We at Travellers Aid know that getting back on the bus, train or tram isn’t always as simple as just locking your front door and heading into town.

The past two years have left many of us feeling uncertain about so many aspects of everyday life, including travel, whether it’s a local trip, an interstate holiday or international journey. We understand that many people may be experiencing anxiety as they contemplate attending events or even being in places where there are a lot of people milling around.

We want you to know that our services are here for everyone experiencing distress or anxiety who needs a little support to give them confidence as they travel, no matter what the length of the journey.

Anxiety has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic and can be a barrier to participation and connection. Anxiety about travelling to an unknown destination on an unfamiliar train, bus or tram route can become overwhelming for a person suffering from anxiety.

We’d like to share Lauren’s story with you.

Lauren suffers from anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). You’d never know it to look at her, or perhaps even to speak with her, but it’s there, underneath the calm, capable exterior.

Like so many others, in Lauren’s uni days she travelled around by train. “The trains are scary. I remember being so scared that it would go the wrong way and then you have to get off and you don’t know where you are.”

In more recent years Lauren has found ways of mitigating her travel anxiety.

“Now I’m the kind of person who has to travel the route prior to the day for a job interview. Then on the day I feel more confident, as you would usually feel nervous before an interview as it is.”

“I get sweaty, shaky and sometimes feel dizzy. And sometimes I have to lie down to avoid a panic attack and so I don’t faint.”

“Knowing that Travellers Aid is there makes me feel more comfortable. I feel ok with trams because I can see where I’m going. But at the train station I feel really overwhelmed.”

“Travellers Aid at Flinders Street Station has a really nice, calm, light and airy vibe. It’s easy and clear how to get help at the front desk. You can just walk straight up and ask for help.”

“I will go there to ask for help because I feel silly and embarrassed to ask other people, but with Travellers Aid you know you’re not going to be judged.”

Travellers Aid services are here to help you, your family and your friends to reconnect and travel again. You can book our services online and know that there will be a friendly face to greet you at Southern Cross, Flinders Street or Seymour station to help you to your next destination. Our lounges and waiting areas are a safe space with friendly and helpful staff and volunteers who can help you find your way, offer you a drink of water or just have a sit down away from the noise of the busy station platforms.