Long Haul Travel Tips for Anxious Fliers

January 13, 2021

Long Haul Travel Tips for Anxious Fliers

Even though travellers have been flying for a long time, many are anxious every time they get on a plane. To make matters worse, travel has become even more stressful during the COVID-19 pandemic.

No matter what triggers your anxiety when travelling, you need to do whatever you can to make things easier for yourself and those around you. Luckily, there are ways you can deal with your anxiety and calm yourself down regardless of the root cause.

Here are some flying tips you can use.

Get into the Right Mindset

aircraft wing at dusk

People who are anxious about something usually tend to overthink. Before your flight, you should find as many distractions as possible. Don’t think about the flight, weather forecast, aircraft types and so on.

Do what you normally do. If possible, do something that you like and enjoy doing. Put yourself in a good mood and try to forget about the flight altogether.

If you like listening to music and this relaxes you, music and podcasts are favourites of many travellers nowadays. Download enough before leaving home so that you'll have plenty of content to listen to. Noise cancelling headphones are also ideal for air travel.

Fly Non-Stop Routes When Possible

aircraft taking off into clouds

Non-stop flights have only a single take-off and landing.

For most people who suffer anxiety with air travel, this is the most stressful part of flying. If you go through it every couple of hours, it’s more likely to get agitated and get in a negative state of mind.

Yes, non-stop flights may cost a bit more, but they are worth every penny. At the same time, your whole journey will be shorter. 

Of course, if you live in a city that has limited flights internationally, such as Ottawa (our home base here at Pillowpackers) or many other North American markets, you may wind up forced to connect in another city before reaching your destination. 

Get Comfortable in the Air

aircraft exit row seats

Feeling comfortable in your own skin will make the whole flight more pleasant.

First of all, make sure to wear clothes that are comfortable and properly ventilated. When you sit down, you need to feel at home as much as possible.

Dress in layers so that you're prepared for both warm and cool environments.

Bring a travel pillow with you so that you can take a nap comfortably. Don’t worry about carry-on – you can find an inflatable travel pillow that you can carry around easily right here on our website. 

Remember to Breathe

woman in airplane calmly looking out window

Breathing is a natural thing, but we don’t pay attention to it when we are anxious.

Learn to regulate your breathing consciously. Breathe slowly and inhale air through your nose, then exhale through your mouth.

Do this for a couple of minutes to calm yourself down. If you have to, close your eyes and focus on something positive in your life or some good memories. Breathing is a great tool for reducing stress and anxiety – don’t overlook it.

There are some great apps out there for breathing and meditation. You'll also find some apps in the App Store and Google Play that are made specifically for finding calm and centredness during your air travel journeys.

Talk with Someone About Your Feelings About Air Travel

Bottling down your worries will only make you feel worse.

Believe it or not, many people have had flight anxiety, even the ones who have the “business as usual” face on the plane.

Tell the people you’re flying with about your anxiety - the flight attendant, or any other passenger on the plane. Talking with them about your fears can give you positive energy and help you understand that all of this is normal.

Don't Forget Your Travel Pillow!

travel pillow by Pillowpackers

These are some of the tips you should try out when flying next time.

Don’t forget to get a comfortable inflatable travel pillow. Many air travellers find that bringing their own pillow provides not only comfort physically but an added sense of feeling reassured.

If you don’t have a travel pillow, you're on the right website. Take a look around. We've got a travel pillow just for you!

Safe travels!!

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