Fly With a Travel Companion
Having a travel companion can also make all the difference in the world, especially when they’re an experienced traveler. Your companion can be there to provide a feeling of personal security, have a conversation with you, provide encouragement and motivation, and help navigate you through the terminals, security lines, and boarding the plane.
Before the trip begins, talk with your travel companion about your fears so they can be prepared. Tell them if you have certain preferences like holding your hand, playing card games, talking about your favorite experiences, etc.
They will enjoy the trip more knowing that you are a calm traveler and they will probably be willing to help as much as possible.
Practice Relaxation Techniques
Instead of focusing on what the plane, flight attendant, or pilot is doing, use relaxation techniques to calm your mind.
You will need to find which techniques are most effective for you, but here a few ideas:
- Center your focus on something calm
- Breath deeply through your nose and slowly exhale from your mouth
- Tense and relax each part of your body for 10 seconds starting with your feet and working towards your head
- Listen to music or watch a movie
- Imagine you are somewhere else picturing all the sights, sounds, and smells
- Close your eyes
No matter which techniques you choose, be sure to control your breathing. Concentrate on having long, deep breaths instead of shallow breaths that are more likely to trigger a panic attack.
If you’re afraid to fly, the SOAR app can help you conquer your fear as learn more about flight and techniques that over 10,000 SOAR graduates use to travel anxiety-free now!
Use a Weighted Blanket
Using a weighted blanket can also be extremely helpful if you only need a few pounds of additional pressure to calm you.
There are many different varieties of weighted blankets to choose from for adults and children. If you choose a full-size blanket, remember to get one that’s 10% of your body weight for optimum results.
When space is an issue, you can also travel with a weighted lap pad or shoulder wrap that take up less space and can be just as effective in an airplane seat or car seat.
Alcohol can alter the way your brain reacts. The effects of alcohol are different for everybody and it can potentially worsen your travel anxiety.
Skip the bar during the layover or the in-flight alcoholic drinks. Opt for coffee, soda, or water instead. Of the three non-alcoholic alternatives, water is the best option because sugary and caffeinated drinks can dehydrate you can cause your energy levels to spike and crash.
You can drink as much as you want once you arrive; it’s wiser to play it safe until then.
Eat Healthy Foods
Eating healthy foods that are low in sugar isn’t just recommended for test days at school, “junk food” can worsen your anxiety as well because your body craves nutritious food. Complete meals and foods with complex carbohydrates will make you feel less hungry and give you the energy to keep you going all day.
Try packing a few high-quality snacks like protein bars or granola to eat on the plane so you don’t have to settle for the unhealthy convenience food that you might find in the airport terminal.
Exercise Before You Travel
As long as you’re not catching the first flight of the morning, you should have time to exercise before you head to the airport. Whether you walk on the treadmill, take a walk around your neighborhood, or do a full-fledged Crossfit workout, exercise can relax your muscles and even distract you from the pre-flight jitters.
Just sitting and doing nothing while you wait, banks up your nervous energy that can cause you to panic when the time to travel finally begins.
In between flights, don’t be afraid to walk the terminal and stretch your legs instead of sitting at the gate the entire time. Your body will enjoy the activity and it will keep your muscles loose so your relaxation techniques will be more effective when you need to focus on remaining calm during the flight.
Sit In The Front of the Plane
If at all possible, sit in the front of the plane instead of the back. These seats can provide more legroom and you won’t have the “tunnel feeling” as much because there aren’t as many passengers in front of you.
You might have to spend the extra $70 to book a Comfort Plus seat with extra legroom, but it can still be money well-spent because it will be easier to relax.
Remember Why You’re Traveling
Most of us aren’t excited about the travel process. While flying first class can make the plane ride more comfortable, and you’re still on a plane for several hours. The fun might not start until you finally land and can hug your loved ones or begin playing tourist.
You’ve likely heard the phrase mind over matter.
When it comes to fighting travel anxiety, sometimes all it takes to push through is to focus on your destination. That’s easier said than done.
Keep asking and answering these questions:
- Why am I traveling?
- What activity do I want to do most?
- Who’s the first person I want to visit?
- Am I going to let one plane ride stand between me and the trip of a lifetime?
Remember to think positively and remember that the travel is only a small portion of the trip. It will be over sooner than you realize.
Talk To Your Doctor
One final suggestion is to talk to your doctor about anti-anxiety medication. If you have tried all these other suggestions on previous trips, this might be the only other way to fight anxiety when traveling.
Just remember prescription medication have side effects that can negate the anti-anxiety benefits.
Your doctor might also be able to teach you breathing techniques as well. That way you can practice with a professional before your travel day finally arrives.
Summary of Tips to Help Fight Travel Anxiety
The fear of traveling may be keeping you from exploring new places and having fun with your family and friends. Start using these tips on small trips to learn what techniques fight anxiety best. As you become more comfortable with flying you can also be able to embark on trips you thought were impossible before.