These tips are coming straight from a nervous flyer (me), who has tried them and succeeded. Flying with an airplane can be a daunting thing for some. The feeling of not being in control of the vehicle that is transporting me (I love road trips with my car) is amongst the biggest things why I am a nervous flyer. I don't think there is one tried and true method of getting rid of your fear, maybe the best thing is to fly regularly. Then again, not everyone is traveling the globe continuously, and can be in planes full time.
I find that no matter how hard I try, the fear somehow creeps back up in between two travels with the plane and the anxiety is right back there, where I left it: at the entrance to the plane. So it goes in circles a bit for me. But here are some tips that help me, so I hope they will be of use to you as well if you are a nervous flyer.
1. Get Yourself a good seatAnother part of the fear of flying (besides the psychological) is the physical one that comes from turbulence and other various aspects of the tilt and shift nature of the plane. Generelly the front of the plane as well as the wings are the most stable part, and it's good to get a seat there. But in order to get the seat you want you usually have to book earlier, which is a good idea for flights anyway. Remember smaller planes tend to have stronger turbulence then big Jumbo jets, simply because of the size. The bigger the plane, the more stable it is in the air.
2. Entertain YourselfThis is a crucial one for me. Especially on longer flights I have to make sure I have a varied entertainment system set up for me. I put lots of TV shows (better then movies I think, because they are shorter usually and you can watch more and change it up) on my iPad and make sure I have a nice selection. Something that will make me laugh is usually the best option. Good headphones are a must. Then there is music and magazines and books. They go together well. If you are not traveling alone, then spark a conversation with your co travelers, and before you know it you are back on the ground!
3. Finish up TasksAnother thing you might try to do is finish up tasks and projects. Put your phone on Airplane mode and organize those contacts, or bring a laptop with you in order to write blog posts (or something else). There are always these little obligations we carry around that we usually never finish up. If all fails, read your travel guide to the place your going to, check schedules and plans for your trip. Try to think about your journey.
4. Know whats HappeningI like to get myself familiar with the sounds and happening of the plane. Once you are accustomed to them the fear slides away. As humans we fear what we don't know. So don't be shy to go to YouTube and type in "Airplane take off/landing" or something like that and Google the procedure of airplane take off/landing to simply know what's going on. It's a routine for the crew and once you get behind it you will feel like part of them and not a clueless bystander.
5. Think about the DestinationI already touched upon this idea in tip number 3, but thinking about the destination can really help when you have a fear of flying. Think about the sights you are going to see, things you will experience and just how much enjoyment is upon you. It can really lessen the fear. Don't let the fear impact your love of travel, otherwise you will never see the world. That's what I tell myself at least. :)
Do you have any tips for nervous flyers? Are you one yourself? Let me know in the comments below. Maybe we can get a group therapy going on here :)