True Story: 4 Useful Tips To Overcome Travel Anxiety On Long Flights

20 June 2016

By Finder blogger: Andrea McKenna


Don’t let Hodophobia slow your roll. 

Travel: sounds exciting?

Not for everyone, especially for those who actually have Hodophobia, or a fear of travel.

I never considered myself as having a phobia, particularly one that would relate to the fact that I travel back to the United States twice a year—a sojourn that door to door takes about 30 hours. But it seems it’s a thing.

I recently read a study that revealed that nearly half of the people surveyed had significant anxiety about travel, specifically taking off, landing, and dealing with baggage, flight delays and customs. (So, basically everything, except how late the port and cheese cart is.) Nearly two-thirds of the people who indicated travel anxiety were women. Nice. So we’ve got that going for us! I wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that, when I travel with my toddler, I basically cannot sleep for 20 hours…Momma on duty.

So travel anxiety is a real thing. What to do? Here are a few of my personal tips.


1. Get a mild sedative

It takes the edge off panicky feelings about whether or not some jerk is going to put his extra bag where my diaper bag needs to be in my overhead space.


2. Wear yoga pants

I wear my yoga-teaching clothes because the stretchy bamboo makes me feel like I am in pajamas on the plane. And the cotton/lycra keeps everything in place while I am actually freaking out on the inside.


3. Eat

Don’t skip dinner 2 hours into your flight, or dessert 2.5 hours into your flight, or breakfast 16 hours into your flight. Eating normalizes your system and also keeps your parasympathetic (relaxed side) nervous system activated.

I also make sure to have at least one beer at the Tokyo airport because the lounge there has the self-serve machine that tilts the glass properly while pouring. I think it’s cool.


4. Use a car service

This is a luxury but is worth it for me.

One of the great reliefs I feel when traveling (and they are few) is when the giant, black Suburban pulls up to load our many bags of luggage, my daughter’s car seat, several carry-ons and our duty free treats. Finally, at this point, I am getting some help dealing with logistics (such as worrying if the bags will all fit) and I know I am less than an hour away from a relief baby sitter and a glass of The Prisoner (that’s a nice Zinfandel blend from Northern California).

And I don’t have to drive.



About Andrea McKenna

Andrea McKenna Brankin is journalist and author from the United States who lives a full life with bipolar disorder. Her book, Bipolar Phoenix, is awaiting a publishing contract. She is also currently a volunteer at the DaySpring Residential Treatment Centre for teen girls in Singapore, providing befriending-family support, therapeutic writing and rugby coaching.


Related articles:

The Beginner’s Guide To Dealing With Travel Anxiety To Have The Best Family Getaway

7 Genius Travel Hacks Even Frequent Fliers Don’t Know About

Tips For Staying Healthy While Traveling

Feeling Overwhelmed By Your New Expat Life In Singapore? You’re Not Alone!

You May Also Like