Travel Tips for flying domestic planeFlying Travel Tips

Last week, on my flight from London to Australia, I was seated next to an obviously upset young lady. Tears running down her face, she explained to me that she has a severe fear of flying, but had no choice but to make this trip. I comforted and reassured her as best I could, and naturally, our flight landed without incident, but the experience made me think.

Fear of flying is one of the world’s more common irrational fears. Everyone knows the statistics on air travel, that it is safer even than auto travel, but the fear is a deep-rooted emotional one rather than one based on reason or intellect. Facts and statistics cannot mitigate this type of fear.

My seatmate’s severe reaction to her fear made me wonder if, in future, there were specific suggestions I could make to frightened airline passengers to help ease their anxiety. After extensive research, I have compiled this list of five top-notch tips to cope with the fear of flying.

Take Control of Your Flight

Getting educated is not only a distraction from your emotional responses, it is a way to feel you have seized control of the situation. Study the type of airplane in which you will be traveling, and familiarize yourself with its layout. Choosing an aisle seat is a good choice for most people with a fear of flying, as you will feel less claustrophobic when seated on the aisle, and, perhaps more importantly, you will not be able to look out the window to see just how high in the sky you are.

Focus on the Positive

For emotional concerns, an emotional solution is the best one. Instead of concentrating on your fear, fill your mind with thoughts of the wonderful things you will do and the people you will see once you arrive at your destination. Visualization is a powerful tool, and relaxing into daydreams will both ease your tension and make the time seem to go by faster.

Plan Ahead and Leave Yourself Plenty of Time

Airport security is time-consuming and stressful for every traveler these days. By getting to the airport with a lengthy cushion of time to spare, you can avoid creating additional anxiety and stress for yourself. You are already nervous; you do not need to feel you are racing against the clock to board your flight on time.

Bring Along Distractions

An engaging book and your favorite music can help you relax and even enjoy your trip. In our busy lives, we rarely find time to sit and quietly enjoy a great read, so why not take advantage of this block of time? Books and music both can distract our worried minds and transport us to different worlds, all without leaving our seats.

Talk to Your Doctor

For extreme cases of flying-related anxiety, these techniques may not be enough to help you cope. See your physician before you leave on your trip, and he can provide you with additional ideas or even prescribe you a mild sedative to keep your nerves at bay.