Traveling With ESA
April 13, 2020
Approximately 40% of travellers experience anxiety when traveling by air. Of this group, about 60% can cope without support. About 5% have crippling anxiety, often referred to as clinical anxiety, and need an emotional support animal (ESA) to be as comfortable as possible during a journey. Without the support, travelers suffering from anxiety experience uncontrollable nausea, shortness of breath, and sweaty hands. Getting an ESA is the most viable solution for such travelers. Although most people turn to their pets, primarily cats and dogs, for comfort, there’s a lot of confusion about ESA and the limitations to the type of animals that people can turn to for support, especially in restricted spaces, like airplanes. Fortunately, many airlines now acknowledge that the mental health of their clients is paramount and are a little flexible on having ESA on board.
Not everyone is great at starting a conversation with strangers, especially if it is at a time when human connection helps to distract from emotional tension, especially for first time air travelers. When there is a little turbulence, having another person say it will be okay is all some people need to feel better.
Having an ESA will help create rapport with other travelers, who may unknowingly provide additional emotional support that will make the journey worthwhile. Some trips are unavoidable, and people with anxiety tend to travel because they have no choice. They are already tense about the flight, so any support they can get along the way means a lot.
Without emotional support animals, travelers experiencing clinical anxiety would have to take prescribed medication to remain calm during the journey. These drugs may work, but they can have adverse effects on some people. In some cases, it makes work much harder for attendants and other travelers, especially if the side effects include nausea and headaches.
Pills may have a calming effect, but they don’t help travelers to cope with anxiety. If anything, it makes them even more anxious every time they have to travel. Having an ESA, on the other hand, makes trips enjoyable, and before long, people who experience anxiety will stop having a negative attitude whenever they face the prospect of traveling. Instead, they’ll come to believe they will be fine, as long as their pet comes along.
People who need ESA are not just dependent on their pets for comfort when traveling, but also like knowing that their pet relies on them. It is easy for a person who experiences anxiety to get taken up by their situation.
Knowing that they are also responsible for their pet can boosts one’s self-esteem and give some anxious travelers something to live for. Having a pet also provides a level of comfort while traveling that nothing else can replicate. Focusing on the needs of the pet, instead of concentrating on one’s fears is a common phenomenon that works to relieve anxiety.
Emotional support animals are undoubtedly a crucial component of mental health and should be allowed to accompany people who experience travel anxiety. This will encourage more people to travel since they’ll always have the support they need.