Ease Travel Anxiety During the Holidays

Travel can suck some of the joy from the holiday season, especially for people who have preexisting fears about flying. To help ease your travel anxiety, learn how to create a seamless travel plan that will get you there and back without some of the usual headaches.

  • Prepare for your trip. Create a checklist of everything you need to do before leaving town. Pack one or two days before your flight and double-check to make sure you have every essential.
  • Secure your home. Alleviate fears about your home's security during your absence this holiday season. Verify that all your doors and windows are locked. Make sure your curling iron is unplugged. Do whatever it takes to make sure you won't have worries while you're in transit.
  • Write about your feelings. Jot down all of your fears and uncertainties to help minimize their impact on your psyche.
  • Listen to music. Familiar or inspiring music can help calm ragged nerves. Take the time to create a soothing holiday soundtrack to help get you over troubled waters.
  • Meditate. Studies have shown that regular meditation can actually increase gray matter in the brain. It's also a proven remedy for travel anxiety.
  • Seek support Talk to your friends and family about your feelings. This can be especially helpful when anxiety centers on family stress.
  • Eat. Make sure to keep your blood sugar levels balanced by eating healthy, low-glycemic foods. Avoid sugary snacks, which can aggravate anxiety by causing your energy levels to crash.
  • Pack light. Give yourself the freedom to board and depart without the added aggravation of bulky luggage by limiting yourself to a carry-on bag.
  • Arrive early. Be sure to arrive at the airport at least two hours before your flight during the holiday season. This will allow you to find parking, check bags and get through security without having to rush.

When to seek help with your anxiety

Even the most effective planning and relaxation techniques can prove ineffective for people with severe anxiety issues. Don’t run away from your feelings or from doing the things you love. Learning to deal with your anxiety is a journey, and we can help. In many cases, simply talking about the problem can have major benefits, especially for people who tend to keep their anxiety issues secret.