Travel Phobias and How to Cure Them

Do you freak out at the thought of planning a trip? Don’t let travel phobia anxiety get you down; we have some cures.

Note: If you suffer from fear of flying, please see this see article.

How to Cure Travel Phobias

1. The Getting Started Phobia
Crowded Planes
You want to travel but don’t know where to begin. Put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and make a few lists regarding where you want to go and what you want to see.

Plan ahead: Go online and Google “official tourism site for [destination]”. Now, the fun part: Pick out attractions or activities you absolutely must see. Then, where possible, book tickets (or at least make reservations). Do it quickly because popular activities can fill up quickly (like a White House tour, for example). Finally, print out receipts and/or reservations (yes, these can live on your phone but paper copies are always good).

Don’t over-plan: Leave some empty space on your day-to-day trip calendar because sometimes you just need a break – time to do nothing more strenuous that bask on that beach in Florida or wander the Champs-Élysées of Paris.

2. Security Phobia

We all get this to some extent but security is here to stay. The good news is with PreCheck you’ll get a faster experience and a five year membership only costs $85 (and personally I think the shorter lines are worth $17 a year). If you travel much internationally, Global Entry makes returns to the U.S. faster and easier and it includes PreCheck.

3. Packing and Baggage Phobia

The trick is to pack light and pack early. With just a few exceptions, carry-ons are free while the vast majority of airlines charge $50 round-trip for a checked-bag. Packing only what you need as opposed to what you might want to bring is key and packing light is easy with the roll-your-clothes method.

Another tip: Pack a day or two ahead of time and place a list of last-minute items to add to the bag on top of it.

4. No WiFi Phobia

This is a vacation, so ease off on the email and text messages. Yes, we know you’re important but if the office really needs you, they’ll call. Free yourself so you can actually enjoy the vacation you’ve worked so hard for.

5. Fear of Glitches Phobia

Here’s another instance where ‘letting go’ is sometimes the best thing to do. Yes, a flight might be delayed but so what? Stuff happens and you can’t fix everything so just relax. If stuck in an airport, here’s where electronics will come in handy so fire them up (you packed the charger cord, right?) and find out what’s happening on Game of Thrones. Your plane will take off eventually.

One more thing: Be polite in all your dealings with airline representatives and it’ll come back to you, or at least that’s what a rep told me long ago: “Who would you rather help, Mr. Jerk or Mr. Nice Guy?”

See more in Rick Seaney’s latest column for ABC News. See all columns here.

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Updated: July 13, 2015