do.
3. I don’t like flying in planes
This is another common worry for many people. There are many different ways to solve this worry. For one, if it’s possible to take a train, rent a car, or drive to your destination, I would consider doing that and weighing the pros and cons- cost, time, possible extra destinations along the way, less stress, etc. If it’s just not an option not to fly then I think it’s important to write down what you don’t like about flying in a plane. Take a notebook out and write a line down the middle of the page. On the left side write out why you don’t like flying in planes. Get it all out and think of everything you don’t like. Next, on the right side, adjacent to each worry about planes, think of a solution or a fix to overcome that particular worry. For example: I don’t like flying because the security at the airport is so stressful. On the right side I would write: Arrive extra early so there is nothing to worry about security even if there are long lines. Another example: I don’t want to end up in the middle seat! Right side: Most airlines allow you to pick where you want to sit on the plane, purchase your ticket early and select which seat you want or even pay extra for the extra leg room seats. If you can’t resolve all of your fears and worries ask your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend or friends to help you out, they will be glad to do it! Not many people like flying either so they will relate to your concerns and able to help. I don’t subscribe to over the counter pills and drugs but those are also out there to help with your airplane issues if the above solution doesn’t help.
4. I’m afraid I’m going to get ripped off
Nobody wants to get ripped off especially when it comes down to your travel time! This again comes down to planning ahead. 9 out of 10 times if you book a hotel/airline reservation/event ahead of time, you will spend less money on it. I hear countless stories of people spending 2-3-4 times the amount of money for flights, hotel rooms and events because they bought the ticket the same day or just picked a place randomly. Again, there’s definitely some adventure and fun in that, but if you’re worried about getting ripped off, plan ahead. It’s very helpful to look at review sites like TripAdvisor, Yelp, Lonely Planet, travel blogs, and look into other people’s experiences that have done the same thing that you’re about to do. If the thing you’re thinking about doing has bad reviews then you’ll probably want to choose something else. Just a little bit of planning ahead can save you a lot of money and ensure your travel experience will be awesome!
5. I’m worried about safety while traveling and what if I get sick?
This is a big concern and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Again, I would check out reviews of the places you’re going, airlines, transportation, events, etc. Check out the neighborhoods they’re in, the areas you will have to travel through to get to your destination. Think about if you’re going to be traveling at night, etc. If you’re traveling internationally, consult with http://travel.state.gov/ which is a government site that has travel advisories, warnings, and tips on traveling. Also, if travelling internationally, try and blend in with the native culture as much as possible. If you look like a tourist, you will be noticed more. But don’t worry too much about that if you’re in tourist areas during the day and such. Just always be alert and paying attention to your surroundings.
Make sure to bring any medication you’re on and be sure to get enough before you leave to cover you for the duration of your trip. The last thing you want to do is run out of a medication when you’re on vacation. If you get sick, most everywhere in the world has local pharmacies, hospitals, doctors and medical assistance to help you. If you’re in Europe, most drugs are also much cheaper than they are in the United States, and easy to come by. Just make sure to wash your hands frequently as when traveling, you tend to be in more public places and are around a lot more people. Make sure the places you choose to eat seem sanitary, I like checking the bathrooms to see if they’re clean and also check the dining area and if you can see into the kitchen, take a peak in there. If it looks like a disaster to you, I’d probably go somewhere else to eat. Again, researching restaurants before you go or even while you’re there if you have internet can be very helpful!
6. What if my flight/hotel/arrangements get cancelled?
This can happen and with my experience in travelling a lot and talking with other travelers, it doesn’t happen very often! But it can, so here’s what you can do. With flights, you can almost always get the next flight out that’s normally 1-5 hours away which isn’t too bad. There are obviously extreme cases when you can’t get a flight until the next day, but in those cases you will normally get hotel room compliments of the airline. If not, try and have a friend/family member pick you up so you don’t have to stay overnight at the airport, or purchase a room at a hotel. Yes you might get to your destination a little late, but just remember, you’re still travelling, and don’t let a little delay ruin your trip! Hotels normally never get cancelled and if they messed up your reservation, they normally are very good about getting you another available room. So I wouldn’t worry about that issue. Sometimes shows, concerts, events can get cancelled so what I recommend doing is before going on your trip or during it, think of a list of things you want to do. Then decide on the ones you want to do for sure and if one of them doesn’t work out, you have all of the other things to do from your list! There is so much to do when you travel, you’ll rarely do EVERYTHING there is to offer in a city, so don’t worry about that one either. And just remember this: You’re traveling on a vacation. If something gets cancelled or delayed and pushes your plans back a bit, there can be WAY bigger problems with your life at that moment. You’re lucky enough to be traveling, so just relax and enjoy your time!
7. I don’t speak the language!
The language barrier! It can be very intimidating and frustrating and just confusing. I’ve been there before and will be there again many times! Everyone travelling to different countries experiences this and there are a few things you can do to make it a breeze! First of all, try and learn at least some basic phrases or words to at least make an effort with the native culture. They will be very happy that you’re making an effort and most times you will get better service and even some smiles! At the very minimum, I would learn how to say: Hello, please, thank you, how much does this cost, and do you speak English? I would not say “do you speak English?” as your first interaction, let them speak English if they want to first. If you just learn those, you should be able to get by okay. Luckily for native English speakers, most people in the world also have learned English in addition to their native language(s). So a lot of the times you will be able to speak English. But I would not go into a café and just start speaking English right off the bat. I would attempt to make an effort with the person and show that I respect their language and culture. Even if you can’t memorize those few words and phrases, just carry around a phrase book with you and pull it out when you need to talk with someone. They might laugh or start speaking English to you before you can even open it, but that’s okay! You made an effort and that’s what matters! And always, always, always be respectful and kind! You’re a visitor in their country and you want to have a successful enjoyable experience just as much as your waiter wants to have a nice day at work.
There you have it, 7 common travel worries and how to solve them, resolved! I know there are many more worries out there, but normally some preplanning and research can solve just about anything. Do you have a worry that I haven’t addressed? Leave it in the comments below and I will give you my best answer or someone else may chime in! Or share your story with us and we’ll make it into a post on our site! I would also love to hear your thoughts on any of these topics and any additional insight you may have! I look forward to interacting with you in the comments and I hope you have many wonderful travel experiences to come.
Best and Happy PondHopping,
Unpack Your International Side
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