Holidays are what we all look forward to most in life. After all, what’s not to love about jetting off to the sunshine, or getting away from it all on a fabulous city break? For some of us, it’s the getting to our holiday destination that can be tough. Although flying is one of the safest forms of transport, fear of flying affects as many as 1 in 3 travellers. We want you to enjoy your holiday to the full, so we’ve put together our top 5 tips for nervous flyers. Arrive at your holiday destination refreshed and ready to have the time of your life!
1. Be prepared
One of the best ways to manage anxiety is to be well prepared. Make sure you’re all packed the night before your trip (we’ve got some great packing tips here), and ensure you eat a healthy dinner. Then get to the airport in plenty of time, so that you won’t have to worry about finding your gate or having enough time to check your luggage. Ensure your carry-on bag has plenty of healthy snacks and lots of water for the flight.
2. Talk to the flight attendants
Once you’ve boarded, have a quiet word with the flight attendants. They are very used to nervous travellers and will be sympathetic and helpful. They may also allow you to change your seat – perhaps to move to the front of the plane, or to sit closer to them.
3. In-flight distractions
Make sure you’ve got plenty to do during the journey. Download a great movie that you know will keep you glued to the screen, or pack a book that will grip you from the first page. Bring music – either calming music, to keep those nerves at bay, or something upbeat to keep you positive. Wear some comfy clothing and have a cosy shawl or travel blanket to hand to make you feel more relaxed.
4. Breathe and do positive visualisation exercises
Everyone from mums to therapists agree: breathing is the best way to calm anxiety. How many times did you hear ‘take a deep breath’ growing up? Breathing exercises are a simple yet powerful technique for relaxing the body and calming the mind. One of the simplest and easiest to do in an aeroplane is to simply close your eyes and breathe in through your nose to the count of seven, then exhale slowly out through your mouth to the count of seven. Another effective technique is positive visualisation: imagine yourself at your destination, doing ordinary things like picking up the luggage from the carousel and catching the airport bus.
5. Remind yourself of this statistic
There is really only one statistic that you need to remember when you are travelling: flying is the second-safest mode of transport that exists. The only safer way to travel is by escalator!