You might be afraid to fly or you’re just a nervous traveler. I’ve traveled on hundreds of airplanes, ships and trains, and I still get nervous on the day of a trip, even without a fear of flying. A lot of why we’re nervous flying or traveling has as much to do with the travel arrangements as it does the flight.
Sometimes I get nervous because I’m afraid I’ll go to the wrong line, afraid I won’t have all my documents in order or I won’t hear all the relevant announcements. I feel better once I’m in my seat on the plane (or train), but many people still experience fear while flying and/or traveling. Here are some tips to help nervous travelers before and during your trip.
1. Drink chamomile tea on the day of your trip. This will relax you. Take extra tea bags along and ask the flight attendant for hot water, so you can have another cup on the plane or train. Avoid coffee, as this will upset your stomach and make you nervous. Take some peppermints along too.
2. Book your seat near the front of the plane to reduce how much turbulence you feel. The front always gets less turbulence than the back of the plane. Seats over the wings are the next best places for nervous travelers to be seated.
3. An mp3 music player can calm you in the airport. Once on board, the plane should have music and earphones. Listen to music that distracts you and makes you happy. It doesn’t have to be slow, soothing music; it should be what you like most. I listen to pop rock tunes, and the music distracts me and calms my nerves.
4. Take along a lavender eye pillow. The lavender smell will relax you, and the pressure on your eyes can help you to fall asleep. Lavender eye pillows can be bought online or at bedding shops.
5. Sleep if you can. Long flights can pass easily if you catch some sleep. Book Economy Plus for more legroom if this is necessary for your sleep. It’s worth it.
6. Distract yourself by playing a video game or solving a puzzle. Crossword puzzles are helpful. Games and puzzles are more likely to distract you than reading.
7. Examine whether it’s the long flights that bother you more or the taking off and landing that makes you nervous. If long flights disturb you, then book a few connecting flights. If it’s the landing and taking off that bother you, then avoid any connections. Try to find a non-stop flight.
8. Dramamine may help, but be careful as it may upset your stomach. It always makes me sick, so I tend to avoid it. However, if you have found a brand that works for you, bring some along. Tylenol PM sometimes works for me.
9. Keep all your tickets, passport, money and such in a safe place that you can touch. I keep mine in a holder that fits into my front jacket pocket. I keep my hand on it at all times, and it gives me comfort.
10. Mention your fear of flying to a flight attendant. Sometimes flight attendants have extra tips that relate to that type of aircraft. On one particular flight, an attendant told me of a few key seats that got much less turbulence due to the configuration of that jet. She was also happy to give me some extra attention. Train attendants can also help you with a good seat assignment.