How to Cope with Travel Anxiety


Travel anxiety is something that affects all of us at some point in our lives and varies on severity. It can be as simple as being nervous about getting on plane or feeling apprehensive about going to a new city incase you get lost. For other people it can be a troublesome issue where they feel panicky about all sorts of travel, even the travel that many people probably wouldn't think is scary such as catching a bus into town and it can begin to have an affect on their daily life.

I used to be an incredibly anxious traveller and although I was able to get myself to and from my local town, I would be absolutely terrified of going further than forty minutes away from my house on my own. At the age of 17 when most of my friends had their independence, I used to be absolutely terrified of getting on a train to the next city - which now 8 years later I work in and commute to every single day. I would feel sick and clammy, I would have heart palpitations and panic attacks. For awhile I thought this is it, this is my life and I'm never going to be able to travel anywhere on my own, but during the summer of 2011, everything changed.

Having been overweight for the majority of my life, I finally realised I needed to do something about it and lost nearly six stone. Once I lost the weight I started this blog and through social media I was contacted by a magazine and asked if I would like to travel to London for a photoshoot for the day to tell my weight loss story. At this point in my life travelling further than 40 mins away from home on my own was daunting, never mind London which is four hours away by train, but I decided it was the right time to conquer my fear and I booked my train tickets. I contemplated not turning up to the shoot nearly every night before the actual day and that morning I was trying my hardest not to vomit as I boarded the train. I made my way from Leeds down to Kings Cross station and got a taxi to the photoshoot. By the time I got home that evening and realised that I did so much on my own, I began to wonder what I was so scared about in the first place.

After London, I made myself do regular trips on my own to build my confidence. Starting off slowly, I took trips to two nearby cities Manchester and Leeds and then went further afield. Within a year I was travelling city to city in the UK on my own without any anxiety and in 2014 I flew out to Thailand with people I only met the day before for a press trip. If I can overcome my travel anxiety, you can do it too. Below are just a few of my simple tips.

Go at your own pace

Start out by visiting nearby villages or going for long walks to get yourself used to your own independence. Set yourself monthly or yearly challenges and try to stick to them, but always go at your own pace and have no-one pressuring you.

Have a plan

Once you have decided to visit somewhere, have a plan. Print out a map if you worry about your phone losing battery, write down key street names and transport timetables.

Stay in crowded areas

If you are worried about getting lost or don't like walking on your own, stay in crowded areas. It will give you the illusion that you are not on your own and you can always ask someone for directions.

Keep connected

These days there's no reason to feel alone when you can have social media on your phone and you have ability to connect with your friends and family within seconds. Confide in your most trusted friends if you're feeling anxious.

Do you suffer from travel anxiety?
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16 comments

  1. This is a lovely post and so useful :)

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  2. Thank you for this. I have always suffered from travel anxiety. I love to travel and see the world and do fun things....but I feel anxious and afraid when I am too far from home. I worry about being away from that safety and comfort. This is super helpful. <3
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  5. Thanks I needed this. I travel regularly not just because I love it (although I love traveling, visiting new places and meeting new peoples) but mainly for professional reasons. And trust me, travel anxiety is a real issue. I'll try to follow your guideline next time I travel for sure, Thanks again.
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