How to Help Travel Anxiety, Naturally
Do you have trips you are planning to take this summer? Are you excited, but also a little (ok, maybe a lot) anxious?
Travel anxiety is both very normal and very common. It affects children and adults alike. Here is a definition:
Travel anxiety is the fear of visiting an unfamiliar place. It can also involve the stress that comes with planning your travels. Even if you have no history of anxiety, the idea of being outside familiar territory can throw you into panic mode.
For many of us, summertime is when we make some of our best memories. Special moments visiting family, friends or new places quickly become our most treasured. Travel anxiety can get in the way, but it doesn’t have to.
What can help travel anxiety?
If you have anxiety, you likely already know what triggers it. For travel anxiety, try to identify what about travel is triggering your anxiety. Maybe it’s a fear of flying. Or of forgetting to pack something important. Or maybe you experience sensory overload. Once you have a better idea of what triggers travel anxiety, you can plan ways to manage it.
For example, good noise canceling headphones, extra charging cords, an absorbing book and lots of snacks are my non-negotiables.
For kids especially, not knowing what exactly will happen on the trip can be hard. If this is your child, we recommend a pre-trip meeting with this agenda:
- Talk through the itinerary and plans
- Ask them what they are most excited about, and focus your conversation around that
- Look at photos of your destination and accommodations together
- Answer any and all questions, more than once if necessary
- Identify the tools that best help them soothe and calm. Prioritize making space for those items.
Sometimes their favorite tool is a little harder to make space for. But it’s so worth it. It just takes a little planning ahead.
Our weighted plush is a the best tool we've found for our family to manage travel anxiety, both to help process big feelings before the trip and during the actual travel. And we know it's proven effective in helping settle down anxious kids:
In a recent study 90% of parents noted an improvement in helping their child manage their anxiety during the 4 weeks they used FluffyWeight. On average, parents said it was 35% easier to settle down their anxious children using FluffyWeight. Another way to say it is that it was 53% more difficult without FluffyWeight.
Even though it’s a bit large, we always make space for it in the car when on a road trip. On a plane, it works as a carry-on item that can be stored under the seat in front of you when not in use. We bring ours in a reusable carry bag that makes it easer to tote around, and also protects the Fluffy from anything gross on the airplane floor. The cover can be machine-washed as needed.
Once you find the right set of tools, it's game-changing. However, it's true that persistent anxiety can be really difficult to manage. We recommend talking to your doctor if to explore other options, including medication, if you need more support.
Safe travels and best of luck! If you travel with your FluffyWeight, send us a photo or tag us on social! We love seeing them with you out in the world.
Read next: Breaking the Cycle of Anxiety
Related: Meet our Newest Fluffy