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7 Things to Know About Travel Anxiety

Anxiety is a feeling of fear brought on by stress within your body. It manifests differently in different people. The feeling is characterized by worry, tension, and a rise in blood pressure. An estimated 18% of Americans suffer from an anxiety disorder. Anxiety is how your body responds to stressful and fearful situations or circumstances.

brown framed sunglasses on map 


Although it is natural to feel anxious occasionally when you suffer from an anxiety disorder, these feelings are amplified and significantly impact your daily life. 

What Is Travel Anxiety? 


Fear, anxiety, and acute anxiousness can all be triggered by the mere prospect of visiting a new location. A feeling of nervousness associated with travel is known as travel anxiety. Travel anxiety can make it difficult to arrange and go on vacations. 


Although travel anxiety isn’t a recognized condition, it is a prevalent source of worry. This fear might keep you from seeing loved ones who live far away, enjoying new locations, and experiencing new things. Whether required or desired, travel can significantly influence your health. 


Some practices can help you manage travel anxiety, even if it feels overpowering. Counseling and medication are two popular treatment choices for any anxiety. One can also learn to overcome the symptoms. 

You May Need Medication 


If planning and distractions don’t work, consider talking to your doctor about anti-anxiety medication. Keep in mind that finding the best medication and dosage takes time. 


orange and white medication pill 


General anxiety disorder (GAD) and other chronic anxiety disorders can be treated with antidepressants, but it can take four or six weeks to reap full benefits. The dosage may need to be adjusted to achieve the best results. 


You may find that benzodiazepines work better to help you cope with a flight. However, it’s advisable to try them out before a trip so you know how it works for you. You can also try products from to help calm your nerves. 

Travel Anxiety: What Causes It? 


Travel anxiety has no single origin, and the triggers change from individual to individual. Most people suffer from travel anxiety for the rest of their life. You’ll probably develop it following a negative travel experience. It could also be that you develop for no apparent cause. 


The following are some of the most prevalent reasons for travel anxiety: 


  • Fear of flying – This is one of the most common reasons why people suffer from travel anxiety. This fear may be caused by the fear of air turbulence, fear of crashing, claustrophobia, and the idea of being miles off the ground. 
  • Stepping out of your comfort zone – Feeling uncomfortable when away from home is called agoraphobia, or the fear of public areas. 
  • Horror travel stories – You may experience psychological distress if you are hearing too much bad news about people getting injured and crime while they travel and begin associating travel with tragedy 
  • Your genetics – Researchers have found a connection between genetics and anxiety, especially in young adults. Several brain areas have also been affected in people with anxiety disorders. 

You Can Manage Travel Anxiety by Practicing Mindfulness 


It’s not uncommon for pre-travel anxiety to kick in during the days and weeks leading up to a trip. You might begin considering many variables at this time, such as what time should you arrive at the airport? What stops will you make during a multi-day road trip? Whether or not you pack all your essentials, what happens if you forget something? 

person holding silver compass 


You can manage travel anxiety better when you know what you are thinking. One method of diffusing stress is to take time to observe one’s thoughts leading up to a trip, to learn to observe them without allowing them to cause anxious or catastrophizing thoughts. If you’ve never done guided meditation before, now could be a great time to start. 

You Can Benefit From Deep Breaths 


There is evidence that breathing exercises can relieve anxiety. Concentrating on your breathing facilitates a sense of grounding. This reduces the tendency to replay negative scenarios constantly. And the best part? You can learn breath control techniques before going on a trip, flying, or exploring a new city. 

Embrace the Positives 


According to research, the part of the brain associated with well-being lights up when scanning for positive future events. Therefore, if you feel yourself falling into a negative mindset about travel, grab a piece of paper and write down everything exciting, fun, or relaxing, you might encounter while traveling.  


man standing on top of mountain beside cairn stones 


Which activities are you most anticipating? Would you like to photograph a particular landmark? Whom will you meet and hug when you finish your journey? 

Travel With Someone You Trust

Many people with panic disorder feel comfortable and safe around one or more loved ones. You may want to consider traveling with a trusted friend or family member.

Be sure to let your companion know your fears and anxieties. Traveling with a loved one may improve your sense of security and help you cope with your symptoms. Some people find that simply having that person on hand is enough to make a trip relaxing. 


You can’t enjoy vacations as much if you’re anxious about traveling. You may experience heart palpitations, difficulty sleeping, and panic attacks. It is possible to enjoy travel and all of its experiences while coping with the vacation anxiety that comes with it. There’s information available to help you cope with your stress and live with it. You can also use therapy and medication to help manage your anxiety. 

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