Covid has taken an immense toll on us all – on a personal level, many of us have felt the strain physically and mentally. From a broader perspective, economies have suffered, businesses have closed, and many families have felt the financial pinch. It’s no wonder so many of us are searching for some time away to recharge, unwind and refresh. However, you may find the thought of a vacation overwhelming especially if you’re caught in the clutches of ‘pandemic travel anxiety’. If you’re still needing some time away but you’re struggling to ease your anxiety, take a look at some of the tips below.
Research, Research, Research
So, you have your vacation destination in mind, but are you familiar with their covid restrictions? Will you need to quarantine on arrival? Do you need your vaccinations to enter the country? Do you need to wear a mask, and if so, in what places?
Take the time to really familiarize yourself with your vacation destinations restrictions. Contact local hotels, check out government websites, and contact your airline if you need to. Uncertainty and facing the unknown are the biggest anxiety triggers you can face, and this applies to pandemic travel anxiety too. When you take the time to do your research, you can enter your destination mentally (and practically!) prepared and ease your anxiety in the process.
Pack the Appropriate ‘Covid’ Supplies
If you’re worried about contracting Coronavirus during your travels or whilst on holiday, make sure you come prepared. Whether you’re waiting in line at security, boarding the plane or waiting in the hotel lobby, local mandates may require that you wear a mask. From masks and sanitizer to anti-anxiety medications, herbal remedies, travel sickness bands or disposable gloves, make sure you have everything you need ready to access when required. Remember, it’s always best to pack more than you might think; you never know when you might end up taking an unexpected trip to a store or attraction so pack for the unexpected, and pack plenty. Some of the most common Covid travel supplies include:
- Disposable masks (so you can change regularly without needing to wash them)
- Disposable gloves
- Disinfectant wipes
- Reusable bowls and cutlery
- Reusable bottles
- Pre-packed snacks (to avoid food handed out on the plane)
The best thing you can do to prevent any illness is to stay healthy. Once you’ve planned ahead for your trip, focus on incorporating more exercise and healthier eating habits into your routine. Many foods are naturally effective at boosting the immune system, including citrus fruits, oily fish, ginger, green tea and dark chocolate. You could also consider limiting your caffeine and alcohol consumption which can reduce stress levels, and make time for yourself each day to do some “self-care”. Whether it’s mindfulness, gardening, painting or walking a canine companion, find the things that make you feel good and do more of them.
Avoid Travelling to Vacation Hotspots
Holidaymakers can be quite predictable. Even during Covid, you’ll find the most common vacation hotspots are still buzzing with life, and if you’re anxious about travelling or becoming unwell, it may be best to take a trip to somewhere quieter. For example, Egypt, The UAE, Spain, Greece and Italy are some of the most common hotspots, so why not consider somewhere outside your usual preferences? Not only can it be an enriching experience, but it can make you feel calmer about travelling too. For example, although the UK’s climate doesn’t make it a top choice for holidaymakers, it still attracts a large number of visitors each year and it has an abundance of countryside and scenic coastlines, which make it perfect for a quiet getaway. Before travelling to the UK, you should apply for a UK Visitor Visa and be sure to check travel restrictions.
Consider a ‘Staycation’
If the thought of travelling and leaving your own country is too overwhelming, remember, you’re not alone. The staycation is becoming an increasingly popular vacation choice for travelers this year. Earlier this year, the UK saw a surge of 300% in domestic vacation bookings, and staycation enquiries are reaching record levels. There are many benefits to the staycation too: it’s often cheaper, travel times are quicker, and if you’re feeling anxious about Covid, you’ll eliminate a huge amount of stress for yourself. The most important thing you can do is to listen to your body and mind and respect your own boundaries. Don’t be afraid to do what’s right for you.
About the author:
This article was written by Bethany Morris, a content writer for the UK’s Immigration Advice Service.