How to Travel the World When You’re Scared of Flying

Wed, 17 April 2019
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Clammy palms, dry mouth, rapid breathing; some people just aren’t cut out for flying, no matter how many meditation apps they download. While a crippling fear of being in the air can certainly make travel more challenging, there are ways around it. Alternatively, we’ve heard hypnotherapy works wonders.

Train Travel

With improved routes and a nostalgic allure, trains are a practical alternative to flying, with the added bonus of no immigration queues or restricting baggage allowance. Whether attempting to ease a hangover with a sandwich from the carriage café while interrailing, sipping on a Guilty 12 – the Express’s signature cocktail – in the Piano Bar aboard the Simplon-Orient Express to Venice or riding the overnight service from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, trains make good on the cliche that the journey is the destination.

Road Tripping

Road trips are the bread and butter of travel; cheap, convenient and self-reliant. Whether it’s Cornwall for the weekend, camping along the way from Cape Town to Namibia or making the trip from SF to LA by way of Monterey, the open road presents endless opportunity for making memories. Just the thought of a long drive makes us feel excited; packed in a car for umpteen hours without WiFi and no real idea of where you are. It’s time to fill her up and go.

On Your Bike

Cycling is a brilliant way to experience your surroundings, helping you to get under the skin of a destination and off the standard tourist route. Fast enough to cover ground quickly but not so speedy that scenery is a blur, cycling hits that sweet spot in slow-but-not-too-slow travel. Apps like Map My Ride and Strava have made plotting your own path easier than ever. Try out Duvine’s Chef On Wheels tour, which takes you on a relatively gentle journey through bucolic Tuscany, where cycling is punctuated with first-class meals and five-star accommodation. Alternatively, more advanced cyclists can travel with Skedaddle on a venture into the heart of Borneo; traversing ground from wild jungle to palm-fringed beaches and mountains.

Pound the Pavement

Walking slows your pace of travel to a crawl, encouraging you to adopt a more pensive approach to exploring. While you certainly won’t get as far on foot as you will aboard an A380, with no border between you and your surroundings, travelling takes on a whole new meaning. An opportunity to discover the liminal spots between point A and B which don’t make it onto mainstream itineraries. If you’re serious about depending on your legs as the sole form of transportation, multi-day treks, spiritual-group pilgrimages and self-guided ambles are worth looking into.

All Aboard Boat Travel

The word “cruise” makes us shudder, conjuring up images of overcrowded pools, gaudy performances at every meal and heaving port cities without a moment of privacy in sight – not to mention their large environmental footprint. But with luxury liners and more affordable rental options coming on to the scene, it’s time to get back on board with boat travel. Thanks to the emergence of Incrediblue (the Airbnb of boating) you can set sail for as little as £30 a night. For the pioneers, boats present a way to access the roads (or waters) less trodden; Silversea’s Silver Discoverer takes you on an 18-day venture through Russia’s remote and largely inaccessible Kamchatka Peninsula, getting you up close and personal with the region’s dramatic landscapes (think wolverines, volcanoes and lots of brown bears). For those with six months (and a lot of money) to spare, Oceania’s Around the World in 180 Days is an incomparable adventure, yours for a cool £29,775.

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