Hodophobia (fear of traveling): what it is, symptoms, causes and how to overcome it

  • May 10, 2023
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Hodophobia (fear of traveling): what it is, symptoms, causes and how to overcome it

People usually travel from one place to another for different reasons, especially for vacations, work or studies. Whatever the reason, the fact of moving by different means of transport from one place to another corresponds to the planning of a moment designed for enjoyment. While it is true that travel is often associated with rest, tranquility and well-being, some people develop a intense fear of this type of situation, which can be a great obstacle in their daily activities.

In this Psychology-Online article, we will provide you with information about the hodophobia (fear of traveling): what it is, symptoms, causes and how to overcome it.

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  1. What is hodophobia
  2. symptoms of hodophobia
  3. Causes of hodophobia
  4. How to overcome hodophobia

What is hodophobia.

When we refer to hodophobia, we are talking about an anxiety disorder characterized by the presence of a irrational and exacerbated fear at the idea of ​​traveling

and included within the group of specific phobias delimited by the DSM-V[1]. In this sense, it is necessary to clarify that a series of diagnostic criteria must be met for a picture of hodophobia to be established:

  • Fear and/or anxiety immediately faced with the idea of ​​traveling.
  • The object or situation often generates responses of fear and/or anxiety.
  • Avoidance of the situation or object.
  • Disproportionate fear or anxiety with respect to the real danger posed by the situation or object.
  • Deterioration of social, work and family relationships.
  • Duration of six months or more.
  • The alterations cannot be explained by the presence of some other mental disorder or the intake of toxic substances or medications.

Symptoms of hodophobia.

How does the fear of traveling manifest itself? In order to gain a better understanding of hodophobia, it is important to pay attention to the warning signs that appear in hodophobia. This will allow us to establish strategies in order to produce improvements in the person's quality of life. Next, we will describe the most relevant symptoms:

  • Fear of moving to other places by transport.
  • Catastrophic thoughts related to death.
  • Feeling of helplessness
  • Unsafety.
  • Nervousness.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • Incrise of cardiac frecuency.
  • excessive sweating
  • palpitations.
  • Tremors.
  • Nausea and vomiting.

Despite the description that we have carried out, it is important to mention that the presence of any of these symptoms in isolation does not necessarily constitute a picture of hodophobia and the diagnosis should be made by a professional of mental health.

Hodophobia (fear of traveling): what it is, symptoms, causes and how to overcome it - Symptoms of hodophobia

Causes of hodophobia.

Why do I have hodophobia? Finding the origin of hodophobia is one of the most important aspects to take into account, since that its detection will make it possible to deal more effectively and quickly with the difficulties that the chart. For this reason, we will now develop the main causes associated with hodophobia:

Environmental factors

The past experiences They have a great influence on our current emotions, thoughts and behaviors. Therefore, it is possible that the person has experienced a traumatic moment on a trip, establish hodophobia as a pattern of response to situations that remind you of that experience.

On the other hand, the imitation of people's behaviorsignificant of your environment also plays an important role in the acquisition of habits. If within the family there has been someone diagnosed with a picture of hodophobia, there is a high probability that the same actions will be taken when traveling.

Genetic factors

The Genetic heritage It is another of the main causes of fear of traveling, since there are certain neural connections linked to the processing of external stimuli that can be activated in specific situations such as this.

Therefore, if the person responds with fear to the fact of traveling, it can be deduced that one of the parents has developed more of this type of neural connections. Given this, it is necessary to focus attention on the genetic information transmitted from generation to generation.

How to overcome hodophobia.

How to overcome the fear of traveling? Despite the obstacles that hodophobia can cause, today there are approaches that improve the quality of life of the person:

psychological therapy

One of the main causes of hodophobia lies in having experienced some unpleasant moment in the past. Therapy is a space that offers the possibility of reflect on thoughts, emotions and behaviors that give rise to the symptoms that a person presents.

On the one hand, there is short-term therapy that is responsible for providing tools to cope with situations of fear and/or anxiety in a more pleasant way, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy. On the other hand, long-term therapies, such as psychoanalysis, try to find the origin of the symptoms through the memory of childhood situations. Finding the origin of the painting will allow the person to adopt other alternatives when facing moments in which they have to travel.

psychiatric medication

In cases that represent considerable seriousness, the supply of psychotropic drugs it can be a viable option to reduce the intensity of the symptoms of hodophobia. However, it is important to keep in mind that the use of these drugs should be ssupervised by a mental health professional specialized.

Hodophobia (fear of traveling): what it is, symptoms, causes and how to overcome it - How to overcome hodophobia

This article is merely informative, at Psychology-Online we do not have the power to make a diagnosis or recommend a treatment. We invite you to go to a psychologist to treat your particular case.

If you want to read more articles similar to Hodophobia (fear of traveling): what it is, symptoms, causes and how to overcome it, we recommend that you enter our category of Clinical psychology.


  1. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). Arlington: Panamerican Medical Editorial.


  • Delgado Reyes, A.C., Sánchez López, J.V. (2019). Fear, phobias and their treatments. Electronic Journal of Psychology Iztacala, 22 (2), 798-833.
  • Korstanje, M. (2008). The fear of travel: a state of the art. nomads. Critical Journal of Social and Legal Sciences, 20 (4), 1-24.

Hodophobia (fear of traveling): what it is, symptoms, causes and how to overcome it

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