Nobody likes flying – for most people it’s just the annoying bit you have to sit through to get to your holiday. But what if you really don’t like flying? For some people there’s more to fear from a flight than just the drunk stag group in the airport bar, and when you’re scared of flying even a 2-hour hop to Spain can feel like a lifetime. Here’s what to do if you’re a nervous flier.
Turbulence and noise is usually worse at the back of the plane, so if a bumpy ride sets you panicking, book a seat near the front where you’ll feel the turbulence less. Knowing where you’ll be sitting in advance will also give you an aspect of certainty about the journey, and help you to feel in control of your flying experience.
Airports can be busy, loud and stressful – not the ideal environment if you’re trying to relax before your flight. Book yourself into an airport lounge where you can enjoy a free coffee, a bite to eat, and some peace and quiet in less crowded surroundings.
A lot of people think that a drink before the flight will help calm their nerves, and if this works for you then by all means do it (drink responsibly!). But in many cases alcohol will just make you more anxious and stop you from thinking rationally, resulting in you being less able to cope with your nerves once you get on board. Better to drink lots of water and stay hydrated!
When you’re a nervous flier, every beep or ding can put you on edge. Besides, what if some smarty pants is rattling off flight stats to everyone within earshot? Arm yourself with a killer playlist and a pair of noise-cancelling headphones, and you’ll never have to suffer through a ‘What was that?!’ moment ever again.
The cabin crew are there to look after you, and will have seen more nervous flyers than you can imagine! Don’t be afraid to talk to them about your concerns, and they’ll be happy to sit with you and chat through it. Sometimes just having a sympathetic ear can be so much help.
Your airplane seat will be your home for the next however-many hours, so you might as well settle in! Adjust your light and air conditioning, grab everything you’ll need out of your carry-on, and if you get any free blankets or cushions, have them to hand. If you get cold on flights, remember to pack a jumper and a pair of cosy socks.
The best way to keep calm on a flight is to keep your brain focused on something else. Take a book or Kindle, fill your tablet with films, take advantage of the in-flight entertainment…just make sure you have something to keep your mind busy that will stop you from dwelling on the flight itself.
Whether you’re a nervous flier or not, nobody enjoys being stuck on a plane – what makes it worth it is the holiday at the end of it! If you start feeling like it’s not worth the stress, just imagine the beautiful beach or city that’s waiting for you at the other side, and it will give you fresh resolve.
What do you find helps you calm your nerves on a flight? Give us your tips in the comments!