Travel Anxiety

What is it?

Travel anxiety is when a person feels anxious when they travel or may avoid travelling due to fear surrounding this. Those with already present anxiety disorders may find that travelling exacerbates or triggers the anxiety symptoms. The main causes of travel anxiety include interacting with other people, lack of support, wayfinding and buying tickets.

With 25% of adults in England diagnosed with at least one mental illness according to the Health Survey of England, Prof Roger Mackett from UCL’s Centre for Transport Studies has carried out a survey of people with mental health conditions, in order to establish the difficulties that people with such conditions have when travelling, and to identify ways in which these can be overcome. The following articles look at some of the findings from his report:

Mental health and travel behaviour: read here

Mental health and wayfinding: read here

Policy interventions to facilitate travel by people with mental health conditions: read here

DIY self diagnosis

If you can answer YES to most of the questions it is likely that you are affected by travel anxiety. During the last 6 months:

Have you avoided travelling due to anxiety?

Have you experienced a marked, persistent and excessive fear of travelling?

Do you worry excessively about travelling?

Has traveling made current anxiety symptoms worse?

Anxiety UK strongly advises that people seek further information and guidance from their GP who will be able to make a formal diagnosis.

Travel Anxiety

Recommended resources

This fact sheet gives a detailed overview, as well as a look at some of the evidence based approaches to treating driving phobia. See the resource.

It’s not unusual to feel anxious or worried before any test; none more so than a driving test, where your ability to control the car and avoid any unsafe behaviour can be challenged by a wealth of external factors. Read the whole story →

The thought of travelling to unfamiliar places and the complex rules surrounding overseas travel may be deterring you from planning a holiday and also causing additional stress and anxiety. Read the travel tips →