Be Prepared, Not Afraid

Brooke Faulkner
January 16, 2024

Traveling to exotic places can be fun but also scary, especially if you are traveling alone. When you don’t know what to expect, your fears can run wild. There are always safety precautions to consider when taking a trip, but if you are well prepared, things will go much smoother.  

Stepping outside your comfort zone can be exhilarating and allow you to experience more of life. However, trying new things can also produce fear and reluctance. Once you pass through the uncomfortable emotions, you can fully enjoy the experience. You will feel more alive and more independent. Don’t let your fears about travel keep you from experiencing the world.

Driving in Unfamiliar Territory

Driving somewhere new is always a little stressful. When you travel, if you will be driving, keep in mind some simple tips so you won’t become overwhelmed and disoriented. Other countries have different road rules and cultural norms, so you will want to be extra cautious when driving overseas.

Whether you are traveling within the United States or outside of it, take the time beforehand to familiarize yourself with the area that you will be staying and research potential routes. Google maps provides a great tool with street views, making this quick and easy. When you pick up a rental car, take a few minutes to get comfortable with it and keep the gas tank full — you don’t want to get stranded in unknown areas by running out of gas.

Take your time to get to know the area, don’t rush, and take breaks when you are tired. Share the driving task with someone else so one of you can navigate safely. Use a GPS but don’t rely on it, sometimes maps are not up to date. Be sure to allow plenty of time to get to your destination and use your turn signals always.

Exposure to Disease

Another potential obstacle to travel is disease. Some countries are still ravaged by diseases like tuberculosis (TB). In those areas, the BCG vaccine is widely used to control the spread of infection. However, in the U.S. BCG is not strongly recommended by physicians and instead they urge you to avoid any prolonged exposure to someone with TB.

Thankfully, modern medicine provides treatment and a cure for TB if you are exposed while traveling or from someone stateside who is infected with the disease. There is a simple TB test you can take to detect whether you carry the pathogen and then treatment can begin at once. There are two types of tests, a skin test, and a blood test. The most effective is the blood test which is more thorough.

Before traveling, research online to find out what potential diseases might exist in the areas that will be visiting. Sometimes you can become inoculated before leaving. See your physician for more details.

Be Prepared for Anything in the Wilderness

Some of the best travel destinations in the world will have you exploring beautiful terrain and enjoying breathtaking vistas. Being in the wilderness, however, comes with a whole different set of challenges. As long as you prepare for anything, your outdoor adventure should result in precious memories.

Be sure to pack appropriate gear for the season and terrain that you will be exploring. Brush up on your first-aid skills and pack some basic emergency supplies. Consider hiring a travel guide to steer you clear of danger or use the buddy system and travel with a friend or companion.

Check weather reports and dress appropriately for quick changes in climate, temperature, and wind conditions. Wear layers and bring extra sets of socks, shirts, and hats to shield your head from the sun. Don’t forget sunglasses, sunscreen, and bug repellent.

Fear of Flying

Sometimes the thing that keeps someone from traveling is fear. Fear of flying is a common problem that some people experience. Other times it may be health issues that can be exacerbated by travel. Someone with poor circulation, for example, might be afraid of blood clots during long flights. The good news is, you can allay these fears with a little preparation and a few helpful tips.

During long flights, make sure you get up every hour and take walks down the aisle. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. The recirculated air on planes is very dry, and you want to keep your blood from thickening. You can flex your ankles or stretch your your legs also to improve circulation when sitting for long periods. Ask your doctor about compression stockings to prevent blood clots if you have a serious condition.  

Tips to Stay Healthy While Traveling

It can be hard enough to stay healthy while at home. When you travel, it can be even more challenging. Before you decide to take off to see the world, boost your immunity with healthy foods for a few days first. Pack healthy snacks to eat during your travel so you won’t have to rely on fast food and arrive feeling sick or stuffed.

Get online and research your destination so you can get a sense of the types of foods available and places to eat that fit your diet and any allergy concerns. You can use Yelp and TripAdvisor for tips on the perfect restaurants to try out. Stay away from raw foods when traveling, especially fruits and vegetables. According to The World Health Organization, more than 2 million people die each year from foodborne illness.

Water in other areas may not be safe to drink. Always purify it first by boiling or drink bottled water. Bring something to protect you from disease-carrying insects, such as bug repellent. The sun and heat can present health dangers if you are not careful, so always drink plenty of water and bring protective clothing to shield your body from sunburn.

With a little research and some simple preparation, you can travel confidently to anywhere in the world that you want. Don’t let your fears get in the way; travel boldly from a place of confidence and preparedness instead.

Brooke Faulkner
Brooke Faulkner is a writer and mom in the Pacific Northwest. She loves exposing her children to new cultures and experiences and being able to make a living doing so! You can find her on twitter, @faulknercreek!


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