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Traveling offers great opportunities to live out your fantasies, see new places, explore different cultures, and embark on memorable adventures. While some trips are simply a car ride away, it’s inevitable that you will have to get on a plane to properly see the greatest sites on earth. Millions of passengers board planes each day, but there are some who experience anxiety due to fear. Sometimes, this fear comes out of nowhere, and with others, it may be rooted in a bad experience on a past flight. Here are eight tips to help you relax on your next plane ride.
8 Tips to Help Relax a Nervous Flyer
1. Think About the Statistics
Many nervous flyers conquer their fear by thinking rationally about the situation. The reality is that airplane travel is probably the safest mode of transportation around. There are important regulations that monitor pilot licensing and the airline industry, which help ensure safety to all passengers. At any given moment, there are thousands of planes flying in the air. All of which will be landing safely at their destination.
2. Learn About the Mechanics of Plane Travel
Another way to think more rationally about plane travel is to learn more about airplane operations. Before your flight departs, spend some time researching the mechanics of flight. Learn about the different systems on board that work together to keep the plane lifted in the air and safely operating. Spend time at an airline pilot’s forum to get your questions about plane travel answered.
3. Choose the Right Plane
If you’ve decided to simply ignore your fear and book a trip, make sure you look carefully at your flight options before reserving a seat. Nervous flyers may do better on large flights aboard a jet instead of a propeller plane. You may want to select a seat that’s away from windows if you get nervous when you look out at the landscape. A seat close to the wings can help if you suffer from air sickness.
4. Talk to Your Doctor
Next, if you truly are worried about your anxiety during the flight, you may want to see your doctor. Flight anxiety is a fairly common occurrence, and your physician may offer some tips to help you manage your fear. Some doctors may prescribe an anti-anxiety pill to help calm your nerves and make you feel more relaxed.
5. Watch the Flight Crew
When you’re finally on board and feeling tense, you can start to relax if you focus on one part of your plane, the crew. During takeoff and landing, all of the flight attendants take their seats and wait for the captain to give the signal that it’s okay to take their seatbelts off. These are the times that may stress out nervous flyers the most because of the noises and changes in altitude. When in doubt, watch the flight attendants. If they aren’t scared or worried, then things are probably going according to the routine.
6. Try to Get Some Sleep
The best thing for a nervous flyer who can’t stop thinking about the worst possible thing happening is to sleep on the plane. Set yourself up for a cozy and restful time on board the plane by choosing a night flight. Check out some of these favorite pillows for air travel so you can simply dream while the plane completes its journey.
7. Distract Yourself
If you’re one of those people who can’t fall asleep on a plane, you can try some distraction techniques. Bring plenty of things to do on board, such as books or magazines to read or your laptop for some unfinished work projects. Most planes have an entertainment system on board, and you could watch a few movies during the trip to help yourself forget about the situation.
8. Focus on Your Destination
If you’ve tried all of these tips and you still have moments of anxiety, start focusing on some of the positives that will come along with your plane ride. Think about your destination and how excited you are about going to a new place. Visualize yourself doing all of the fun things on your itinerary. Breathe slowly and evenly to keep yourself from panicking.
Overcoming flight anxiety can be tough if you want to see the world. Try some of these helpful tips to get yourself more mentally prepared for your next flight.