Everyone has weaknesses and fears. Even if you look lionhearted as how other people see your physical appearance, still, there are things that scare or bring you horror. There are things or events that make you take one or more steps backward. Phobias do exist, and certain situations and places can trigger them.
One of the fears that people commonly know about is called acrophobia or the fear of heights — of being in and on tall and high places. This is actually a medical condition, so if you have this, you know that you must really be mindful.
Traveling is one of the events that might be a bit or a lot straining for you if you fear heights. It’s because you go from here to there, and you don’t have control over the structures, the ways and the transport systems of the places you visit.
That’s why even before you travel, you should prepare for your trip to agree with your condition or at least prevent the worsening of any occurrences regarding it. Especially if your travel is international and will include some thrilling adventures, you must get ready!
To aid you with that, below are 7 travel tips that people with fear of heights, just like you, should take into consideration.
Let Your Companions Know Its Intensity
Based on how you can handle yourself, you can choose to travel alone or not. Traveling with your friends, your family or any trusted companion, however, is more recommended. In that way, you have someone close who knows whenever you need any assistance and whatever help for any activity that will involve heights.
It is important that if you travel with your loved ones, you initially let them know that with not a pint of joke, you are truly afraid of heights. Some might not believe immediately or might not take you seriously if you don’t tell them ahead. They might think that you’re just kidding or making an excuse for you to be exempted from getting on those high rides at the amusement park.
Informing your companions is also necessary so that they will not force you to join activities or go to places you don’t want because you’re scared. Because they do not really know that you have acrophobia, your family members or relatives might be insistent that you go hike a mountain with them. They might even feel bad towards you for not joining them. Well, while it’s up to them to believe or not, you should honestly tell them beforehand so that everything will be alright.
Explain to them that you are really afraid of heights. It would help them also if you give them an idea of its degree, so they’d know the limits of what heights you can take. In that way, they can pay attention to you when necessary and can also guide you when you need help. They can consider you when choosing places to go to.
Tell Plane Staff About Your Concern
There are acrophobic people who are not entirely scared of riding airplanes. For flying, it’s important that you seek medical care first, so you’ll know how to manage your condition while up there. Medical professionals do and teach techniques for you to help yourself during airplane flights, so it’ll be good to visit them before traveling through plane. Especially if it’s going to be your first airplane ride, you really have to see one first!
If you’ve understood all the doctor’s words and have made sure of your disposition, then it’s time for you to let the plane staff know regarding your condition as well. In that way, they will neither be surprised nor clueless about what you need in case any situation that is caused by your fear of heights arises.
They can also let you know what service they can provide if ever the need surfaces. Awareness is significant because while you’re not hoping that anything requiring medical attention to happen to you inside the plane, at least, everybody has been advised. It benefits everyone that needs proper information on time.
Specify Your Hotel Room Choice
For your accommodation, you should also be mindful of the hotel room you are going to book. Be certain that you can get that room located on the ground floor or at least within the floor where you can already be at ease.
Deciding about this should be done in advance because you still need to make a request to the hotel. Tell them early, so that in case they don’t have available rooms in lower floors, they still have time to easily come up with solutions, or you can still look for other hotels.
There also are hotel areas which might cause tension to you like balconies, long and high stairs, and glass windows and elevators. You should also ask the hotel staff accommodating your booking request whether the rooms they’re offering you are close to such areas. Notify them that you’re looking for a room that isn’t close to those spaces. If they have glass elevators, ask if there are alternative transportation means going up and down their high building.
Choose Low Destinations
If you’re traveling for leisure, relaxation and discovery, many of the recommended destinations are often hard-to-reach. They could be far tourist spots and high places which tourists must go to and experience before leaving the place!
While those sites are surely considered “must-see” and “must-visit”, it’s not required that you push yourself if you do not want to go up on mountains, towers and tall buildings or cross hanging bridges or go on extreme rides.
You can witness amazing views and sceneries even from the lowest of heights, even from the valleys, even from the floor! Perspective makes you look from another beautiful side, right? You can choose low destinations if you don’t want the elevated ones. You can still enjoy and have tons of fun. Your eyes can still get happily filled with splendid sights.
For instances when you don’t really have a choice but to stand or sit on a high ground, you have to help yourself through your own self-help techniques such as distracting yourself.
Inside the airplane, if you feel like you’re slowly or slightly getting scared, or if you feel like the tendency that you’re going to panic is high, do things that will divert your attention and feeling.
You can listen to music, watch a movie, read a book, eat or sleep. Whatever activity doable inside the plane that can prevent or relieve your panicking thoughts and reactions, do it; do them. The pilot and the other plane passengers will not adjust for you if right in the middle of the flight, you suddenly feel uncomfortable and troubled.
You should help yourself by losing concentration on what frightens you.
Value Medical Help
Since having fear of heights is a real and existent thing, and not just any “excuse” or any “attention-seeking style”, there’s a need for medical consultation and doctor’s prescription.
After having yourself professionally checked up by your doctor, do not forget to keep in mind all pieces of advice and medications given to you. These also include anxiety management strategies which are vital for you to learn and understand in detail, so that when the need for them to be executed and applied arises, you can do them properly. They can help you only if you take the right steps.
Challenge To Overcome
While some people are too afraid to even look at their fears, some also truly believe that fears are to be overcome. Even if doing so is difficult, at some point, they try to help themselves by facing their fears with the hope that they will be able to conquer them.
If you think the same as the latter, traveling that involves a spice of adventure can be both fun and challenging for you. If you’re an acrophobic person who wants to get out of the rails of your anxiety, then probably, putting yourself to a challenge you believe you can take and you’re willing to take can be a key! If you haven’t known yet, big achievements begin with first and small steps!
Having a fear of heights is not the same with simply being surprised of how far the ground is from where your feet are on. It’s not just being hesitant but excited to ride that high ride or climb up that majestic mountain. It’s something that can actually cause panicking and having trust issues on the sense of balance. Physical effects include dizziness, vomiting and trembling.
Traveling is one of the events when your fear of height may be tested. Again, that’s due to the transportation you have to take and the settings of the destinations you will visit.
With the above-mentioned tips and other essential reminders from your physician and from other reliable people, you can be aided as you travel even with your acrophobia. In the end, you can choose to look away or face your fear.
Nicole Ann Pore finds glee in writing about travel — world destinations, accommodation, tourist sites, vacation spots and everything else related to it! For her, the beauty of this world is amazing and worth-sharing, and traveling is one of the purest ways to acknowledge it. She is a daytime writer for Holiday Inn Parramatta Hotel, a five-star hotel in Parramatta, New South Wales which provides a rewarding stay and a close reach of Australia’s noteworthy features. | Nicole graduated Cum Laude from De La Salle University Manila, Philippines with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts.