Travel can be a fearful business, even if you've scored the best travel insurance policy there is. Things can go wrong all the time, from the airplane crashing to having a bad hot dog and getting food poisoning. Here are some of the things travelers are most commonly afraid of:
Fear of being away from home
Certainly common, and quite reasonable, this is the fear of being away from loved ones, the dog, work... After all, if you're not there to make sure everything is OK, it probably won't be.
The way to get over it is to realize most people and things don't really rely on you being there all the time. They can probably manage on their own. Personally, I suffer this fear a lot. But I'm no good for those at home if I don't get a break now and then, so I travel anyway.
Fear of illness
While swine flu is the illness of the day, and bird flu a couple of years ago, there are many other bugs and viruses laying in wait wherever you go. The biggest problem is in reality travelers' diarrhea, or Moctezuma's Revenge, which can hit you anywhere the food and water isn't what you're used to. There's no reason to stop traveling because you could get sick, the office kitchen is just as much of a breeding ground for bacteria!
Carry some anti-septic wipes or alcoholic hand gel if you'd like, but as long as you wash your hands, you'll be fine.
Fear of flying
The most common travel fear by far is a fear of flying. A fully irrational fear, it's nonetheless crippling to some sufferers. While plane crashes are frightening, there's only a 1 in 11 million chance of you being in one. In fact, per mile traveled, air planes are much safer than driving, something most people are quite happy doing on a daily basis. In fact, you're more likely to get struck by lightning, as 1 in 3 million will have that happen. But if you're worried about getting on a plane, here are some ideas on how to cure your fear of flying.
Fear of a bad flight
Air travel has got to be such a hassle in the last 10 years that some travelers rather stay at home than get on a plane. Blame TSA or the terrorists, but that's how it is. Intrusive security checks, strange carry on restrictions, awful food, dingy airports, and other travelers conspire to make our trips less than enjoyable. Definitely something to be afraid of, and has even affected how I look at travel. The destination, as alluring as it is, isn't worth the hassle every time anymore.
Fear of losing luggage
The Transportation Department puts your chance of losing your bags at 1 in 285. But airlines have different levels of (non) performance with checked luggage and those traveling with American Eagle or SkyWest should probably try to travel with only carry on luggage. On the other hand, AirTran only loses 1 bag in 500 due to better tracking technology. It's a hassle to lose your bags, even if just for a few days, and can certainly dampen the mood for your continued vacation. The lesson is to put all your really important stuff in your carry on bag.
Maybe best to stay at home
After reading all that, maybe you think the best way to avoid it all is to stay at home. But not even that works too well, as the anxiety around these fears will only grow stronger the less you're exposed to them. And, you'll be missing out on sights like California's Big Sur!
So, what are you worried about when traveling? Hit the comments!
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