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Travel Anxiety: Causes and Cures

Daniel Sher, MA, Clin Psychology
Travel Anxiety: Causes and Cures

Many people dream of travel. But travel anxiety is also very common. Some people experience a significant amount of anxiety when they travel. Those with persistent generalized anxiety and panic attacks are also prone to travel anxiety simply because travel represents change and distance from comfort. Some people fear travel but are not completely aware of this fear because they avoid booking their ticket or come up with other excuses in order to not leave their homes.

Whatever the case, travel anxiety makes it much harder to travel, whether for work or pleasure. This article explores the concept of travel anxiety, providing tips and information regarding what you can do to reduce your fear.

Causes of Travel Anxiety

Travel anxiety is unlikely to have any single specific cause. Many people have travel anxiety their entire lives. Others may develop the anxiety either because of past experiences relating to travel which were anxiety provoking; and some seem to have travel anxiety for no apparent reason at all. Here are some examples of experiences that can lead to travel anxiety:

But this is just a simplified list. You may not even know the exact reasons why your travel anxiety developed. It is possible - and important - to understand what your specific worries are (we'll get to that in a moment), but it isn't always possible to know why you have those worries. Travel anxiety affects many people and it can have a disruptive influence on your life. 

How to Overcome Travel Anxiety

Of course, knowing about the causes is only the first step. Ideally, you'll also want to learn how to overcome your travel anxiety. Consider the following tips and strategies to reduce your travel anxiety:

Beyond these travel anxiety ideas, you'll also want to focus on reducing your overall anxiety. Anxiety is a cumulative disorder. When you experience anxiety in one area of your life, it can cause more anxiety in other areas of your life. If you have anxiety on a daily basis, reducing that anxiety will provide you with a powerful advantage when it comes to managing your anxiety on the whole.

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