It doesn't matter how many experts are consulted or how many remedies one uses to combat flight jitters - somehow, Reddit always has all the answers. When looking for anything, especially anything travel-related, Reddit is often full of helpful (and, okay, at times not so helpful) advice when it comes to overcoming any fear. In the case of nervous fliers, once again, Reddit does not disappoint.
In a culmination of actual flier-approved techniques along with ideas from those who are practically experts at doing so, we've found the best tips. For those who can't seem to knock their first-time or anytime nerves when boarding a plane, these are sure to make a difference.
Comfort Is Key
Whereas most people suggest investing in a travel pillow, Reddit responds to this age-old solution a different way. While travel pillows do offer comfort in a discreet, easy-to-manipulate way that normal pillows don't, they're still not always the most practical. If they err on the side of being too big, they're useless. If they happen to be too small, then it's sometimes better to not have one at all.
In the case of one Redditor, a simple change was suggested: a bath towel. The brilliance behind this suggestion comes in the form of it being easy to pack, highly versatile in regard to positioning, and it's something that many people might already have in their suitcases.
Another suggestion comes in the form of a simple website: seatguru.com. The beauty of this TripAdvisor-powered site is that it shows the entire layout of the plane according to the airline. Similar to how one might look up the view from their seat at a concert prior to buying tickets, this is a great way to determine where one will be sitting - and choose appropriately.
And, when in doubt, there's always the potential for sleep. More than once on the same thread, a Redditor mentioned sleeping if a flight happens to be more than a couple of hours. One Reddit user even suggested planning strategic naps, with sleep occurring in between layovers and after boarding. This can also help tremendously when it comes to fighting jet leg - the more rest one has prior to landing, the better they'll feel. When in doubt, there's always chamomile tea.
Staving Off Boredom
One thing that causes anxiety for people, especially on long flights, is the thought of literally nothing. Let's face it - flights are boring. The thought of having so much free time but not being able to move or accomplish anything is stressful for some, which, again, is where Reddit comes in.
This Redditor suggests taking books, but a very specific genre of fiction. Many people make the mistake of bringing books that are challenging and require tons of concentration which is often difficult with the distraction of, well, a plane. Trashy books might feel counterproductive with so much time to kill but trust Reddit - they'll make the time fly by. The more interested one is in turning that page, the quicker the flight will feel.
Another thing that seems common-sense but many people don't think of is to bring some kind of MP3 device. While smartphones have practically eliminated the need to bring any kind of portable music device, they do have benefits. For starters, an iPod or other MP3 player is designed to last hours when it comes to music-listening capability. With all the things happening on one's phone, apps such as Apple Music or Spotify can quickly run down the battery and, on a flight that's hours long, that's bad news. An MP3 player can be charged fully and will last up to six hours or maybe even more, doesn't require an internet or wi-fi connection, won't take up space on one's phone, and won't run down a phone battery - leaving one's phone open for games, social media, reading, or whatever else it can be used for.
When in doubt, give into the in-flight entertainment. The good thing about long flights is that they often feature in-flight movies and some even feature games and other fun things on backseat touchscreens. One Redditor brings up a good point: there's really no point in being nervous because a flight is essentially one long, seated ride.
Sometimes, the movies being shown will be brand new and even if they're not, they'll be entertaining regardless. All of these things come free with the flight - so it really is like having a free movie, complete with comfy clothes, a reclining(ish) seat, and someone else in the driver's seat.