Flash forward to 2017, I’m in tears, having anxiety attacks, feeling extreme nervousness, mixed emotions and just down right fearing for my life. Frustration is probably the only word I can describe how I feel when I want to travel but can’t ‘cus of flying. But all fears aside, I still fly because I still want to explore different cities and countries all around the world. I mean, you only live once right?
1. Research and prepare: Look at the weather, the area you are flying into, Turbulence Forecast, the type of plane you’re in, the time of day you are flying because all these factors count for something. I’ve read flying early in the morning or later in the evenings help with turbulence. It helps but it’s not 100%. I like to book my flight during the day so I can see outside the window (more on this below). But check the conditions and prepare yourself. If there’s a storm, chances are it’s gonna be bumpy. Just prepare your mind for anything. I had a flight to New York in April and the forecast was high winds, rain, and fog. I thought GREAT! Bring on the turbulence. I was on the plane ride waiting and waiting for turbulence, and nada. Nothing even a bump. So just preparing your mind helps so you can expect the unexpected. Also, Turbulence Forecast is a great source to predict turbulence forecast up to 18hrs.
2. Window seat closest to the front: I wish I had the luxury to fly first class but I don’t so I opt for the business seats or upgraded seats right below first class. Depending on where you fly it ranges from $50-$200 extra for those seats. I try my best to upgrade my ticket to those seats if available. The key factor for me is a window seat. Yes, I prefer the front, but if there’s no window seat in the front, then I’ll find another spot with a window. I HAVE to look out the window every 5 mins to make sure we’re still safe. I know sounds so silly, but seeing clouds and movement help me out so so so so much. Even when the ride is bumpy, I’ll look out the window and see that we are barely shaking and my nerves calm down. Funnily enough, my hubs and I don’t even necessarily have to sit together. I just need a window, BYE John. I also heard sitting on the wings helps with feeling less turbulence. Will have to test that out next time.
3. Alcohol, Sedative, Relaxants: I know tons of people who pop a Xanax (with a doctors consent) before their flight and they are on cloud nine the whole time. I took one before and it did slightly help with my anxiety but I didn’t like that it stays in your system for 24+ hrs and you can’t (or at least you shouldn’t) drink alcohol with it. I prefer drinking. I’m pretty extra, but I’ll literally do 5 shots before boarding. Judge me all you want, but this works for me. I’m usually on a good buzz before getting on my husband on the other hand just stares at me, and shakes his head (sorry babe! haha). If alcohol is not for you, you’re missing out, JK! Try meditation, praying, clear up your conscience, even essential oils and again being prepared for the ride. Mind over matter.
4. Keep your mind busy: Movies, books, magazines, chatting with your companion, stock up on snacks that make you happy, more drinks (jk, or am I?), podcasts, coloring books, work, whatever keeps your mind occupied helps the time go by fast.
5. Try to understand what is really scaring you: Is it the fear of heights? Losing control? Fear of the unknown? Identifying your fears helps understand the root of this specific fear. After you can identify your fear, research your fears. See what remedies or plans of actions you can work on to lessen your fear of flying. For me it’s prayer. But whatever it is for you, just keep strong and think about something or a quote that keeps you sane. I like to say to myself over and over… “Don’t let fear control your life!”