Why I Get Anxious When I Travel

December 2, 2020 TJ DeSalvo

I’ve always been one who enjoys traveling. However, as much as I like to travel, there is one part of the process that I’ve always been uncomfortable with: actually traveling. Traveling makes me anxious; more specifically, flying to my destination makes me anxious. I’ve been aware of this travel anxiety for as long as I began to fly regularly, but it’s only recently that I started to examine my feelings and determine why exactly traveling makes me so uncomfortable. Hopefully, this will resonate with others.

Why Do I Get So Anxious When I Travel?

I think the biggest reason why traveling gives me so much anxiety is that when you travel, you surrender an inordinate amount of control. Think about when you go to the airport: from the minute you walk in, you’re at the mercy of security lines. Depending on factors that are entirely out of your reach, you could wait a short or long amount of time, and there’s usually no way of knowing what will happen until you’re actually waiting.

Even when you pass the line, you now have to wait for your plane. Delays can happen at the most inopportune, and sudden, times, and most of the time there’s no way of knowing what the cause of the delay really is. Have you ever tried asking the person at the desk for more information? Good luck with that.

Even if you do know the cause, is there anything you can do? You can't really do anything about it. If it’s weather-related, it isn’t like you can suddenly will nice weather into existence. Really, from the minute you step inside the airport doors to the minute you cross the gate at your destination, you surrender control, and that's why I feel anxious when I travel.

How to Mitigate Travel Anxiety

All that being said, there are things you can do to make travel anxiety much more manageable. The first, of course, is to not fly. If it’s easier to drive, or even to take a train, that may be worth looking into. It will certainly take more time, but if that isn’t a major factor, driving does give you a degree of control that flying simply cannot.

But many times, if you’re traveling a great distance, flying is going to be your only option. If this is the case, acknowledge that there is no way to get that control back. Once you accept this, you can start to make the trip as comfortable as you can.

I always have my headphones on, as surrounding myself with a. constant wall of music is comforting. I usually will also have a stuffed animal with me because that is comforting, too. If you are especially concerned, perhaps talk to airplane staff and inform them of your anxieties, so they can provide support if needed. None of this is perfect, but I would think they should give enough comfort to make your trip at least more tolerable.

Do you get anxious when you travel? Share your stories in the comments.

APA Reference
DeSalvo, T. (2020, December 2). Why I Get Anxious When I Travel, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 23 from

Author: TJ DeSalvo

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