Despite the frequency with which many of us use air travel today, there remains a proportion of people yet to earn their flying wings. Yes, first time fliers, those who have never experienced the joys of in-flight meals and soaring above the clouds in bright sunshine, are still out there.
If you are a first-time flier feeling slightly nervous about what the experience holds, I have some sensible tips to help you manage the situation and enjoy rather than suffer the journey.
Get fully prepared
As well as packing the bags for your trip, it’s wise to prepare before stepping onto a plane for the first time. Being propelled through the air at high speeds in a metal tube may sound counterintuitive but viewing the situation in a calm way should soon dispel your fears. It will help to visualize the experience beforehand so that you are not thrown any curveballs that may trigger anxiety. Discuss with a seasoned traveler all the details of flying including what happens at the airport when you arrive, such as checking bags and security procedures. Once on the plane, there will be further briefings given by flight attendants, which should help to relax you even more. If you know what to expect on a flight, fear of the unknown is reduced. Don’t be troubled by turbulence – visualize it as a car traveling down a bumpy road. Remember that many people are afraid of flying and you are not alone. Remember, too, that the majority of these people are able to conquer this fear and fly successfully.
Physical things to help
Some people worry about panic attacks and feeling nauseous during a flight. There are many tips to avoid getting sick while flying such as breathing exercises, acupressure, sucking on peppermints, and breathing in the scent of lavender oil on a handkerchief. Phone Apps with breathing exercises designed to alleviate worry and panic attacks are used by many people who suffer from flight nerves. If you anticipate serious problems, speak to your physician who may be able to prescribe a sedative to help get you through. Whether the flight is a short hop or long-haul, experts agree that keeping occupied is key to a calm and fear-free flight. Listening to music, reading, solving puzzles, or watching movies are all absorbing activities that will help to take your mind off things.
You can’t argue with the statistics
The safety statistics for air travel are unrivaled by any other form of transport. Keep this reality at the forefront of your mind when experiencing anxiety in the air. Over the last half-century there have been over 1,000 air crashes worldwide – but considering there are eighteen million flights annually, the odds of a smooth flight are very strongly in your favor. In fact, if traveling on airlines with the best safety records, the odds of becoming an air crash victim are one in 9.4 million. Just remind yourself of that hard fact if worries start to creep in.
Remember, it’s perfectly normal to be nervous the first time you fly, but by following these tips hopefully, those nerves will be replaced by feelings of excitement and happiness at the new horizons ahead…