It would be a crazy summer to travel. are you ready?
If the forecast is accurate, the travel will be off the rails. We’re talking high prices, seemingly unlimited lines, and frayed bands. In addition, there is a war in Ukraine and the epidemic is still rampant in parts of the world.
I’ve traveled in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East since the beginning of this year, interviewing tourism officials about their expectations for this summer. Almost without exception, they describe what will happen in the same way: it is like a tsunami that is slowly rising over the horizon and will soon engulf us all.
“This summer, everything that can go wrong will go wrong,” says Cleus Young, a frequent flyer and author of Airport Adventure, a children’s book about airport safety.
Yeah, it’s going to be an adventure, okay.
But with a few tweaks at the hands of the experts, you can adjust to the summer of 2022. If you slow down and take a minute to understand what’s going on, you’re halfway there. And there are internal adjustments that will also help you weather the busy travel season.
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Lower your expectations. After two years of not going anywhere, many Americans are ready for a vacation. But experts say you shouldn’t be looking at service levels and prices for 2020 – you’ll be disappointed if you do. “Lower your expectations,” advises Dr. Sandeep Vaishnavi, MD, a psychiatrist at Mindpath Health. “The reward system in the brain is particularly activated if the results exceed expectations. In the case of a busy travel season and all that entails, if you lower your expectations and things go right sometimes, the brain will feel rewarded and get a dopamine boost. This will leave you in a state of mind more happy “. Understood? Expecting a little makes you happier.
Let the world pass by. The summer of 2022 will be a circus. Don’t become a part of it, experts say. Instead, just note. “Travel gives you an opportunity to challenge your view of the world and yourself,” says Patrick Walsh, a psychotherapist from New York. “Consider adopting an observational rather than an engaged attitude toward your fellow travelers. There are countless millions of little power struggles we can get caught up in while traveling, and none of them really matter. Instead, take a break and let Others are competing for positions and arguing about fitness.”
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take care of yourself. This is especially true if you are traveling with children. There is a temptation to ignore your needs and focus on caring for others, which is not much of a vacation. Be vigilant, says Andrea Anderson Polk, a licensed professional counselor from McLean, Virginia. She says travelers should regularly ask themselves what they need, what they feel and what they want. “This is not a selfish practice,” she adds. “It’s essential for dealing with stress.”
Pay attention to what you eat and drink. It’s tempting to let yourself go on your first big ride, but that would be a mistake, warns Dan Meyer. Back & Pack manager, an experimental travel program. “It is critical that you take care of your physical health while traveling,” he says. “Focus on what you put into your body as much as you don’t.” He says vegetarian meals will give you vital nutrients when you travel. He also recommends staying hydrated and avoiding alcohol.
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Repeat an affirmation or mantra. A positive statement that helps you overcome negative thoughts can help you get through a stressful journey. “Choose a positive mantra and repeat it in your head at least 10 to 20 times,” says Henry Bennex, CEO of Soaak, a wellness app. “I am patient and have enough patience to get through this day. Or, I love to travel and welcome new experiences. When you speak these words, your mind bows to what is being said, as the tension and tension fade away.”
Practice gratitude. This is one of the most frequently mentioned tips from therapists and wellness experts. “Remind yourself how lucky and privileged you are to be able to travel at all,” says Raffaello Antonino, a counseling psychologist at Therapy Central, a London counseling centre. “Gratitude may be the best way to get your balance back when frustration sets in — breathe deeply and slowly and remember how lucky you were even to travel in the first place.”
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I agree that setting your expectations and adjusting your travel habits can help. But you have other options. A few weeks ago in Turkey, I met Fonda Irichi, Regional Sales Manager at Susuna Hotel Bodrum. She told me about Yellow Summer in the Bodrum area – the last two weeks of September and the first two weeks of October. “It’s still warm here, but the crowds are gone,” she told me.
This may be the summer experts’ most practical coping strategy: avoidance. I’ll see you on the road – but I may be a little late this summer.
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“Sometimes we get too ambitious and start to get nervous because we won’t be able to see all the milestones we wanted,” says Tasha Holland Kornegay, MD, a licensed mental health practitioner in Sanford, North Carolina. Her advice? Play it by ear. “Give yourself some things to do every day, but also let the world take you where it might be.” Planning too much will put you off and you may miss out on some unexpected opportunities.
Forgetting to breathe. It’s the way you breathe that matters when you’re dealing with the stress of travel. “Focus on deep, slow breaths, especially when you’re dealing with technology or humans on your journey,” says wellness expert Ruth C. White. “Moments like checking your luggage, going to the service desk, going through airport security. Or sitting in traffic to and from airports, train stations, or on road trips.” Deep, slow breaths calm your nerves and help you become more focused. They will get you through the worst of it.
Wait until the last minute to book your rental car. Remember last summer, when it was impossible to find rental cars? Experts are looking for a summertime supplement. “Be careful with the order you make your reservations,” advises Mike Taylor, who heads travel research at JD Power. “Due to the lack of rental cars and disruption to the flight schedule, it may be best for travelers to book the rental car first, then the flight, then the hotel.”