While the fear is real for the person experiencing it, the toll it exacts on family members can literally ruin a trip. There are ways in which the fear of travel can be alleviated. For example, those who have a fear of flying can be helped either through therapy or by simply visiting the airport a few times and watch the planes take off.
For more serious anxiety, there are groups available which deal with the fear of flying and literally teach people to overcome the fear by taking them on a parked plane and allow them to come to grips with the overwhelming fear that is within them.
For those who fear tunnels and bridges, there are also groups which help people overcome anxiety by driving with them through tunnels and over bridges, and teach breathing exercises and other methods to calm them.