Easy Ways to Help Timid Travelers Branch Out on Vacation

by Angelique Platas

May 8, 2019

Sonerbakir – Dreamstime.com

Travel Tips

Oftentimes, the older we get, the more set in our ways we can become. Whether the fears you never realized as a child begin to sink in or the comforts of your home you’ve worked hard to provide are more alluring than the wide, open unknown, there are a few tricks of the trade you can use to encourage yourself, kids, partner and parents to step outside of the comfort zone — conveniently, by way of vacation.

Family vacations are a great time to shake things up and experience something new. Sure, you want to relax, unwind and recharge, but some out-of-your-comfort-zone activities can really elevate your trip.

Ease Travel Anxiety

First things first, you need to get where you are going. If anyone in your family or group is afraid to fly, claustrophobic or an anxious traveler, there are a few ways you can help. Downloading movies, shows and games on tablet devices is a great way to keep your anxious family member distracted, but also having a conversation about travel can help. Assure your timid family members through conversation, patience and understanding and once they see the experience is not only manageable, but they also have a partner to make it easier, they may be more willing to step a bit outside of their comfort zone.

Try New Foods

Once in your new family vacation destination, a great way to enjoy your surroundings is to take a foodie tour. This way, you get to dip your toe just outside of your comfort zone without compromising the whole trip. Even if your family is a mixed bag of adventurous and picky eaters, finding a half-day or even week-long foodie tour can help expose them to a new culture, or show off an interesting side to a destination you know and love. At the end of the day, your family gets fed, stretches their legs, walks around, visit markets and makes friends.

Kitchen stall on Jakarta travel exploring Indonesia street food.

Jakarta travel exploring Indonesia street food. Photo: Arne9001 – Dreamstime.com

Visit the Locals

Whether on a cruise, resort or somewhere removed just far enough from reality to feel like a vacation, get out and about to make your way like a local — even if it’s only visiting a nearby town for a few hours to shop and have coffee, or booking an on-resort excursion and spending the day exploring the locale. If you’re nervous about the area, pre-plan or discuss with a hotel concierge about where to go or even custom tour opportunities.

Get Out and Ride

The old adage of “getting back on the horse” can be a literal activity on vacation. Find a local horseback riding tour, cycling excursion or hop-on-hop-off bus tour and get the lay of the land. This way, you can enjoy your surroundings with a new perspective and even test out those cycling skills you may have forgotten about — and the kids get a chance to show off!


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