7 Tips for Anxious Flyers

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Flying is a modern necessity, especially if it’s an integral part of your job or family life. You might travel weekly to teach at conferences or visit out-of-state loved ones every month. Whatever your reason, your upcoming flight still makes you nervous. 

Whether you’ve never flown before or can’t shake your nerves, fear makes flying a much more painful experience than it needs to be. Take a deep breath and get ready to never feel nervous about booking a flight again.

Read these seven tips for anxious flyers so that you don’t feel uncomfortable during future trips. Once you find a few tips that work for you, you can use them to make yourself wonder why you were ever nervous in the first place.

1. Do Your Research

Most of the time, fear comes from the unknown. You may fear takeoffs and landings because you don’t know how a plane works. Your nerves could stem from not knowing what’s happening beyond the cockpit door.

The first thing you should do is educate yourself. Learn everything you can about flying, like how airport security works or how pilots navigate in the sky. As the process begins to make sense, you’ll know what’s happening during every step of your flight and deal with less fear.

2. Bring Some Familiarity

Some people are afraid of flying because everything is new. You’ve never been in the particular airport before or handled a long flight. New situations can be scary, so bring some familiarity with you. Pack your favorite snack to eat on the plane. Wear your comfiest pants or your lucky underwear. These small connections will give you peace and enjoyment as you manage through your next trip. 

3. Get TSA Pre-Check

If you miss your flight, your trip gets off to a bad start, if you don’t have to cancel it altogether. You could feel most nervous in the hours or days leading up to your flight because you don’t want to get left behind. In 2018, one in every seven travelers missed their flight due to security, like lines being too long or losing their luggage at their airport.

Make sure you board every flight on time by signing up for TSA pre-check. You won’t have to wait in the traditional security lines, so you get to your terminal in just a few minutes.

4. Leave Extra Early

There’s also an extra cost to get TSA pre-check, which you might not have the budget for. Instead, set alarms so that you leave extra early for your next flight. Even if you have to spend an hour or two waiting at your terminal, it’s better to hang out and stream a movie than sprint through the airport at the last second.

5. Write About Your Fears

Another way to handle anxiety is through journaling. Write each of your fears down and reflect on them after you land. You’ll see how each one was resolved and feel less afraid of them next time. Self-reflection is powerful and results in daily self-growth, especially if you use it regarding your flying fears.

6. Download a Helpful App

Like most things, there’s an app for anxious flyers. After you book your next trip, check out stress-relieving apps specifically designed for flying fears. Whether you deal with claustrophobia or panic at turbulence, apps can help you predict, explain and control your nerves for easier future flights. 

7. Create a Flight Schedule

Sometimes the hardest part about flying is spending hours at a time in the sky. Don’t let yourself dwell on how long you go without touching the ground. Instead, create a flight schedule with hourly activities or 30-minute blocks of time. Rotate through TV episodes, movies, books and even work assignments so that you always have something to look forward to and pass the time with.

Go Easy on Yourself

Most people are anxious flyers at some point in their lives. Go easy on yourself for feeling this natural fear. Accept how you feel and then use simple tips like these to talk yourself through your anxiety and even enjoy your future trips.

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