Travel Anxiety - Helpful tips for making travelling more relaxing.

by - 18:18:00

Hey everyone hope you're well! I usually post on Mondays but Sunday I had a bad headache all day, and it got progressively worse so in the evening I couldn't do anything but lie in a dark room. I felt better in the morning, but by Monday afternoon it came back and so here I am sat in bed for another evening! I thought I'd give it a go and write a post as I've been wanting to for so long! (It's now Thursday as I had a busy evening Wednesday but hey, I've managed to get it finished and posted tonight.)

Today's post is about travel anxiety. A few years back getting on trains caused me a lot of stress, but I had to get a train quite a bit as my boyfriend lived a few hours away. I got through it at the beginning by always calling my dad whilst I was at the train station trying to find the right platform and get on the correct train, but I slowly got better and now I'm not too bad on them. I actually flew on a plane by myself last year for the first time, and honestly, I was extremely anxious. I dislike flying anyway, but the thought of getting through the airport by myself was terrifying. But hey, I did it.



My best tips for travel anxiety


Preparation - Often a lot of us can get anxious over a journey if we don't have things planned out. The anticipation of travelling can often bring more stress and anxiety. There's little things you can organise and plan out that will help relieve the uneasy feeling of travelling.

Map out your trip. If you're driving somewhere then either have your phone fully charged so you can use it as a SatNav or even print out a map of where you need to go. If you're getting a few trains you can often go onto train apps to see what platforms you need to be on and what platforms you get off at. I like to check the platform before I get to the station, mainly because of the ease of then just walking to the platform rather than wandering around trying to read the wallboard's and bash into everyone. 

Distraction - I know it can be hard to distract yourself when you're feeling anxious or feeling like you'll have a panic attack but it's definitely possible. Instead of concentrating on how you're feeling, bring your attention else where.

Some examples?
Reading: bring along a book you want to read or a book you've read before and know you love, that way you may find you'll be distracted from the real world around you. You could also bring some magazines along with you, or even a notebook or your bullet journal if you have one. I feel like having a long train journey is an ideal time to make pretty pages in your journal, or if you're a blogger, a good time to sit and note down blog ideas and plans! 

Games: Get some games you like on your phone, or bring along a little handheld console like a Nintendo Switch. If you're getting on a train or a plane, maybe bring a card game with you. I have a fair few phones games (most of them are cat games lol), or I do usually bring along my Switch and play some Mario Kart. 

Music/podcast: I often listen to music especially when I'm travelling on a train by myself. I have also at times, put my earphones in but not actually had any music on at all. I know that may seem a bit anti-social, but when I'm on my own and feeling anxious I don't really want to be noticed by others around me so by doing that I feel like people will just ignore me anyway. Does anyone else do this? 

I also asked on Twitter to see what others do to help relax them whilst travelling, here are a few responses







I also asked some of my family too:  

My mum said that she likes to watch a film or listen to music. And also not to look at other passengers. 

My brother has said that he likes reading and listening to music. He likes to create his own space when feeling anxious on transport but space that is not intrusive to other passengers who may or may not also be anxious. That's why he feels music with headphones or reading (preferably both) are best on transport. 

His fiance, Alyx, said she likes to listen to music, not so much when she's with other people she knows but but she can't talk a lot whilst travelling because it can cause her to feel sick. 


Using Affirmations - Often when we're feeling anxious sometimes all it takes is to tell ourselves things. A few examples could be: "These feelings will pass." "I've experienced this before and knew that everything was alright." "The journey will be over soon." Sometimes, reminding yourself of these things can really help. I'm sure you would have been on travels before and felt anxious, but you know that you got through it before. 

Focus on what's to come - It can sometimes be pretty horrible travelling, especially if its a long way. However, a good way to help keep yourself feel relaxed is to think about what you've got to look forward to. A lot of the times that I felt anxious whilst flying somewhere I would think about where I was going and what I was going to be doing. For an example. if I was off on holiday somewhere, I knew I'd feel anxious flying but I would close my eyes and think about where I was going, what I would be doing there, and what great experiences and memories I was about to create! Even if you're travelling to a job interview - of course, the interview itself can make us feel anxious, however, think about the positive outcomes from it. You could end up working there and it could be a job you've always wanted. 

Travel with a buddy - I'm sure there are a lot of times where you'll end up travelling by yourself, may that be getting to work, or if you're flying somewhere to meet up with friends or family. However, there are plenty of opportunities to travel with others. I don't usually feel anxious when I've got a train journey and I'm with someone. I got a train from Birmingham to Edinburgh one time, yes it was quite a journey, but I was with my boyfriend and it was actually a pretty relaxing journey and I really enjoyed it. 

