Fear of flying is one of the biggest things that holds people back from seeing the world. And, to be frank, I get it.
Even after spending countless hours in the air, my heart still skips a beat when I feel the plane drop during shaky turbulence. But flying doesn’t have to be scary.
I’ve learned to become more and more comfortable with it over the years. In fact, most of my travel time nowadays has actually become “me time” that I use to unwind and disconnect. My whole attitude toward flying changed with a few key strategies.
Ready to take on the world? Check out these tips for conquering your fear of flying.
Find Your Triggers
The first step to conquering your fear of flying is to single out what scares you so much about flights. Then, acknowledge your fear so that you can start to work through it.
You’ll see that this mindfulness will turn your worry levels down several notches when flying. It’s a totally natural fear, and you’ll find that many people are in the same boat.
For real! I need Nyquil on any flight that is more than five hours. Nothing relaxes you more and makes the time fly by faster than going to sleep.
It can also be good to use sleep aids and herbal fixes like melatonin to avoid jetlag and keep your schedule on track.
Sometimes a simple glass of wine (or two) does the trick!
I’ve never tried it, but there are guided meditation apps that I’ve heard are great. So many people swear by meditation, and it’s been proven effective time and time again.
If you’re really feeling anxious about your trip, it’s worth setting aside a few minutes every day to practice meditation even before you go.
Find a Distraction
I always pack noise-cancelling headphones, so that I can listen to some of my most comforting music during takeoff and landing. Listening to a playlist filled with all your favorite tunes can be a surefire way to relax during a flight.
Turbulence is the scariest parts of flying for me, so I focus on getting through those rough few minutes and then I can relax in the air.
Essential oils are one of my carry-on must-haves. I love handy little towelettes with relaxing aromas, like lavender.
Familiar scents can be very comforting, like a travel size bottle of your favorite perfume. I also always pack a cozy shawl, warm socks and a silk pillowcase.
I compare boarding a plane to being checked into a hospital. Come prepared with things that give you comfort!
Read Next: The Ultimate Carry-On Packing Guide
Change Your Mindset About Flying
View the experience as exciting rather than terrifying. Channel your fear about the flight into excitement for your destination and the adventures to come.
Remember, you’re flying because traveling makes it worth it, so focus on exactly that.
Sometimes I even just flip through pics and guides of my destination to keep my spirits up while I’m up in the air. Or, see the flight as an opportunity to catch up on all the movies you’ve been dying to see!
Learn How Planes Work
A good way to conquer any fear is to do some research. The more that you know about how planes work, the less you will worry about flying.
While you’re at it, learn about turbulence, too. Instinctively, it feels terrifying, but it’s not really that scary when you understand it.
I find that having a logical understanding of planes is actually really soothing when I’m nervous.
Don’t keep yourself from seeing the world because of your fear of flying. The more you fly, the easier it will become!
I promise, it won’t be scary forever. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone, and you’ll soon find that you can actually be very comfortable during a flight.
Find Your Place on a Plane
Finding the right seat is an art. Some people feel more comfortable in the window seat because they can see their surroundings.
While others like to be blissfully unaware in an aisle seat. Try different spots to see what works for you.
Pro tip: Sitting closer to the front of the plane will give you less turbulence for a smoother ride!
Upgrades to business or first class can really be worth it, especially when you use frequent flyer miles. It’s not always as expensive as you might think, so look into your options.