AnxietyTop 9 Tips How To Effectively Manage And Overcome Travel Anxiety

Top 9 Tips How To Effectively Manage And Overcome Travel Anxiety

Many individuals worldwide feel anxious when it comes to air travel due to various concerns. Whether it’s the fear of turbulence or discomfort with heights, these apprehensions can prevent them from experiencing the breathtaking wonders of the world.

Luckily, there are numerous methods to alleviate pre travel anxiety. Whether it’s getting accustomed to the sounds of an airplane or selecting optimal seating arrangements, our team at “anxiety” has compiled a list of nine valuable suggestions to ensure your upcoming flight is a more soothing experience.

Don’t Rush

Hurrying is never enjoyable, especially when you have a plane to catch. If you find yourself rushing through the airport, worrying about missing your flight, it will only add to your stress and anxiety. Whether you have an early morning departure or a late night flight, stick to your regular routine and make sure you give yourself ample time to reach the airport.

After you’ve reached your destination and completed the check in process, make your way to the airport lounge. While it may involve an additional expense, it is definitely worth the investment, as it allows you to escape the busy atmosphere of duty free areas and enjoy a more peaceful and serene environment.

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Choose Your Seat

Selecting your seat ahead of time may come with an additional cost, but it can be quite beneficial, especially if you tend to feel nervous while flying. There are several reasons why this could be helpful. For instance, if you experience anxiety during turbulence, it would be advisable to choose a seat towards the front of the aircraft as it tends to provide a smoother ride compared to seats located at the back of the plane.

If you choose a seat towards the front, you won’t have to see the entire length of the plane in front of you. Seeing the whole plane can be overwhelming and serve as a constant reminder of your location. By sitting closer to the front, you can focus on what’s happening ahead and hopefully find some relaxation. Additionally, sitting near the front allows for a quicker exit upon landing, which is definitely a nice bonus!

Avoid Caffeine

You may believe that having a soothing cup of tea or coffee before a flight is a wise choice, but in reality, it is quite the opposite. It’s widely known that caffeine acts as a stimulant, which can lead to heightened feelings of anxiety, restlessness and nervousness. Therefore, it’s advisable to steer clear of caffeinated beverages like tea, coffee or energy drinks.

If you tend to get anxious when traveling, it’s advisable to refrain from consuming any alcoholic beverages before or during your flight. While you may believe that having a glass of wine or a pint will help ease your nerves, it can actually have the opposite effect and make you feel worse in the end. Alcoholic drinks can cause dehydration, leading to dizziness and lightheadedness.

Talk to the Cabin Crew

As soon as you board the plane, it’s a good idea to introduce yourself to the cabin crew and let them know that you’re feeling anxious about flying. The flight attendants are there to ensure your comfort throughout the journey and they can provide assistance and reassurance if you have any worries.

In addition to their warm and inviting smiles, the cabin crew members have the ability to provide explanations for various occurrences on a plane, such as turbulence or unfamiliar sounds. Furthermore, simply observing the cabin crew as they carry out their daily tasks can contribute to a sense of calmness. Witnessing them effortlessly serve beverages and engage in friendly conversations with passengers can help alleviate any concerns you may have.

Distract Yourself

Distract Yourself

Many individuals who experience anxiety while flying often develop a tendency to constantly listen for unfamiliar sounds, causing them to become fixated on even the slightest changes in noise. To prevent this, it is recommended to engage in activities that keep your mind occupied and distracted throughout the duration of the flight.

One suggestion is to consider listening to an audiobook. Not only will it keep you engaged and entertained, but it can also help mask any noises that may occur during the flight. On the other hand, if you’re embarking on a long distance flight, chances are you’ll have access to in flight entertainment like movies and games. Taking advantage of these offerings can contribute to a more relaxed experience onboard the plane.


One of the best ways to prevent feeling anxious while flying is to aim for some sleep. When you’re asleep, your mind enters a different realm, completely disconnected from your surroundings. However, airplane seats aren’t exactly known for their comfort, so if you want to catch some Z’s, it’s essential to take every measure possible to create a more relaxing seat experience.

If possible, it’s a good idea to bring along your own pillow when you’re flying. Having something familiar from your own bed can help create a sense of relaxation. Don’t forget to pack eye masks and earplugs too, especially if you plan on getting some shut eye during the flight. They’ll help drown out any unusual noises and block out bright lights that might disturb your sleep. Additionally, creating a playlist of soothing music can be quite beneficial in helping you drift off into a more peaceful state before takeoff!

