Let’s get real right now, most people are not exactly THRILLED at the thought of losing all control and letting their lives be in the hands of a stranger who will pilot a massive vehicle through the air. Might we have a control issue? Maybe, but should this fear stop you from living your dreams of exploring the globe? Absolutely not. As a fearful flyer, Ive put together a list of tips that might help easy an anxious travelers beyond the standard, “read a book” or watch “in-flight entertainment” tips.
Try to lock in an aisle seat
Part of the fear of flying comes from the thought that we’re stuck in an aircraft. If you’re like me, you experience a #mindbanger every time you think of a vehicle transporting hundreds of people plus luggage flying in the air. Of course, you can always opt in for a window seat and enjoy the view, which I highly recommend, if the view doesn’t make you poop your pants in fear.
Drink water during flight
This helps me maintain regular breathing, and to remember to be a human and do something other than focus on the fact you’re horrifyingly scared.
Walk it off
Tip one, two, and three are linked together; if you’re a nervous flyer it might be a good exercise to get up out of your seat and remember that you still have legs that aren’t made of Jell-O. Take a walk to the bathroom when you’ve reached cruising altitude or just stand up and stretch at your will; oh the perks of an aisle seat.
Try to stay away from coffee
Coffee naturally raises your heart rate, and the caffeine could increase your jitters from an already shaky situation. And, not to mention how coffee is a natural laxative, queue an unpleasant situation for everyone sitting near the bathroom.
Keep your hands busy
The number one symptom of nervous flying is experiencing palms so clammy you might as well be a guest star on Spongebob. If you’re a nervous flyer, this is probably something that you’ll have to deal with for your entire travel career, but a tip is to keep your hands busy! If you’re typing, coloring, writing, or doodling, you’ll be less likely to consciously think of how you’re a sweaty beast, queuing not only anxiety but feeling grubby.
Play pump up music
I usually always play some hardcore workout jams when I’m taking off or landing so you feel like you’re engaging with the experience somehow. It makes you feel like a bada$$ and helps you get pumped instead of
I have made some life long connections with this tip, and not because I felt like talking, but because if I didn’t have a conversation I was either going to puke or have a panic attack. When turbulence hits, odds are you’re not the only scaredy cat. Just the other day, I was on a three hour flight that was cutting directly through snow storm clouds. Throughout the entire flight, I hadn’t said one word to the woman next to me, but when I made eye contact with her, she admitted she was freaking out a little. We instantly clicked and I even made a business connection, and got free and fabulous mascara from her. If you’re nervous, tell the person next to you and if they’re nice, they’ll take the nerves away with some basic human to human conversation.
PS: One time, the turbulence was so bad that I asked a complete stranger to hold my hand. She responded with, “Oh, I’m fine.” and I glared a look saying “No, for me please!” We laughed and linked arms from 20,000 feet all the way until landing.
Have a drank
When all else fails, you can always drown your fears in good old alcohol. Kick back, and cheers to letting go of control from time to time by sipping a red wine. Some flights (think to European destinations) even offer free wine as part of their beverage options.