Flying need not be any more stressful than any other form of travel if enough forethought is put into your travel itinerary. Allowing enough time between transfers and interconnecting flights is the key to a hassle free journey. Don’t take a chance on everything running without a hitch because if you cut it too fine you may miss connections. Be as informed as possible about your travel plan, and destination so that if you do incur any difficulties they can be swiftly resolved. If you are prone to stress then perhaps it is wise to consider flying at off peak times if that option is available.
A positive attitude
Your attitude towards other passengers and airline staff can make a big difference in the stress stakes. Everyone gets stressed when things don’t go their way but if you have a valid complaint and you voice your opinions clearly and succinctly then you have a good chance of saving yourself further stress. A happy traveller helps to make everyone’s day go smoothly and can make a big difference. Be polite and considerate to staff and passengers alike but don’t be afraid to voice your opinions if you are unhappy about something.
Get adequate sleep before a flight
If you are already tired before your journey begins then chances are your stress levels will grow even higher en route to your destination. Make sure you have ample time for a nap beforehand and don’t dash around making last minute arrangements.
Carry adequate refreshments
Not all airlines provide in-flight meals so ensure you have several nutritious snack bars and sufficient water for the duration of your flight. Don’t forget to pack essential items such as tissues, wet wipes and mints and medication in your hand luggage and of course all your relevant financial details and travel documents.
Wear layers of cotton clothing that are cool, unrestrictive and easily removed if you become too hot. Comfortable footwear is especially important on longer flights. Tight fitting socks will restrict circulation and this is something to be avoided on long haul flights when the risk of deep vein thrombosis increases.
Avoid excess alcohol
The effects of alcohol are exacerbated when in the air so be sensible in your drinking. A glass of wine may help you relax and de-stress especially if you are of a nervous disposition but don’t overdo it.
Do you really need to struggle with that massive suitcase? Wheeled cases are the norm nowadays and are a godsend but they still have to be lifted on and off the carousel. Surely there are some items you can do without? You can buy almost anything, anywhere so it’s not going to matter if you haven’t brought a certain item along. You don’t have to overburden yourself and spoil your entire holiday by hurting your arm or putting your back out.
Remaining calm is not easy when you are a nervous flier and often it’s nigh impossible to reduce stress levels to an acceptable minimum even if you do everything to convince yourself that flying is the safest form of travel. There is no same solution for everyone and the individual has to decide what strategy may work best for them. Divert your mind to other things rather than dwell on the safety of the plane; let the pilot and the cabin crew deal with that – they all do a magnificent job and if they managed to get the plane in the air to begin with, trust them to get it down again. Try to imagine you are on a bus if it helps and pretend that a patch of turbulence is just a bumpy road.
Frequent fliers are often more adept at de-stressing purely because for them flying has become a mundane event. It is perhaps the once a year holiday maker who becomes more stressed in an unfamiliar situation.
Have a great time
Those who perceive the journey to their destination as part of the holiday rather than a necessary chore will be less stressed than those who don’t. Not many generations have been able to see their planet from so high above the clouds so appreciate the opportunity, enjoy the views and enjoy your flight!