Travel during Covid-19 is a different experience than what we’re used to. I’ve compiled my…
Arline travel can be a stressful experience especially if you’re a little nervous to fly. So, I’ve put together a list of over a dozen actionable tips will help you gain back control and minimize anxiety on your next flight.
Flying these days can quickly become a stressful experience.
From the ever-changing rules at security, to heart-wrenching headlines about airline accidents/safety, increasing flight delays or rude behavior escalating into nightmare scenarios, airline travel can become a stressful part of your journey.
And all you wanna do is get to your destination in peace!!
So how do you manage all that stress and keep your anxiety down when flying, especially if you’re a little nervous to begin with?
Take control of your flying experience as much as you can. To help in that regard, I’ve put together my top tips for dealing with anxiety when flying. This list includes everything from preparation for your flight and preparing for TSA to enjoying your flight no matter what without stress.
12 Ways to Avoid Anxiety When Flying
1. Use airline incidents in the news to your advantage
This past Spring, there were a lot of news reports about airline safety which can make even the most seasoned airline traveler a little unsettled. However, this can actually be a good thing—whenever something happens, you know more attention is being given to inspections and safety and it’s thus a safer time to fly.
2. Take control of your experience by knowing where all of the emergency exits are.
I learned this tip years ago on Oprah and have been using it ever since. As soon as you’re seated onboard, count the number of rows that lead to the closest exit behind you and in front of you. Then if you have to make an emergency landing and need to get out fast in a smoke-filled event, you can count the rows and get out safely.
3) TSA-Know before you go
Stay up to date on the latest TSA regulations so you can have as smooth an experience at security as possible.
Pro Tip: Take your food out of your bag and lay it in the tray. Food can block other items in your bag making it difficult for agents to fully see into your bag. Not all TSA stations ask that you empty the food but if you do, it can make things go a lot faster and smoother.
Who wants to be delayed due to a bag of Cheetos?
4) Don’t wait until the last minute to pack.
As busy moms, this is waaaay easier said than done. But rushing around trying to pack in last minute items as you’re husband’s loading the car will NOT make your travel less stressful. (Yes, I speak from experience.)
Make a list ahead of time of everything you’ll need.
5) Pack a carry-on bag with all your essential items.
I always pack a small carry-on bag with all my essential items that I can’t live without. Think of this as your 24 hour emergency bag. If your checked luggage was lost, what do you need to get you through until it’s found. For example, I pack a change of clothes, extra pair of contact lenses, glasses, toothbrush, and makeup. I also pack a change of clothes and toothbrushes for my kids too.Think of your carry-on bag as a 24-hour Emergency bag (Things you can't live without).Click To Tweet
Need some help organizing your Carry-on Essentials? Download my Carry-On Essentials Printable!
6) Allow enough time to make your flight–Including Parking!
We all know it’s a good rule of thumb to get to the airport 2 hours before your flight. This usually allows time for checking in and security. But what we sometimes forget is traffic around the airport and the parking situation! Yikes! Just getting from parking to the terminal could add an extra 30 minutes to your adventure—so remember to allow time for that.
7) Print your Boarding Pass/Ticket Ahead of Time
My husband always teases me for being such a “paper person.” I have a master’s degree in digital media and yet, I never trust technology so I print everything out–especially important things like tickets or boarding passes. My husband, on the other hand, likes to do everything electronically including boarding passes–that is until recently. After standing in line for over 30 minutes at security, he got up to the TSA agent, took out his phone and to his horrified dismay…could NOT get his Boarding Pass to load!!!!! Can you imagine? So he had to go back to the ticket counter, stand in another long line, only to miss his flight. Luckily, he got on a later flight but he missed a meeting and incurred much unnecessary stress…
…Simply because he did not print out his boarding pass ahead of time. Moral of the story: do yourself a favor and print everything at home!
8) Snacks and Water
We’ve all heard those stories of delays while on the plane—whether it be sitting on the tarmac for a prolonged period or having to circle before landing—you don’t want to be caught without water or a little snack if the flight attendants have stopped food service. Pack some trail mix or chips in your bag for nourishment. And be sure to buy a bottle of water after you get through security to save for the plane.
9) Eat Candy!
Treat yourself and grab some sucking candy for the plane. Sucking candy can help calm your nerves and it will help if your ears start popping. Maybe try a candy that reminds you of something fun or takes you to a safe happy place. Ex: butterscotch to remind you of your grandpa or Jolly Ranchers that remind you of summer camp.
10) Don’t rely on electronics
Be sure to take a good juicy book to read or a few of your favorite magazines. Don’t rely on your electronic device—if you run out of batteries, or have technical issues, then you’ll have nothing to do and will start focusing on all-things-scary.
11) Keep your brain busy with puzzle books or coloring books
If you get nervous flying, it’s good to try and get into a very relaxed state and puzzle books (like Sudoku) or coloring books are a great way to zone out and get into a relaxed, meditative state. You’ll be so focused on your activity that you’ll be less likely to fixate on normal bumps, rattles, or turbulence.
12) Make a relaxation or happy music playlist
I love making music playlists on my iPhone. Before a big trip, I like to try and make on related to the place I’m about to visit. But I also like to keep a “relaxation” playlist in my iPhone. It contains more mellow, chill coffee house music to help me stay zen. And I have an actual meditation playlist with yoga style music.
Need helping making a playlist?
Do a search on Apple Music or Amazon Music for different curated lists in whatever genre you need.
13) Visualize yourself landing safely
I like to think of myself as a pretty good flyer, but honestly, if it’s bad weather-then yeah, I get a little nervous. We all know the pilot isn’t going to want to put him/herself at danger let alone a whole plane but it’s still a little scary if the weather is less than perfect.
So, what I do is just visualize myself landing safely at my destination. I focus and meditate on that. And if we hit some turbulence, I just focus on my visualization. It helps me get centered and calm.
Now you’re turn—what do you do to help you feel better about flying? Share your tips below! Or, join the conversation happening over on Facebook in the Technotini Lounge.
Cheers and happy travels!
Don’t forget to download your FREE copy of the Carry-On Essentials Packing List.
HI! I’m a Shana, self-proclaimed Media Mixologist, wife, and mom to two little girls. I love to mix up cocktails of crafts, recipes, wellness, family and business with just the right amount of sparkle to help you shine everyday. So, grab a glass, and let’s celebrate the cocktail of life!