Being someone who loves to travel but also suffers from anxiety can be pretty tough at times. Anxiety tries to hold you back, but wanderlust makes you want to jump on a plane and go on the next big adventure. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to make your trip less stressful, starting with the flight – which for a lot of people is the thing that causes the most worry. Here are my six tips for a stress-free flight.
Consider your flight
Direct flights might be a little more expensive, but they reduce the number of things that can go wrong with connections and delays! You also won’t have to wait around at an airport for too long. Midweek flights are cheaper and later in the day is quieter, so if you don’t want to navigate around crowds there are options. Staying at the airport hotel the night before an early flight can also take away some of the stress of getting to the airport in time.
Get to the airport early
You never know what is going to happen, so it is important to make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport and through security – you don’t want to be one of the 25% of travellers who admit to missing a flight!
Traffic might slow you down, or the queues at check-in could be longer than anticipated. It’s better to have too much time and have to spend an hour or two in the terminal than having to run to your gate worried you might miss it. There’s nothing that’s going to stress you out more than being short on time.
Being comfortable can make the whole experience a lot less stressful. Wear layers that you can add or take off depending on the temperature, as planes can often be quite cold with the aircon on but your destination might be warm. A neck pillow may allow you to sleep a little and something like a scarf can be used as a blanket if needed.
A lot of pre-flight stress comes from not being prepared and having to rush around. Make sure you know exactly what documents you need and where they are so that you can produce them when required – a travel wallet is a great idea for this and it never hurts to have spares of things like boarding passes. When it comes to security, ensure you know what needs to go in the trays and have things ready ahead of time so you don’t feel rushed.
It’s always handy to have some snacks on you, especially if your flight is delayed. Take some cereal bars, crisps etc that are easy to pack, won’t melt or take up too much space. You will also want to have some boiled sweets or gum for take-off to stop your ears from popping. Remember you won’t be allowed to take water through security, but you can buy some on the other side, or use a reusable bottle to refill at a fountain before you get on the plane.
Take some entertainment
Keeping your brain occupied is a good way to combat stress and anxiety on a flight. However, the in-flight entertainment offerings can differ a lot so to ensure you’re not left without anything to do make sure you take your own entertainment on the plane. A book or a Kindle is a good idea, or preload your tablet with downloaded films or your favourite TV shows. Something that will really immerse you and make the time fly.
What do you do to ensure that your flight is as stress-free as possible?
This is a collaborative post.