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Take Deep Breaths

If you’re someone who gets anxious while flying, there are several breathing techniques that can help you calm down. When anxiety sets in, your breathing naturally alters, becoming quicker and shallower. These shallow breaths originate from your chest rather than your stomach, which disrupts the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your bloodstream. This imbalance can leave you feeling jittery and shaky, intensifying your sense of panic.

One simple method to regulate your breath is by slowing it down. To achieve this, try taking slow breaths in through your nose and exhaling gently through your mouth. It’s advisable to practice controlling your breathing before traveling, so you’re better equipped if you happen to experience anxiety during the flight.

Remind Yourself

While it may sound cliché, it can be challenging to put into practice. However, a great technique for cultivating a sense of calm during a flight is to keep in mind that air travel is statistically the safest mode of transportation. The unfamiliar sounds and peculiar movements you encounter are entirely commonplace; they just take some getting used to. It’s worth noting that there are countless planes soaring through the skies simultaneously, accommodating numerous passengers, many of whom likely share your sentiments.

If you’re concerned about turbulence, just remember that it’s usually not a cause for alarm. It’s like hitting a bump on the road during a car trip. The pilot might ask you to fasten your seatbelt, but that’s mainly to prevent any accidental collisions with fellow passengers!

Protect Yourself

Going on vacation can make a lot of people feel anxious because they worry about things they don’t know or understand. Whether it’s the fear of flying or the concern that their luggage might get lost, there are many potential things that can go wrong in the mind of someone who is nervous.

One thing that can provide comfort amidst these issues is ensuring you have protection in case the worst case scenario occurs. For instance, if you have concerns about your luggage or the possibility of falling ill while on vacation, investing in comprehensive travel insurance will offer peace of mind throughout your journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can preparing a detailed itinerary help reduce travel anxiety?

A detailed itinerary minimizes uncertainty and anxiety by outlining your travel plans. Knowing what to expect each day provides structure and familiarity, making you feel more in control and confident in navigating new places.

What are some effective relaxation techniques to practice during travel?

Effective relaxation techniques include deep breathing exercises, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation. These practices, which can be done anywhere, help in calming the mind and reducing physical tension associated with anxiety.

Can traveling with a companion or in a group reduce anxiety, and how?

Traveling with others provides emotional support and a sense of security, reducing anxiety. It eases decision-making stress and offers practical help, making travel experiences more enjoyable and less daunting.

How can familiarity with airport procedures and regulations ease travel anxiety?

Understanding airport procedures and regulations reduces fear of the unknown, making the airport experience more predictable and less stressful. Being prepared for these processes leads to fewer surprises and a smoother travel experience.

What role does physical health play in managing travel anxiety?

Good physical health, through proper nutrition, hydration, and sleep, enhances your ability to cope with stress. A well-nourished, rested body is more resilient to anxiety, and regular physical activity can improve mood and reduce stress levels.


In summary, effective management of travel anxiety includes strategic planning, relaxation techniques, and companionship for emotional support. Becoming familiar with airport procedures and maintaining good physical health are also critical. These combined approaches help reduce stress, provide a sense of control, and ensure a more enjoyable and relaxed travel experience.


  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information. “Treatment of anxiety disorders” PubMed Central, PMC5573566. Link.

  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information. “Psychiatric consequences of stress after a vehicle accident” PubMed, 19935481. Link.

  3. National Center for Biotechnology Information. “Genetics of generalized anxiety disorder and related traits” PubMed Central, PMC5573560. Link.

  4. National Center for Biotechnology Information. “DSM-IV to DSM-5 Generalized Anxiety Disorder Comparison” In: Nutraceuticals in Health and Disease Prevention. Bookshelf ID: NBK519704, Table 3.t15. Link.

Mark Willson, holding a Ph.D., functions as a psychotherapist in Washington, D.C. His specialized fields encompass addiction, anxiety, depression, as well as sexuality and interpersonal connections. Dr. Willson holds the distinction of being a diplomat for the American Board of Addiction and Anxiety, further serving as a certified counselor and addiction specialist.

Aside from his personal professional endeavors, Dr. Wilson has engaged in roles as an author, journalist, and creator within substantial medical documentary projects.

Isabella Clark, Ph.D., held the position of a professor within Emory University’s School of Medicine, working in the Department of Mental Health and Nutrition Science. Alongside this role, she served as a research associate affiliated with the National Research Center. Dr. Clark’s primary area of research centers on comprehending the mechanisms through which adverse social encounters, encompassing prolonged stress and traumatic exposure, contribute to a spectrum of detrimental mental health consequences and coexisting physical ailments like obesity. Her specific focus lies in unraveling the reasons behind the varying elevated susceptibility to stress-linked disorders between different genders.


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