Most of us look forward to going on holiday. You might even be counting down the days to your next trip away. If you suffer from emetophobia, though, the prospect of taking a vacation is not all sunshine and roses.
Putting yourself in an unfamiliar place means you might not be able to control situations to the same extent that you can at home. Plus, a lot of holiday activities, like eating in restaurants and enjoying a drink or two, could be triggering for you.
To prevent you from getting the holiday blues before your time in the sun has even begun, EmetoGo has 4 steps you can take to ensure that emetophobia does not ruin your holiday.
1. Don’t leave your travel buddies in the dark
Before you set off on your holiday, you should let the people you’re travelling with know that you’re a little apprehensive. Trying to keep your fears under wraps only adds an extra level of pressure on the holiday, as you’ll be worrying both about your triggers and having to pretend that everything is OK.
If you’re close enough to travel together, chances are that they already know about your emetophobia. You don’t need to make a big deal about it. Just let people know that you have a phobia that could make certain vacation scenarios quite daunting.
This conversation is also a great opportunity to let your companions know what they can do to make you feel more comfortable. For example, would you prefer them to give you space if your anxiety is high, or would you appreciate it if they comforted you? Establishing this ahead of time will save you from a lot of potential future worry.
2. Be organised
A big part of what makes the prospect of a holiday scary is all of the unknown factors. To put yourself in the best position to tackle this uncertainty with relative ease, you should make sure that the things you can control are taken care of. In other words, do as much preparation as possible to keep your anxiety levels low from the get-go.
This means packing in good time, making sure you have all important documents ready, and getting to your departure location with plenty of time to spare. You should also aim to get plenty of sleep the night before your trip begins. All of these little things will make a big difference to how you feel on the day you set off.
Worried that your travel companions will not be as well-prepared as you? Help them out! Remind them of things they need to pack, bring spares of items they may forget and offer to give them a lift to the airport/station/ferry port. Be careful to do these steps tactfully—you don’t want to get on anyone’s nerves!
3. Have supplies ready
Something that will give you a sense of protection while you’re away is knowing that you have items that you find familiar or comforting on hand. While it’s probably inconvenient to bring your favourite bedding, you can certainly take things like essential oils or your favourite mints on holiday with you.
Create a little care package for yourself that you can carry on-the-go. It could include things like:
- Your favourite perfume or essential oil
- Snacks that you consider “safe”
- A water bottle
- Motion sickness tablets (just in case)
- Herbal tea bags
- A photo of your pet
You can also practise some relaxation techniques before you leave so that you can use them if needed. The great thing about these coping methods is that they can basically be done anywhere!
4. Focus on why you’re going
In the midst of all the preparation you do to reduce anxiety, don’t forget to keep your mind on why you’re going on holiday in the first place—it’s great fun!
Holidays offer us new experiences, exciting adventures and the opportunity to get closer to the people we love. Whether you’re planning a relaxing vacation by the beach, a jaunt in the countryside, or a weekend city break, you’ll have plenty to look forward to.
The truth is that you’re much more likely to regret not going on holiday and missing out on all the fun than pushing yourself to be brave and get out there. The memories we make on holiday are often the ones that stick with us for years to come, so don’t let your phobia rob you of these special moments!
We hope these tips have given you the final nudge to plan that trip away. If you’re looking for self-help exercises that can take the stress out of travelling, head to our list of 8 Calming Techniques for Emetophobia.
All that’s left for us to say is: bon voyage!
Going on holiday with someone who has a fear of vomit? Check out our article on how to help someone with emetophobia.