Sunday, 12 August 2018

Top Tips To Managing Travel Anxiety

From what I’ve seen and heard, I think it’s pretty safe to say that the whole process of flying can provoke quite a lot of anxiety for a large number of us. It’s not necessarily always put me off, but throughout my teenage years in particular, I’ve really noticed the impact that it can have on my mental health.

I went on holiday to Nice in the South of France for a couple of days at the end of July (as you will know if you have read this post) and leading up to the day of travelling, I watched a couple of YouTube videos on how to ‘get over’ my fear of flying. I’ve saved them into a self-help playlist and so I thought it would be a great opportunity to share some of the tips that I picked up, because after all, August is the main month of sunny Summer holidays!

Top Tip #1
Break the whole experience into small, manageable steps. When we are feeling anxious and in a particularly rushed situation, we can often become overwhelmed and look at it all as one massive challenge. Instead of doing this, we should take the ‘small step’ approach, as I now refer to it. First, think about getting yourself to the airport. Then, once you’re actually in the airport, you should focus on getting through the check-in stage. After that comes security and then you can make your way to the waiting lounge before you go and find your gate to board the plane. During this time, you can treat yourself to a new perfume or some airplane snacks in duty free if that would make you feel more at-ease. Who even eats flight food anyway?!

Top Tip #2
Try to distract yourself in any way that you can whilst on the plane. As soon as you step onto the aircraft, it would be a good idea to start thinking of things to do or your mind will begin to wander – and most probably not to a positive place. Maybe you could read a book or a magazine, talk to whoever you’re sitting next to, watch a film on your laptop or your iPad. Hey, you could even edit a YouTube video or write up a blog post to pass the time! Choose whatever it is that gives you a focus and is able to keep your brain busy for at least a short while, depending on the duration of your journey.

Top Tip #3
Remind yourself of the scientific logics. Travelling by plane is without a doubt the safest option for any human being. The odds of a plane crash are 1 for every 1.2 MILLION flights, whilst the odds of dying are 1 in 11 MILLION. Whereas, your chances of dying in a car or a traffic related incident is increased significantly to 1 in 5,000 – and I bet that’s not a comparison we ever make! We travel on the roads daily, but on the annual or rare occasion that we’re up in the air for a few hours at a time, we think that we are more likely to experience trauma. This is so not the case and really, it’s quite irrational for us to think this way given the statistics! The cabin crew and the pilot are most likely on flights just as often as we walk around the streets or drive through traffic and they have had more experience than we care to consider. It’s their responsibility and their priority to put your safety and your comfort first, so if they aren’t worried or imagining that something bad will happen, then you must try your absolute hardest to be the same.

Top Tip #4
Without the flight, you wouldn’t reach the desired destination. Although there is always the option of interrailing, flights are much quicker, much more direct and much more common if you want to reach a certain destination. Back in the day, airplanes didn’t even exist, so think about how grateful we should be that we get to actually fly through the air to explore the world, one country at a time! If we want to enjoy some sunshine and see a different way of life, as well as getting away from the hustle and bustle and getting those snaps for the gram, we have to go through the journey first. If you’re going to another location in Europe from the UK, it really won’t be that long of a journey and then you get anywhere from a few days to a few weeks before you have to do it again. It will be bliss and once you have landed, you will just be living in the moment and wondering why you hadn’t booked your flights sooner…

Top Tip #5
Make sure that you have got your in-flight essentials prepared beforehand. I would personally suggest buying some wine gums or chewy sweets to help give your taste buds some flavour, whilst also preventing your ears from popping quite so much, some earplugs and an eye-mask for if you want to catch some shut-eye and a travel pillow to make you feel more relaxed and less achy. Maybe you could also bring a scented lip balm and some soothing hand cream, as that’s likely to ground you and help you to feel at home if you’re particularly out of your comfort zone.

I hope these tips are of some use to you, as they certainly have been to me and will continue to be on future flights! The sooner you start to enjoy flying, the better of an all-round experience you will have when it comes to discovering new destinations. Once you have mastered how to keep calm and relax on a shorter flight, you may even be able to fly across the world without feeling fearful one day!

Share your travel tips in the comments below if you have any that I haven't mentioned!

Lots of love always,

Links to the 2 videos that gave the inspiration for this post:

Lily Harper – How To Get Over Fear Of Flying & Flight Anxiety -
Emma Angeline – Managing My Fear Of Flying -


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