If you know me you know I overthink most things. Chances are I overthought this post, but apparently, that’s what I do best. I usually spend hours before my trip researching where I am going, how I’m getting to wherever I’m staying, what is a must-see in town, what do they eat, the language, how the locals feel about tourists, do you tip on a meal? Coffee? etc. So I wanted to share some of that special talent that I have acquired over the years with you all and write down my top 10 tricks for the anxious flyer that can help calm you down when preparing for a flight or when you’re starting to feel anxious up in the air.
1. Check into your flight the night before – This saves you time and gives you the chance to pay for any extra baggage at a cheaper rate. You can choose your seat here, meal options, special requests, etc. Depending on the airline, you will more than likely be able to download your boarding pass onto your phone. So then when you arrive to the airport all you need to do (if not checking a bag) is go through security!
2. Try to get an aisle seat when checking in – This is more of my opinion but depending on how long I have to be in the air I try to get an aisle seat for longer flights so I don’t have to crawl over any sleeping random folks. Yes, I may have someone crawling over me instead, but this way I don’t have to overthink disturbing the person next to me. I hate having to plan out my bathroom breaks, if a girls gotta pee, she’s gotta pee. Shorter flights, the windows calling my name.
3. Sleep well the night before – Regardless of how much shut-eye you plan to get on the plane, making sure to get a good night’s rest will keep your emotions from getting out of control in stressful situations, which always arise at the airport.
4. Don’t arrive late to the airport – Some people don’t stress when trying to get to the airport in a timely matter, I am not one of those people. I like to have plenty of time, as you never know how security is going to go or what the crowds may be like. It’s a lot more comforting just being there. On-time. Or early, go grab a beer.
5. Put all your liquids in a plastic bag & leave them in an easy-to-access area – this helps when you get up to security and you have to put all your belongings on the belt. Your liquids are crucial to have in an easy-to-access area so you don’t have to stress about getting them out in time! (Or put them in a checked bag so you don’t have to worry at all) There will always be that one person who apparently has never flown before and doesn’t know to take out liquids and laptops and take off belts and shoes. Try not to be this person.
6. Try to check as few bags as possible – this helps if you have already checked in online the night before as you can just go straight through security as long as you have your boarding pass! This also helps on the other end, when you get off the plane you won’t have to wait anxiously hoping your luggage made it to its destination. I have heard so many horror stories of luggage being lost so I just try to take mine on the plane with me and pack lite!
7. Bring headphones & an eye mask! – An eye mask is crucial for a long flight. If you plan to get some Zzz’s while in the air I would definitely invest in one of these. Even if it’s some cheap-o off amazon. You definitely want to be able to get some rest and not have to worry about that person next to you with their little obnoxious reading light. Also, headphones are a must to drown out any crying babies and/or drunk frat boys headed for a bachelor party.
8. Think positive thoughts! – OK I know this one sounds cliché but it’s true. What you think you manifest. I try to stay positive and immediately stop any negative thoughts from entering. Okay but how? Well, when that little voice inside my head starts to spit a negative thought I close my eyes, take four deep breaths, and tell myself “stop.” Redirect that negative thought to something positive. I like to think about my destination, the first thing I’m going to do when I get there, how good the food will be, how happy I will be once I’m back on dirt…
9. Bring a journal/something to read or do – I know that movies are offered for free on most international flights, but on others, you have to pay for them. Bring a magazine or a good book to distract you. I also like to bring a journal just in case my anxiety starts to spiral out of control and I need to put some thoughts onto paper. I think that getting those negative thoughts out and removing them from your brain can be so beneficial. This will help if you can’t stop thinking about the flight itself, turbulence problems, how high you are in the air, etc. Write it down, crumple it up, and give it to the flight attendant to throw away. Adiós Negativity.
10. PLAN AHEAD – know what you’re doing the second you walk off that plane. If you are getting an Uber, you are probably going to want to find Wi-Fi and find your destination address. If you are taking the bus to the metro into town, you should research before your flight which bus line you need to take to which metro stop, and from there which metro line you need to take to get to your destination. Know the name and place of your hostel/hotel. Look up pictures so you are familiar with the outside and don’t miss it. **Figure this all out before your flight** This can help decrease stress so much and knowing you have things planned may help you sleep and relax on the flight over.
Hopefully, these few tips help those of you that get anxious before flying. Feel free to comment below and let me know what works best for you when trying to relax before a flight or preparing for a trip.