Tips for Nervous Flyers

Air travel is one of the safest forms of transportation in the world. However, knowing that fact intellectually doesn’t mean flying can’t cause anxiety. Some people don’t like the idea of not being in control. Others simply feel uncomfortable with takeoff, landing, and turbulence. Still some find the airport itself stressful.

If you find yourself getting nervous when you have to fly, take some tips from us as to how you can improve the experience.

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Visualize your fears and confront them.

  • Prepare yourself to travel in advance. This can mean both practically  and mentally. Take care in advance of things like packing, checking in, making certain of your travel agenda, and picking a time to leave for the airport to ensure you will get there early. Mentally speaking, take a look at our next couple of items for some tips.
  • Visualize your fears and confront them. Most irrational fear tends to evoke a “deer in the headlights” in people– we don’t actually know what we’re afraid of. When we stop to think about it, we have to put more specific, concrete events to our fears, and that can make them easier to confront and dissipate. (In some cases, people are afraid of flying because they’re afraid of having a panic attack on the plane– a fear of fear.)
  • Inform yourself of flight statistics that will calm your fears. Air travel is one of the safest modes of transportation in the world, and the numbers back this up. Research the statistics and remind yourself of this information while you are traveling.


  • Breathing Techniques. Often, when we are anxious, we stop focusing on proper breath, and our breathing can become shallow and quickened, which actually increases anxiety. Focus on taking slow, steady breaths– in through your nose, out through your mouth– and staying conscious of this practice alone will start to calm you. It may be enough by itself.
  • Distract yourself. Bring books or an e-reader, or some kind of electronic device that will allow you to read, play games, listen to music, and/or do anything else to take your mind off the thoughts that make you anxious about flying.
  • Sleep. When all else fails, sleeping is the best way to stay calm on a flight. Some people require medicinal aids for this; it’s perfectly fine if you find they are the best way for you to sleep. (Some of them may help with your anxiety regardless of whether they help you sleep.) If you can sleep, you’ll stay calm, you’ll pass the time faster, and you’ll be better rested once you arrive.

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Hopefully these solutions are a start to calming any travel anxieties you may have and making the experience of flight more pleasurable. Visit or call 1-800-935-2620 the next time you’re ready for some vacation travel, and our team of experts will help you pick the right vacation package for your needs.

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