Your Travel Fears Are Legit, but Here’s How to Conquer Them

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Traveling, especially for beginners, often involves getting out of your comfort zone. This is one part we don’t get to see because sometimes traveling to new countries and destinations is concealed in glamorous hotels and breathtaking destinations. What we don’t always see are the issues we have to face before getting to these stages. 

Your fears of travel may be valid, but you must learn how to overcome them to get the most out of your travel. Here are some common fears that may be keeping you from booking your next trip and how you can overcome them. 

1. Traveling Solo

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You may never get to travel if you wait to do it with friends and family. Yes, we get it; traveling with friends and family may seem like much more fun, but only some are lucky enough to have great company to travel with. 

 So, what do you do if you have no luxury of great travel buddies?

First, understand that your fears of solo traveling are valid. There is safety in numbers. However, you can choose to focus on the good side of solo traveling, like not having to worry about cost-sharing or arguments that often happen while traveling with friends. 

To get started, take solo day trips from your home. You don’t have to dive into the deep end by booking a solo one-month trip. Start slow as a way of getting out of your comfort zone. 

Then, start by looking for destinations considered safe for solo travelers by other people who have done it before. Booking guided trips is also a great way of escaping touring your destination alone. 

2. Social Anxiety: “Do I Have to Talk to Strangers?” 

Social Anxiety
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Meeting locals is always a great way to understand your destination better. But what if they are rude? What if you are not so good at social interactions?

Traveling with friends is a great way to face the social anxiety that comes with interacting and meeting new people. But then again, we don’t always get this luxury, so you may have to opt for other ways out. 

One thing you can do to calm your fear is to plan your trip in detail. For example, have a map downloaded on your phone so you don’t have to ask for directions. 

Taking trips with tour companies is also a great way to meet people with your interests. It is almost guaranteed you will have an easy-flowing conversation with other travelers. While staying in hostels may be extreme for someone introverted, it is a great way to meet travel buddies to tour the city. 

3. Lost in Translation: What if They Don’t Speak English?

Lost in Translation
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No, you don’t need to speak French to go to Paris. You certainly can travel to Vietnam if you are not a Vietnamese speaker. The fear of traveling to destinations that don’t speak English as their first language should not be why you miss out on the world’s most incredible travel destinations. 

Before your trip, go online and learn a few words in the country’s native language. “Hello,” “Please,” “Thank you,” “Excuse me,” and “Where is + place?” are great phrases to master. Be sure to learn to say “Do you speak English?” in the native language. 

This will help you meet people who speak English and be able to ask them for help. You can always ask the next person if the first person doesn’t speak English. You also want to download a translator such as Google Translate and activate it to use offline. 

4. Standing Up for Yourself in the Face of Racism

Yourself in the Face of Racism
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You’ve probably seen TikTok videos of travel vloggers talking about facing racism while traveling to specific destinations. 

Do your research before booking a destination where you are not among the dominant demographic. Look at the experience other travelers have had and how they dealt with it. If the destination is aggressively racist and xenophobic, you are safer avoiding it altogether. Your safety is paramount, and you can always visit many other places. 

If what other people have faced is more of subtle racism, do speak up when you see something. Stand for yourself if anything makes you uncomfortable, and ask for help when something happens. 

5. Running Out of Money

Running Out of Money
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This can be any traveler’s worst nightmare – running out of money mid-trip. 

Yes, you may think you budgeted well and planned enough, but it does happen to many people when they arrive in foreign countries. 

First, you are safer booking a return ticket and full accommodation before leaving your country. This way, you are assured that you will have a roof over your head and a way back home even if your money runs out. 

Secondly, before traveling, let family and friends know you’re going. If you do run out, they may be generous enough to lend you some money, and it’s better if they already know where you are. 

Lastly, don’t wait until you’re completely broke to start thinking of what to do. Start looking for a backup plan before you hit rock bottom, even if that means changing your return ticket to come home sooner than you had wanted to.

6. Fear of Being Robbed and Scammed 

Being robbed and cheated
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What if your passport is stolen? What if you lose your valuables? What if you are scammed out of your money? All these thoughts can be scary for travelers, and unfortunately, it happens to many. 

While touring any city or tourist attraction, leave your valuables and important documents in your hotel room, preferably locked in a safe.

Also, before traveling, educate yourself on the popular scams in the destinations. It will save you from falling for what may seem like something innocent but is a scheme to scam or rob you.  

7. What if Traveling Is Lonely or You Get Homesick?

Traveling alone
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Traveling alone can be lonely, especially if you are taking long trips. While there are many ways to meet new people and make new friends, it is not always a guarantee. 

One great way to fight loneliness while traveling is to keep in close touch with your family and friends back home. Schedule times when you know you’ll get to Facetime or Zoom with them. Start a group chat before you go so you make sure to have everyone’s contact info and send pics and updates often. You may be across the world, but it will feel like they’re on the journey with you.

You may also want to talk to people who live in your destination in advance. Local Facebook groups and Reddit communities are great places to meet locals. 

8. Fear of Not Getting Value for Your Money 

Not Value for Your Money
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We often see social media stories of travelers underwhelmed, scammed, robbed, or disappointed in their travel destination. Spending so much on your travel can be devastating for it not to meet your expectations. 

To avoid this, start by keeping your expectations realistic. Yes, you may be visiting the city that is portrayed as super-glamorous. Even though your favorite travel influencer had a great time, there is no guarantee that you will. 

Secondly, research and choose your destinations depending on your travel goals. Looking to travel for soul-searching reasons? Research and choose destinations that are likely to offer exactly that. Looking to party and let loose? Finding destinations with the best nightlife will give you value for your money. 

Do you get the geist? Choosing a destination that offers what you want to achieve is a great way to ensure you get value for your money. 

9. Tackling the Fear of Food and Waterborne Risks on Your Travels

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One of the things to do while traveling is try out local food. However, this does not work for everybody. A lot of people get sick from local food and water while traveling. 

Before you leave, research whether the water in the city is sanitary. If not, stick to bottled water when you arrive. Avoid foods that increase the risk of food poisoning while traveling. These may include cooked pasta and rice, prepared salads, vegetable and fruits, raw or lightly cooked eggs, shellfish and seafood, dairy products, poultry, and other types of meat.

You need to also have hand sanitizer to use before you have any food. That is it for prevention. But what if it happens? 

Seek medical attention as soon as you experience symptoms of food poisoning. You can always travel with Tylenol, Dramamine, Imodium, or Pepto-Bismol. Also, have water and Gatorade to rehydrate if you experience diarrhea or vomiting.

Yes, people get sick with traveling, but it’s rarely devastating. Don’t let the fear of getting sick keep you from traveling.

10. How to Overcome the Fear of Violence on Your Travels

A girl is in danger
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You want to avoid destinations known for being dangerous for women traveling solo. While this can happen while traveling to any part of the world, it is prone in some specific popular tourist destinations. 

For instance, many travelers have been assaulted in Istanbul, Turkey, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. While you may be tempted to tour these areas, it is not worth doing it alone. You are safer being in groups while touring such regions. 

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scared woman
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Demi Michele is a seasoned traveler, turned freelance writer. Having explored most states and ventured internationally, her love for outdoor cafes, new cuisines, and cultural immersion shines through her wide range of articles. Based in Texas with her family and two Scottish Terriers, Demi turns her adventures into captivating travel narratives to share with readers.