It’s officially the holiday season! And with that comes travel: many of us will be on the road or in the air in order to spend the time with our loved ones, near and far. So with the busiest travel week of the year upon us, we thought we’d ask an expert for a few tips on how to overcome travel-induced anxiety.
In 2013 Captain Tim Griffin founded FlyHome to help travelers embrace the joy of flying, ease anxiety and help you feel safe and confident before your next trip. With his help, we complied a short list of simple steps you can take to prepare mentally and physically for your next flight.
Happy and safe travels!
Anticipatory anxiety is the number one issue with most fearful flyers. The only way to overcome this is by gradually learning to feel more comfortable during flight, so before hand you will have less to worry about.
Don’t check the weather more than two days out from your trip—this causes a large amount of anxiety should you see a percentage for rain or storms. The truth is, weather reports may not be that accurate that far out anyway. (But this is!)
Pack a few days early. Rushing through packing the night before (while are already anxious) will only fuel the fire.
Exercise and avoid caffeine. Exercising can help minimize the affects of anxiety, while caffeine can increase the effects.
Be prepared for TSA. Take off all jewelry, remove all items from pocket and remove belt all prior to getting in line. Put all of the items in your carry on so you’re not rushing to remove everything while everyone behind you is waiting for you. It’s the little things that alleviate stress!
Once on board, introduce yourself to a flight attendant and let them know that you have a fear of flying. They should give you special attention, and check up on you frequently during the flight. Also, before sitting, ask if you can say hi to the pilots—it’s nice to be able to place a face to the voice that you will hear during the flight.
Once in air, keep the window shade open and look out to the far distance at the horizon. The body can play many tricks on you if you don't have a visual reference as to whether the plane is climbing, turning or descending. (The same reason why pilots are trained to fly the plane with sole reference to the flight instruments.) Also, open up the air vent to let air flow so you don't feel enclosed.
Turbulence is normal—the plane is built to withstand turbulence. The pilots may change altitude and flight course, as well as reducing the speed of the plane so the constant changes in engine volume are routine—this is the planes speed changing to lessen the affects of turbulence.
p.s. Packing light? Don't forget our favorite travel accessories!