Covid-19 has had lasting effects on most industries — and arguably one of the biggest on travel. Between the forms and new health risks, this has led to new levels of anxiety for many people.

According to Dr. Charlotte Russell, Covid-19 has led to uncertainty for many, leaving travellers stressed or uncomfortable with the idea of heading to the airport, remembering all the required forms, boarding a plane and jetting off to parts unknown — let alone avoiding getting sick.

Russell says: “The processes when we travelled were known and familiar. An unexpected situation that affects our way of life will inevitably affect our perception of how safe and predictable the world is. We experienced long periods of uncertainty with changing rules, which can leave us with a lingering sense that the world might suddenly change again.”

What this anxiety means for many, she says, is our body’s threat system being triggered, leading to physical symptoms like heart palpitations, sweating and feeling ill. 

When it comes to managing anxiety, Russell says preparation is key: check your destination’s requirements well ahead of time in regards to any paperwork you’ll need to enter the country and return. Double-check what you’ve learned with fellow travellers or any tour operator you’re using if you continue to feel anxious. 

If your mind continues to think catastrophic thoughts, remind yourself that this is only your brain coping.

To keep your mind relaxed, Russell suggests bringing something to focus on while queuing at the airport. Bring a book, a game or scroll through social media, guilt-free. She also suggests reading about your destination to get yourself excited.

Finally, Russell says try not to get intimidated by airport security: “​​Remind yourself that you are an adult and staff are there to get you through each step safely and successfully.”