Tips For Nervous Flyers
Our Argentina trip was for Brandon’s 30th birthday and a bucket list item for him to check off. Of course, I wanted to support that dream happening, but when he started to tell me about the ten hour flight and then the multiple flights we’d do throughout the trip, I literally felt my stomach turn to knots and my chest tighten.
For weeks, I anticipated the flights and the travel portion of the trip, doing my best to research tips for nervous flyers and anything that might help calm my nerves and ease the flights. After successfully making it through the trip (and learning a few things along the way), I thought I’d do a post on all of my tips and tricks for nervous/anxious flyers. If this is you, let me know if I missed anything! I’d love to compile as many suggestions as possible so leave a comment at the bottom of the post.
How To Prepare Beforehand
I’m a planner and feel better about life in general if I can stick to a game plan. Knowing that, I thought carefully about what I would need on our flights and tried my best to anticipate those needs. This backpack was the perfect size and had lots of pockets and compartments to keep me organized. Snacks, reading material, gum, medicine, toiletries, and my computer were all organized and ready to go. Of course our long flight offered movies and I allowed myself two movies before trying to fall asleep (we had night flights).
If you are prone to getting motion sickness (like me), I would recommend Dramamine or a motion patch like the ones that you wear on a cruise ship. Although they are prescription only, I found the patch to be very effective and also helped me stay calm knowing that I had a stronger medicine at work.
The last thing to think about beforehand is what to eat. I knew that the plane food would be awful so I made sure to have a good dinner before the flight, either at the airport or at home. Snacks are a necessity too and I opted for a granola bar as breakfast that next morning when we were about to land.
For During The Flight
What calms your worries and anxiety in everyday life? For me, it’s reading or zoning out on a show/movie that can take my mind off things. In the bigger picture, I’m also calmed by prayer and talking with someone I trust and love. Knowing that, I made it my effort to bring all of those things on the plane with me. I spent time reading, time watching a movie, time praying, and time talking to Brandon. I slept as best as I could (highly recommend Melatonin for that) and made sure that I knew exactly what my game plan was for each hour.
In my first two hours, I watched a movie. Then, I had a break for dinner. Finally, I watched one more movie before finally closing the night with my book and a clean, make up free face. I put on a hydrating mask and finally let myself fall asleep. Another saving grace was this ostrich pillow that covered my eyes and face to block out noise and light. Although I still tossed and turned, this helped immensely when compared to my last really long flight.
In the morning, I just used a facial wipe to wake myself up (love these invigorating grapefruit ones). I know some people brush their teeth but I waited until later for that because I’m weird and don’t trust plane water. We had some difficulties getting from airport to airport (see our full travel guide here), but overall, the long flight was definitely the hardest part.