Make note of all your positive experiences & note down the lessons you've learnt - Like I've mentioned already, I'm sure you've had a lot of positive travelling experiences in your lifetime. Make a note of them as you experience them. It may be that you found it easy to find all the places you wanted to go to, or that you've never been rushed to get to your gate for a flight before - that's a great positive to keep note of. Keeping all of these memories of positive experiences that you can look back on can be super helpful. If you have a flight that you're feeling anxious about, have a read of your previous adventures and how simple the airport was to navigate.  

If you also keep note of things that you may feel were a mistake, perhaps you only got to the airport an hour before you flight and that was really rushed, so next time you'll know to arrive earlier to give yourself more time. 



I'm sure there's a ton more of helpful tips to help with travel anxiety, if you have any then please let me know in the comments below! I hope you liked reading this post, and if you often get anxious whilst travelling, I hope some of these tips help. 


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36 comments

  1. I only generally get travel anxiety on long journeys, but I actually enjoy getting public transport when it's empty, I somehow find it quite calming haha. But these are such good tips for when you get on a plane. I get motion sickness so i can't really do much, so i alternate between games, reading, music, podcasts, and colouring. And I love playing word games with whoever I'm with! That's always a good one. loved this post Chlo!!!

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    1. I do find it calming sometimes, when I travelled to Edinburgh on the train that was actually quite relaxing, might because of the amazing views along the way! Ahh yeah word games are pretty fun! I actually play a little bit of Eye Spy sometimes even though it's such an old children's game haha. Thank you!! xx

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  2. I actually love plane rides! The train is another story though. Haha !! I had a lot of anxiety myself in the previous summer because that was the first time I flew by myself and I did not want to mess anything up! preparation definitely goes a long way, as well as having something to distract yourself during the whole time especially if it's a long trip!! thankfully the plane had screens on the back of the seats so I could actually plug in my headphones and listen to music or watch shows :) loved this post!

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    1. I've not had one plane journey that I've enjoyed yet haha, but that's good though that you love them! And definitely preparation is everything!! Ah yeah I do love when you get the planes with tv screens on the back of the seats and you can sit back and watch a load of movies! Thank you Ger! xx

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  3. Earphones are such a good barrier - whether you are listening to music or not! Books and magazines are great physical barriers too.

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    1. Yeah definitely earphones are great! All of those that you listed are so good at transporting you to another world whilst travelling! xx

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  4. Great post.
    xx
    https://theonethattravels.wordpress.com/

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  5. Great post! I love to travel but my husband gets bad travel anxiety. I will have to share this post with him .

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  6. I'm not too bad on trains but air travel I don't enjoy. I plan everything I can ahead of time and take plenty of distractions! I usually download some stuff off netflix and watch that. It's interesting what you say about not talking to other passengers. My mum is the complete opposite and talking to others really helps her anxiety levels! She usually finds a new friend on journeys! I do a bit of this too if I gauge it might help someone else (e.g. if I see they are stressed I might try to distract them a bit or make them laugh)

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    1. That's very true, I didn't really think about the opposite of not talking to other passengers! I guess everyone's different in how they handle their anxiety, I have had conversations before on transport with other passengers but I always find if a conversation starts I get stressed out because then I feel I have to keep a conversation going the whole journey haha! xx

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  7. Amazing post Chloe. I suffer with generalised anxiety so traveling comes under that too. Trains are still a bit of an issue but only really tubes, which I never have to use anyway. Preparation is key and I always make lists of things I need to take too so I know I don't forget anything.

    Jenny
    http://www.jennyinneverland.com

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    1. Aww thank you Jenny! Oh yeah tubes I hate as well but like you I don't ever have to use them! I'm the exact same, I write a little list on my phone of everything that I need to take and then when they're packed I cross them off the list! xx

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  8. I don't get it so much anymore with travelling as partner is always with me, has too due to disabilities. But phone calls I can't make. Anxiety comes in so many forms

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    1. It is always a lot better when you have someone with you, phone calls I find difficult too! Although it's my job to speak to people on the phone, I struggle when it comes to doing personal things like phoning the doctors or something! xx

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  9. Thankfully I've never had to fly alone because I just know I'd be terrible at it- I get anxious even driving or taking public transport to places I'm unfamiliar with. These are great tips though- music definitely helps me.

