So, I have a travel confession to make. Despite being a frequent flyer and avid travel enthusiast, I have a fear of flying.
I’m not sure when I first began to feel anxious about flying or the reasons behind the sudden onset of in-flight anxiety.
I used to love the sensation of flight and the thrill of take-off and landing but recently I’m more about the sweaty palms and the certainty of imminent death. Weird,eh?
I’m definitely nowhere near the level where my anxiety would stop me from flying but it just makes the whole experience more uncomfortable than it should be.
Over time, I’ve learnt how to control my anxiety and now I often even find myself enjoying flights!
So here are my tried-and-tested top tips for all you nervous flyers which will hopefully help you overcome some of your travel anxiety!
1 – Meditate
This is a new one for me but probably one of the most helpful techniques so far.
As your plane is taxiing on the runway, close your eyes, take deep breaths and focus on a spot in the middle of your forehead. Pop in your headphones and play some calming music and try your best to clear your mind.
By the time the plane is taking off you should be completely relaxed. Don’t stop meditating until the plane is at cruising level.
2 – Pamper yourself
On long haul flights, take the time to truly pamper yourself! Plug in some of your favorite music (or a Harry Potter Audiobook for you cool kids like myself), pop on some comfy socks, relax and even treat yourself to a hydrating facial mask like these.
Yup, you’ll look weird but you’ll have the last laugh when you step off the plane relaxed and hydrated!
3 – Look out of the window
The views you get from above are breathtaking. I could spend an entire flight gazing out of the window, wondering about the people who live in the villages below or taking pictures of stunning mountain ranges or deserted islands.
Make the most of the birds-eye view. When else will you fly over Everest or watch the sunset over Paris from above?
4 – Spend time researching your destination
Flights are the best time to get excited about your destination. Pack your hand luggage with destination guides and spend the flight swotting up on your destination.
It will give you something positive to focus on and by the time you touch-down you will know your new country inside out!
5 – Understand the noises the plane makes
The best piece of advice I’ve heard is to educate yourself about the noises and movements the plane makes before, during and after your flight.
When you know that the horrible scraping noise is the wheels retracting or that it’s normal for the plane to tip when navigating its landing at the airport then you are a whole lot less likely to freak out and think that you’re about to plummet to earth.
This quick guide from Qantas is a great place to start.
6 – Sleep!
Easier said than done, I know! But once you’ve managed to drift off then your flight will whizz past and you’ll be on solid ground before you know it!
7 – Walk around
It’s really important to stay active during flight, especially during a long haul.
Getting up to have a wander, brush your teeth or speak with friends or family sitting elsewhere is a great way to distract yourself and also to trick yourself into thinking that you are still on the ground.
8 – Remember the statistics
I know that this is a cliché but the stats are there for a reason. Despite the horrendous media coverage surrounding air travel recently, flying is still one of the safest forms of transport.
Driving to your destination would be nearly 3 times more risky. Just remember that, ok!