The first thing to know is that you are not alone.
Fear or anxiety when travelling is very common - there are so many people in the world who are bubbling with wanderlust but too anxious to take the jump.
As a frequent traveller myself, it's only natural that I sometimes get nervous before taking a trip, but it's the thought of meeting new people, discovering hidden gems and having the adventure of a lifetime that helps put my mind at ease.
One of the most effective ways to soothe your anxiety is preparation. I find that an organised plan makes for an organised mind.
So here are five simple ways to help ease your doubts and 'what if's?' when travelling abroad!
Is it safe to travel alone?
Travelling solo is possibly the most nerve-wracking and empowering thing you can experience. It is going to be a challenge at times, but you will learn so much about yourself and become more independent because of it.
When travelling solo, it is important to have an emergency contact and keep in touch with family/friends back home so you know that you've always got someone you can rely on.
If you're still feeling uneasy, there are loads of travel organisations and communities who travel in groups with safeguards in place to make sure you get the most out of your travels whilst staying safe. And it's a great way to make some new friends for life!
What if something bad happens?
According to the CDC, the majority of deaths abroad are due to natural causes so it's important to make sure you are healthy before you travel.
If you are healthy enough to travel, the chances of experiencing any fatal incidents while abroad are slim. Paranoia can get the best of you sometimes, but that's all it is - paranoia.
To help ease your worries, it's a good idea to watch YouTube videos of people talking about their travels abroad, ask questions on travel forums, read articles and take everything that people say with a grain of salt. People tend to exaggerate. For trustworthy advice you can always check out the FCO's Travel Advice page.
Whilst casualties are unlikely, applying for travel insurance and an EHIC is the best way to know that you will be able to seek help and protection if you happen to get into a sticky situation.
Applying for a EHIC is completely free of charge and you will be able to get free or reduced health care across all EU countries.
Find out how to apply here.
Worried you may get sick?
Luckily there are vaccinations available and they are a necessity before travelling to certain countries.
Use this vaccination guide to make sure you get the correct vaccinations needed before travelling to parts of the world where some serious diseases are found.
Also, be aware of tap water! This handy tool lets you type in a country and find out whether the tap water is safe to drink or not.
If tap water isn't safe in the country you're travelling to, always make sure to have bottled water on hand but if you don't have access to bottled water, the best thing you can do is boil water for 1 minute or, in an emergency, leave a bottle out in the sunlight for 3 hours.
How will I communicate?
It can be difficult to communicate in a foreign country when you don't speak the native language fluently, but you don't have to be multilingual or even bi-lingual to travel abroad.
Of course, it is great if you can find the time to learn the language before you travel, but if not it is very easy to find online courses or pocket-size books, such as the Lonely Planet phrase books which give you all the basics!
And the locals are always more than willing to help you out.
Fear of the unknown?
"Only thing we have to fear is fear itself" - Franklin D. Roosevelt
Research is your best friend. Read up on countries before you visit them, especially their laws and local customs. Take advantage of the abundance of resources available on the internet which allow you to plan out your entire trip before you've even stepped a foot out of your house! The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has up-to-date information here on any country you might be visiting, with all the information you might need in one place.
Once you know what to expect, it doesn't feel so scary anymore.