Skip to Content

Americans’ 5 Worst Travel Fears And How To Avoid Them

Share The Article

Last Updated

Travel is fun, scary, exhilarating, freeing, and intimidating all at once. It's no wonder Americans have a list of commonly held fears when it comes to traveling! In particular, 5 specific fears capture the imaginations of Americans, and we've broken them down below.

According to a recent study, the fears below plague the minds of would-be American travelers more than any others. To help alleviate your worries, Travel Off Path has come up with tips to combat each of them. Thus, ensuring your next trip goes as smoothly as possible.

man walking next to baggage claim area

Having To Stay In A Poor Hotel/Accommodation

Travelers From Study Concerned: 62%

We've all been there. Planning the perfect vacation requires looking at hundreds of hotels, scouring the reviews for any red flags, and ensuring it fits the trip budget. It's high stakes when searching for accommodations because none of us want to spend a large sum of money on a sub-par stay.

However, there are ways to avoid the gloom of poor accommodation. Here are a few tips to make sure your next hotel or vacation rental is a winner:

a hotel worker makes the bed
  • Stick With What You Know – Do you have a hotel brand you regularly stay with that has consistently lived up to expectations? If so, it may be a good idea to stick with that brand if you are unsure about comparable accommodations. Also, check reviews on multiple sites to make sure they all match up, like,, etc.
  • Ask Around – There is no better resource than the ones you already have. Asking friends and family for their recommendations is a great way to ensure you end up in a good hotel or vacation rental. Friends and family won't lie to you; if they say it's a good stay, it probably is.
  • Saving Money Isn't Always Worth It – Don't always opt for the cheapest hotel; it often won't be worth it in the end. A few extra dollars in your pocket isn't always worth the hassle of staying in a place that isn't up to your standards.

Top 5 Travel Insurance Plans For 2023 Starting At $10 Per Week

Easily Earn Points For Free Travel

Dirty Bathtub

Getting Separated From Travel Companion

Travelers From Study Concerned: 66%

Have you ever been in an unfamiliar place with a friend or partner and suddenly realized you don't know where they are? It can be quite a shock and is one of travelers' most significant worries. Often, your companion hasn't wandered off too far, but it can still be disconcerting. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to make sure you don't wind up in this situation.

  • Book Together – Even if you are traveling with a friend and want to keep the financial aspects of the trip separate, it can be helpful to book your airline tickets and tours together. This ensures that one of you won't get bumped from a flight or have their spot in the tour canceled since you booked as a group.
  • Stay Away From Basic Economy – Travel Off Path recently listed many reasons why an economy ticket may not be worth it. Here is another one: there is no rule stating that an airline must seat you with others on your booking if you opt for the basic economy fare. You could wind up on opposite sides of the plane, making it easier to lose track of each other in the chaos of customs and immigration.
  • Buy A Local Sim Card – Depending on your phone plan, you may not have reliable service when you land. Getting a local sim card with voice and data included will ensure that you and your travel companions can keep in constant contact without relying on spotty phone service.
  • Travel With The Right Partner – Traveling is exhilarating, chaotic, and eye-opening. Make sure the person you choose to share the experience with is supportive and reliable and shares your values.
Travel Partners

Getting Sick While Abroad

Travelers From Study Concerned: 61%

Every traveler's worst nightmare is coming down with a severe illness in a foreign country. Not only are you away from the comforts of your own home and those that support you, but you are in an environment that makes it difficult to know your next steps.

Where is the urgent care? Who do you call for the care you need? Is it going to cost you a fortune? Once again, you can take a few steps to ensure that if the worst does happen, you will have a plan and be protected.

Woman holding stomach in pain while traveling
  • Have Top Notch Travel Insurance – The best travel insurance will come to your rescue in the event of a medical incident abroad. Travel insurance can help with so much more than just medical issues, but this is undoubtedly one of the best reasons to make sure you get a good policy before your next trip. Check here for Travel Off Path's top 5 recommended travel insurance plans.
  • You Are What You Eat – When traveling abroad, you must be aware of what you eat and drink. We don't just mean avoiding street food, either. Your body isn't used to what the locals eat, so be careful when consuming foods you aren't used to.
  • Get Enough Rest – We know you're on vacation; you can catch up on sleep when you're home, right? While that may be the case, your health definitely takes a hit without adequate rest.

Fun Fact: 81% of US tourists have taken the risk of going to a destination without travel insurance. Of those, 71% regret it.

Sick while traveling

Getting Scammed Or Pickpocketed

Travelers From Study Concerned: 51%

Anyone who has traveled to another country has probably found themselves absentmindedly checking their back pocket or purse to ensure their wallet is right where they left it. An unfortunate fact of being a tourist in a foreign country is that it often paints a target on your back for would-be pickpockets and thieves. Losing your cash and credit cards while abroad would be a severe inconvenience, and many travelers are worried about it, rightfully so. Here are a few tips to make sure you don't fall victim to a scam or pickpocketing:

Man placing wallet in front pocket
  • Don't wear your wallet in your back pocket, as this is a common place for pickpockets to look. Similarly, don't leave your wallet loose in your purse with a large opening for pickpockets to explore.
  • Split up your cards, cash, and IDs. Make sure you lock up some extra credit cards and cash in your hotel for safekeeping in case of a pickpocketing incident.
  • Be extra aware when walking through crowded areas, especially tourist hotspots, since they are known to be filled with pickpockets.
  • Exercise caution when strangers give attention. Be suspicious if someone is capturing your attention and there isn't an apparent reason why. They are likely trying to distract you while they, or an accomplice, pickpocket you.
Man with backpack being pickpocketed on vacation

Losing Luggage Or Having Luggage Stolen

Travelers From Study Concerned: 59%

We've all wondered what we would do if we made it to our final destinations and our checked bags didn't. Common practice is to pack a bit of what you need for a day or two in your carry-on just in case the checked bag doesn't make it. While it is best to avoid a checked bag altogether, there are several things you can do to minimize your chances of lost luggage:

apple airtag with mac
  • Unique Baggage – Making your luggage different from everyone else's can help ensure your luggage isn't confused with someone else's.
  • Smart Tags – Adding things like Apple Air Tags to your baggage can help you keep tabs on your luggage. Then, if it goes missing, you can aid in tracking down your bags.
  • Arrive Early – Allowing plenty of time between your arrival at the airport and your plane's departure time will help ensure there is plenty of time for your checked bag to make it from check-in to the aircraft.
  • Make Sure To Change Old Tags – Don't leave old luggage tags on your bags, as it can confuse baggage handlers and disrupt your bag's transit.
Tired and upset woman with luggage sitting on side of road

↓ Elevate Your Travel↓

Sign Up Now For Travel Off Path Premium! No ads, VIP Content, Personal Travel Concierge, Huge Savings, Daily Deals, Members Forum & More!

✈️Join Our Travel Off Path Community Forum: Where travelers unite, ask questions, share experiences and even find like-minded travel buddies!


Enter your email address to subscribe to Travel Off Path's latest breaking travel news, straight to your inbox.

This article originally appeared on

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

Francis Williams

Monday 7th of November 2022

You forgot to mention that one of the fears of travelling these days is airline trip cancellations especially at the last minute Also not all travel insurance companies are cooperative in honouring their obligations with expected outcomes