Although the majority of travel is generally enjoyable, and sometimes life transforming, there is no doubt that travel can be stressful. Lack of familiar support systems, disrupted daily routines, language barriers, culture shock, and unexpected situations intensify stress levels rather than alleviate them. Travel also forces you to give up your sense of control; it challenges perceptions, can reveal personal limitations, and may alter your thinking, mood, behaviour, and reactions.
Even if you don't have a prior history of mental illness, travel stress, mood changes, anxiety and other mental health concerns can unexpectedly affect you and potentially disrupt your trip.
Studies show that psychiatric emergencies are the leading cause for air evacuations along with injuries and cardiovascular disease.
Your mental and physical health prior to, and during, a trip determines how well you will cope with travel stress. Consider the following:
The Travel Stress whitepaper is part of our Travel and Mental Health Series. Inside you'll find tips for coping with travel stress and tips for travellers with no prior history of mental illness. Other whitepapers in the series address travel and depression, travel and anxiety, travel and substance use, and travel and psychosis, all available from our eLibrary.Download