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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

Travel anxiety has some hesitant to book trips post COVID pandemic

The urge to go on vacation is strong, but so are the concerns about traveling.

HOUSTON — Coronavirus cases are falling in the United States, and it has many of us anxious to start traveling again. Only thing is...flying the friendly skies can also bring anxiety. 

So how can you ease those concerns? Let's connect the dots.

Post-COVID travel reentry anxiety

A pandemic weary public has made it clear what they want to do next: travel. But for some the idea of getting on a crowded plane and staying in strange hotels is a little overwhelming after all we’ve been through. 

Mental health professionals even have a name for it, “Re-entry Anxiety.” They report both vaccinated and unvaccinated patients are expressing concerns about returning to in person activities.

Exposure therapy, start slow

So what can you do about it? First things first, if you have extreme anxiety, contact a medical professional. But if you are simply worried or feeling unease, there are some things you can try. 

Experts recommend exposure therapy, allowing yourself to ease back into situations. The key to this is to start off slowly.

Take shorter trips

If you're worried about restaurants in a strange city, try going out to one in your hometown that you are comfortable with. If a long plane ride is the issue, try a shorter trip first. If a big hotel with a crowded lobby is your concern, you can book an Airbnb. Experts also recommend accepting that you will feel anxious. Just acknowledging that it is expected and normal can bring comfort.