In Practice

Putting social psychology to work for you

Build Travel Confidence: Science-Based Strategies

Five practical, cognitive therapy-based tips for travel confidence.

Perhentian Islands
Perhentian Islands
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1. Collect data to reality test negative predictions

Example: you fear being kidnapped in central america. Find out how many travelers visit where you want to travel and how many kidnappings of tourists occur. Calculate the real probability. 

2. For smaller worries, strengthen your belief in your capacity to cope with negative events

Example: you fear that the airport taxi driver will drive unsafely. Behaviorally, what would you do if this happened? 

3. Act sensible but confident. Take precautions that are neither excessive or lax

Example: learn how to say "Please slow down, I feel scared" in the language spoken where you're traveling.

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High worriers sometimes don't think about simple strategies that could minimize the harm if a problem did occur.

4. Recognize catastrophizing

Example: If you fear your airline losing your luggage, remind yourself that while this would be unpleasant and frustrating, it would not be a catastrophe.

5. Recall times when things didn't go wrong

Example: If you're worried about missing a flight connection, recall times when you didn't miss your connection.  

If you liked this article

If you liked this article, you'll probably like this one on 50 Common Cognitive Distortions.

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photo credit: Perhentian Islands 

Alice Boyes, Ph.D. translates principles from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and social psychology into tips people can use in their everyday lives.

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