Let's Talk: Travel Anxiety

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

One part of my anxiety that can bring on intense panic attacks is travelling. Of course a lot of people get anxiety whilst getting on a plane but for me it's everything surrounding travelling and public transport. So I think it's about time I talked about it in a more specific and focused way. I've always thought that it kind of makes sense why so many people suffer with social anxiety and travel anxiety. We've become so accustomed to doing things without having to see people, like social media or internet dating, so when it comes to face to face meeting we often go into meltdown. Sometimes, we can go ages doing normal everyday tasks without the need to interact with other people. Things like self checkout or home delivery. So when we're forced into situations where you're constantly surrounded by people (like if you're travelling) it induces mass panic. I'm getting on a plane for the first time this month so I guess that'll be the real test!!

Public Transport
It's important to note that when you have anxiety every task feels much bigger and terrifying than it actually is. It can make the smallest of things huge in your head and you convince yourself you're incapable of doing anything. Self doubt can consume everything you do. Getting on a bus and travelling on it for 20 minutes can feel impossible and extremely overwhelming. In reality you're just getting on a bus and sitting amongst other people but you turn it into something much worse. You might start to worry and overthink being trapped or surrounded by a crowd. Everyone's anxieties and worries are different but for me it's feeling stuck on a bus/train so I panic that I can't leave. Trains, taxis and buses are what I've struggled with the most.

Unfamiliar Settings and New Environments
Of course these can be daunting to anyone but people who suffer with anxiety feel the impact ten times worse. It's so hard to settle into places you don't feel comfortable in or know very much about. If I knew I was going somewhere I hadn't been before I used to google the place non stop beforehand so I wouldn't feel so panicky and unsettled when I got there. So of course, this is a huge part of travelling. Whether it's a new city, staying in a hotel or a new experience, it's hard not to feel anxious.

Personally, anxiety around driving isn't something I've experienced much. I used to get nervous before driving lessons but with time I got less and less apprehensive. Maybe that's because I started driving after CBT and medication. Maybe if I'd started driving lessons 2 years ago I'd have a completely different experience. I know a lot of people who get really panicky about driving. It's a big thing whether you're a learner or a licence holder. I know people who have been driving for years but still feel anxious when driving on a motorway or at night. And I know a lot of people who are learning and can't quite feel relaxed or comfortable when getting behind the wheel.

Combating Travel Anxiety
  • Never forget your headphones (music is a distraction and great mood booster)
  • Break up journeys into smaller chunks
  • Do research on where you're going (it can help sometimes)
  • Plan what you'll do throughout
  • Take someone with you
I'd love to know some of your experiences or tips.
Liv x


  1. This is such a great post and I feel like so many people will find it helpful x

  2. I have a fear of driving too before but I overcome it when it try it and it works well,

    Much Love,
    Jane | The Bandwagon Chic


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