What is Travel Anxiety: Signs, Tips, Prevention, and More

Last Update on September 30, 2022 : Published on October 2, 2022

I went on a vacation with my husband recently, it was in fact our first public travel after COVID-19 hit us. I observed that my husband was constantly checking the tickets and spoke to the person at the travel desk a million times.

I noticed that he didn’t sleep very well the night before our flight. I was confused because I had never seen him this worried and anxious about anything. After observing him during the entire vacation, when we returned home I realized this he might have travel anxiety.

Then I started doing a little research about travel anxiety because seeing my husband so anxious was actually giving me stress. So, today I am going to share with you all the information I found on travel anxiety so that next time you travel you know what to expect and how to deal with travel anxiety if you or your loved one have it.

Shall we begin?

What Is Travel Anxiety?

Travel anxiety is the anxious, fearful, and worried feelings you get before and during your travel. You must have seen many people reach the airport, bus/train station hours before departure. This is not just an irritating habit but a sign of travel anxiety.

These people are always anxious about all the bad things that can happen while traveling. It can be anything from missing the flight/train/bus to meeting with an accident. Some people develop travel anxiety also because of fear of things and places that are involved in traveling.

Travel anxiety can be short-lived and long-lived. It completely depends on how you decide to deal with it. For example, a few years ago the bus I was traveling in met with an accident and I, unfortunately, was sitting in the first seat so I literally saw all that happened.

Because of this incident, I developed a fear of traveling on the bus. Since it was the only bus I could take to go home, I had no choice but to travel on it. I distinctly remember I couldn’t sleep the night before and every time the driver applies brakes or some other vehicle’s headlight flashed on me, I’d jump on my seat in fear. I soon got over my fear, and along with that my travel anxiety also reduced.

Travel Anxiety Symptoms

Travel anxiety is in fact very common, I am sure you know at least one person who has travel anxiety. It is so easily identifiable because the person with travel anxiety changes their entire body language while traveling.

They look very jumpy and worried about what is going to happen while they travel. They might even yell at you for not moving at their pace or not being as active as them. If that happens to you, don’t yell at them, support them because they are struggling.

Anyway, to know if you or someone you know has travel anxiety, you need to look for these signs and symptoms of travel anxiety;

*Note: these symptoms can occur before or during travel

  • Increase palpitation, restlessness, or breathing issue
  • Nausea or diarrhea
  • Irritation, anger, and agitation
  • Decreased concentration
  • Find it difficult to focus on anything other than traveling
  • Disturbed sleep or insomnia

What Causes Travel Anxiety?

Traveling anxiety can be caused by a number of things. The example I have you about my short-lived travel anxiety was caused by the trauma of experiencing an accident and the fear of meeting with an accident again.

Likewise, there can be some other reasons that can be responsible for the development of travel anxiety in an individual.

Let’s have a look at what causes travel anxiety;

There can be many other causes of travel anxiety as it varies from person to person and their varied experience in life.

How To Deal With Travel Anxiety?

Traveling is inevitable. You will have to travel from one place to another for various reasons so avoiding traveling is not going to work for long. You will have to find a solution to your problem.

Here are some tips for you that can help you deal with travel anxiety;

1. Identify your triggers: it’s very important to know why you are feeling anxious. Once you know the root cause you can start working around it.

2. Do your research before your journey begins. You can read about the route your flight/bus/train is going to take, what kind of restaurants are there, what’s the weather like, how far is your hotel, etc. this will make you feel like things are in your control.

3. Be prepared for the travel. Once you have done your research, do the booking well ahead of time, keep the tickets handy, inform the hotel and taxi about your arrival, have a detailed itinerary, etc.

4. Learn some grounding and breathing exercises. They will help you in managing your anxiety and panic if-at-all you start feeling anxious and worried during your travel

5. Keep the things that comfort you close. It can be anything from a calming scent to a comfort toy, keep at least one thing that helps you calm.

6. Pay attention to the positive things that happen. For example acknowledge that you reached on time, be thankful for getting the seat you wanted, etc

That’s All Folks!

I hope you found this blog about travel anxiety helpful, interesting, and informative. Do share this blog with your friends and family who you think might have travel anxiety.

Thanks for reading.

Take care and travel safely!

About The Author

Kirti Bhati

I am an English literature (major) and psychology (minor) graduate from St. Bede’s College, Shimla. Postgraduate in Clinical psychology from IIS University, Jaipur. She has published a Research paper on Music therapy in the military population and Workplace stress in a national seminar conducted by Fortis hospital (gurugram) and international seminar conducted by St. Bede’s College, Shimla, Respectively. Authored a dissertation work on ‘effect of social media addiction on the mental and physical well-being in adolescents’ Currently working at calm sage as a writer.

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