I used to love to fly. Honestly, maybe that was not love, but I didn’t really care about getting on a plane. It was like a car, bus or a train to me.
Not a big deal, until last year, when Bryan and I went to Thailand.
Flight from Bangkok to Phuket made me freak out.
It was an hour flight, with a whole bunch of turbulence, people were scared, drinks were going up and down, and it was an old plane, the one that you can smell cigarette smoke on.
We came back from Phuket by bus, and on our flight back to Europe I got drunk to deal with the flight.
Then it was just got worse and worse. So, I decided that I need to do something about it.
We live in 3 different countries on 2 continents, I can drive from Hamburg to Warsaw and it takes me 8 hours. It is exhausting. I will not travel to and from USA by ship. :)
First of all you need to figure out why are you afraid of flying.
Is it a fear of heights, claustrophobia (locked up in a metal can for hours), giving control over your life to somebody else (pilots), or is it just a basic fear of dying?
Statistics say that plane is one of the safest way of traveling, it has less deaths than car, bus or train per year.
Also, it is good to get to know how the plane works. Why does it fly?
Every 5 seconds some plane is taking off in the world and no one says how happily it landed.
You need to be super unlucky to actually die on a plane. We just hear about plane crashes on the news, because they are super rare.
Before the plane takes off it has to pass many tests, only planes that are 100% efficient get to fly, and it doesn’t matter if it is cheap fare or a regular one.
Also, pilots, cabin crew, and flight attendants are super educated and trained people. They know what to do in a moment when something goes wrong.
It also might help to learn about the emergency root. How the evacuation of a plane looks like, what happens when the pressure in the cabin goes down.
Turbulence is not the nicest thing to experience, but they are super common, it doesn’t mean that the plane is going down, it means that there are clouds, different wind speeds and directions, air temperature, etc… it is super normal to have turbulence, just in smaller machines you can feel them more, than on those big ass planes.
And after the take off , the plane can’t fall down, that is the way it is built, even with a failed engine (or two failed engines) it can still fly for a while and land.
When it comes to engine, it is false that birds can harm the plane. Sometimes it happens that the bird is gonna get twisted in an engine turbine, but it will not harm the plane, only the bird.
And the last thing we need to remember, is that not all of the emergency situations, and landing are related to dying. Sometimes it is just safer to do the emergency landing than take a risk and fly further.
If you gonna be in an emergency situation, all you need to do is stay calm, and take orders from the cabin crew.
Remember, life is unpredictable and you can die or get hurt just around the corner.
So these are my little tricks that you can try to overcome fear of flying, or at least make the trip more comfortable:
1. Get ready for a trip.
Don’t hurry, don’t leave stuff for the last minute, pack up, prepare your luggage, choose some comfy clothes.
Plan to take your time to get to the airport, being in a hurry stresses you, and than you are double stressed out.
Pack your favorite stuff in your hand luggage; a favorite book, iPod with your favorite play list, some charm, rosemary, or something that will help you feel good.
Check in threw your mobile, to avoid lines and other stressed people, and to be able to pick a right seat.
I always try not to sleep too much before the journey, so it is easier for me to fall asleep on the plane.
2. Arrive to the airport early, avoid stress, get threw check in, check your gate, hang out at duty free.
3. On the plane, get comfy. If it is summer time, always have some sweats and socks prepared, because it gets cold during the flight. Try to smile, smiling always make you feel good, even if it is a fake one.
4. During take off balance pressure in your ears by blowing air threw your plugged nose. Chewing gum works well also.
5. If you feel anxious during the turbulence, and you might think that something bad is going on just look at the flight attendants. If they have a smile on their face and continue to serve food it means that everything is alright and there is nothing to be afraid of.
6. If it is a long flight, try to stretch out once every 2 – 3 hours, do the circles with your feet.
7. Be positive. Once you are on a plane, what’s meant to be, is meant to be. Just calm down, relax and think about your destination.
Have a safe and FUN trip :)