Traveling doesn’t have to be scary!
The technical word for “fear of traveling” is hodophobia. Whatever you want to call it…it’s no fun! As professional wanderers, we at Sight Seeker’s Paris know how important traveling can be: it can help open your eyes to different cultures and experiences, it can be an amazing learning experience, and there’s just so darn much to see in this world that it would be a shame to never leave your home base.
That being said, we can see where you’re coming from. Traveling (especially to a foreign country), can seem intimidating. For some, too much stimulation can be just that: too much. Well dear readers, I’m here to help! I hope at the end of this article you’ll feel more confident to get out there and explore this planet.
Follow this simple 5 step guide, and (fingers crossed!), you’ll be on your way to feeling confident enough to travel!
**Anxiety and fear of travel can become big problems if you don’t get the help you need. This is a fun article to help you get over your fear of traveling, but if you are struggling with severe anxiety, contact your health provider so that they can help.**
Step 1: Be prepared
A huge part of travel anxiety comes from feeling unprepared in a new environment. You know the old saying, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” How can you prevent this? Do. Your. Research. !! Actually, I recommend this to anyone with a trip coming up, as knowing what to expect wherever you go will help put anyone at ease.
Research the hotel you’ll be staying in, the area around the hotel, and how you’ll be getting around. If you’re coming to Paris (which I hope you are!), research the metro and bus system, or download the Uber application on your phone if you’re planning on getting around that way.
Look up the weather for where you’re going, and pack accordingly. Always, ALWAYS bring extra pairs of underwear and socks, because you never know. I don’t know about all of you, but I ALWAYS end up needing another pair of socks. Maybe after writing this article, I’ll learn my own lesson!
If you have dietary restrictions, research restaurants that will cater to your needs. If you have any medical restrictions, make sure you have all of your medications with you, and maybe pack some extra, just in case. If you have any mobility issues, look into how you can get around in your new destination. I think you get the idea!
Look up different monuments and activities you’d like to do on your trip (like a walking tour with us perhaps?! 😉 ), and make a schedule to follow. This will help ground you, and you’ll always know what’s coming next!
Step 2: Make a plan
For some, spontaneity is what life is all about. For others, the word spontaneity makes you break out into a cold sweat. And that’s okay! If you’re someone that feels anxious when you know your routine will be disrupted, making a plan is essential.
Try to stick to your daily routine as much as possible, even if you’re in a new place. Do you usually wake up, have a cup of coffee, and sit down with the newspaper? Do that while you’re traveling. If you like to exercise a little first thing in the morning, do that too. If you tend to eat your meals at specific times, try to stick to your schedule.
Plan your days around your usual schedule, but throw in some cool experiences too. Eat your meals at 8am, 1pm, and 7pm, but try some of the local fare. In between your meals, explore the new city or town you’re staying in, or go for a long walk.
Make a specific schedule that you can faithfully follow in your new destination, and you’ll feel more grounded! But, I always suggest that you add in a little wiggle room too. Pick a neighborhood to explore (with a map or GPS, of course!), but don’t make a specific route to follow. Wander those unknown streets, and keep your camera handy!
Step 3: Once you start, don’t stop!
Once you pop you can’t stop! Wait…that’s the slogan for Pringles, isn’t it? Well, you can definitely apply this to traveling. If one trip goes well, start planning another! Even if everything doesn’t go swimmingly, keep trying until you find something that works for you!
I think a lot of people may have a fear of traveling because they went on one trip that went horribly wrong. Say it with me…scarred for life! I can’t stress this enough, don’t let one bad experience turn you off from traveling forever.
You’ll miss out on so many new experiences if you vow to never leave your comfort zone. Personally, I grew so much as a person after the first time I left the United States. It’s an eye opening experience that I recommend to anyone!
Start out slow, and try to go on a trip every few years. I guarantee that after a few awesome trips, you won’t be able to get enough!
Step 4: If things get really bad, you can always go home
In our modern world of buses, planes and trains, you’ll always have the option of going home. But, I do think it is essential to give yourself a few days in a new place to let yourself get adjusted before you hop on the next plane home.
Do know this: if your fear of traveling comes from a fear of an emergency happening at home when you’re gone, you can always go back. Don’t plan your life around potential emergencies, or you’ll end up missing out on a lot!
A lot of times, your fears will disappear as soon as you arrive in a new place. It’s super exciting to see things you’ve never seen before! Lean into this excitement, don’t be afraid of it. If you’re lucky, most if not all of your fears and worries will melt away as soon as you start exploring.
Try to bring a travel buddy with you in the form of a friend, family member or loved one. This can be enormously helpful, and your buddy can help you feel more comfortable! Having another person there will also make it more difficult for you to flee and head home. Verbalize your fears, and you may realize they aren’t so scary after all.
Step 5: Get some help for your Paris trip from Sight Seeker’s Paris
If you need help planning a trip to Paris, we’re here to help! Having an itinerary planned out for you by experts is just another way to help put your fears of traveling at easy!
Our Itinerary Planning is a customized service which uses your ‘wish list’ to build your perfect Paris vacation – you will fill out our Wish List Form letting us know everything you definitely want to do, what you want to do if there’s time, and things you do not want to do. We create your personalized trip from there! The service includes making restaurant reservations to suit your taste and budget, as well as suggestions for classes, tastings, neighborhood visits, special events, and museum expositions that are happening in Paris during your visit.
Your final Itinerary Package is put together in a manner that makes it easy to go from one thing to the next with maps, explicit transportation instructions, and general information about your activities.
Each package includes an extensive Itinerary Annex, which is a treasure trove of great information about Paris, the Parisians, museums, public transportation, emergency numbers, and much more.
Some activities must be reserved by credit card (for example wine tasting or Moulin Rouge tickets) and we will guide you through that process.
The price of the Itinerary Planning Service is 250 euros for a 1-3 day Itinerary, or 375 euros for a 4-7 day Itinerary. Visit our Travel Services page to learn more, see a sample Itinerary, and make your payment.
I hope I have helped make traveling less scary! I would never want anyone to miss out on exploring all of the beautiful places around the world, and Paris in particular!
Have you overcome your fear of traveling? Share your own story and tips in the comments below!