    Soph - https://sophhearts.com/ x

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    1. It is definitely nerve-wracking flying alone, I don't know how I'd get on with a long flight, but going to Belfast wasn't so bad! Thank you, and yeah music is so good for travelling! xx

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  10. I love travelling and I'm generally happier alone in most situations😂. I had to travel alone a lot when I was at university. I'm from somewhere really far north and went to uni in Kent so I would travel alone from London and my mum would travel from Newcastle and I'd meet her at the hotel or something at the other end. Thankfully, I find travelling super relaxing, airports really calm me for some odd reason? But this is such a great selection of tips for those who do struggle x

    Sophie
    www.glowsteady.co.uk

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    1. That's fair enough, I have found some journeys to be quite relaxing - only if I've prepared beforehand though! That is quite a distance for uni! I went about 3 and a half hours away from my home to uni and I had got a train back home by myself before but I think because it was like 3 different trains it stressed me out. That's so good that you find airports calm though, I wish I felt like that!! Thank you! xx

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  11. I can relate to travel anxiety! It is hard, especially when you want to go explore the world. I love these tips! YESSS on preparation and distractions! At least your mind is taken off the anxiety and you're making time pass by seemingly faster. I always like sleeping if there is someone else coming with me. If not, I've played card games with friends. Thanks for sharing these tips!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

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    1. Ohh yes I love sleeping too actually, I totally forgot about that haha. But yeah definitely only if I'm with someone otherwise I'd panic I'd miss my stop if I was on a train or something. Glad you liked the post! xx

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  12. This is such a great post, Chloe! I sometimes get anxious when travelling, especially on trains, there is always so much going on and people everywhere. It can be really stressful. Staying distracted is such a good point, I often check social media or play a game on my phone to keep occupied. Also, I'm so glad I'm not the only one who does the headphones thing too! Thanks for sharing your suggestions and I hope you are feeling better now lovely <3 xxx

    Bexa | www.hellobexa.com

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    1. Thank you so much! <3 Yeah I agree, trains can be so stressful, they're busy like 70% of the time I get a train and I hate it when they're busy! Ahh it's cool to hear that someone else does the headphone thing, although sometimes I put them in without playing anything from them but I actually don't realise till like half hour late that there isn't actually anything playing haha. Thank you, feeling better for sure! xxx

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  13. Chloe, I enjoyed your writing about Travel Anxiety. I remember when I traveled internationally for the first time, I was having a serious anxiety because it's my first time exploring the wilds without guidance. I learn listening to podcast and reading books helps me relieve this issue. Now I dont have anymore anxiety.

    PS - FOOD helps me relax -
    thanks for sharing your story!
    From dinodidwhat.com

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad you don't have anymore travel anxiety, listening to podcasts and reading is such a great way to help with it. Ahh yes, food is great haha. xx

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  14. This is such a helpful post, Chlo! The only anxiety I get around travelling is being on time. I get so nervous about being late and missing my train/plane/bus. Whenever I'm going on a big trip on a train or plane, I always get ready way too early and want to leave with more time than needed to make sure there's not a chance I'll miss it! I do always travel with music and a book or a podcast though, which I suppose gives me something to look forward to when I'm travelling!

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    1. Thank you!! Yeah I often panic about being on time, I still do that just for getting to work on time haha. It's definitely a good idea to be ready earlier though, make sure you have everything you need! Sometimes I find travelling quite nice, i'll be on a train for like an hour and just listening to music and watching out the window is quite lovely! xx

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  15. I don't experience travel anxiety, but I did just go on a train trip from Copenhagen to Linköping by myself. I definitely think preparing can help! I didn't have a bus planned in advance & it was stressful figuring out which one to take after I got off the train. I also think using your phone as a distraction can help as well. I normally can't use my phone when travelling since I get motion sickness, but on longer trips like today I take a pill & I was able to listen to an audio book for most of the trip.

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    1. That's pretty cool, hope you had a nice trip! Yess I always make sure i'm prepared, even over-preparing haha. I think having something to listen to is so great for helping you to relax whilst travelling! xx

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  16. wonderful tips you shared, i will follow it and big thanks for this article. Very soon my next journey would be started from france, and i will take care this travel tips.

    Regards,
    Prabhu

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    1. Thank you so much, glad you found the tips helpful! Hope the travelling goes well for you! xx

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  17. These are great tips Chloe. I really struggle with trains and haven't flown for over 10 years because of anxiety caused by claustrophobia. The idea that I can't just get off a plane, your stuck on it until you get to your destination. I'm working up to flying again and will definitely use these tips when I do =) xx
    Hayley|educatinghayley.com

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    1. Thank you so much! That's something that I have also struggled with when flying, I have been able to fly, but I am always so anxious before and that thought that you can't just get off is very daunting. I hope you can fly again soon! xx

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  18. These are great tips Chloe. I really struggle with trains and haven't flown for over 10 years because of anxiety caused by claustrophobia. The idea that I can't just get off a plane, your stuck on it until you get to your destination. I'm working up to flying again and will definitely use these tips when I do =) xx
    Hayley|educatinghayley.com

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    1. Thank you so much! I definitely get that, I find planes kinda terrifying because of exactly that, you can't just get off it. I hope you can get on a plane soon <3 xx

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