Airplanes are an extremely safe mode of transportation; the media has told us this over and over again. Why are people still afraid of them? It's called an irrational fear—like, arachnophobia (fear of spiders)—and it doesn't have to make sense.
The fear of flying can be tied to a lot of different things, including how dirty things can be, but one thing is clear: it makes travel hard — even stopping some people from going overseas entirely! From one nervous flier to another, here are 10 travel hacks that can help you calm down and finally be able to relax on an airplane!
10 Bring Something To Keep You Busy
When flying, it is very easy to let your mind wander and you end up thinking about what could happen. If you have Netflix, which let's face it most of the population does, then you may know that the site now allows you to temporarily download select shows and movies on your mobile and tablet devices. Plugging in your headphones and watching your favorite show or movie will make the experience a little more enjoyable. Bringing your current reading project or knitting could also have the same effect. Just stay occupied!
9 Don't Overthink It; You Aren't An Aircraft Mechanic
Sometimes hearing certain noises (or lack thereof) can be frightening, especially when you are unfamiliar with the normal sounds an aircraft makes. For example, the most common aircraft for domestic flights is an Airbus A320, commonly known as 'barking planes.' Before take off and after landing, they always make the same noise that kind of resembles a dog's bark. Sounds like this and others that may occur in the air are equivalent to the noises that your car may make; sometimes it's quiet and other times it's not! Just don't overthink it.
8 Remember Where You Are Going
If you are reading this article, there is a really good chance that you or a loved one is scared of flying, but wants to get over it because you either have a plan to see the grandkids, parents, or just want to finally take that trip to Ireland.
Remembering where you are going and how good it is going to feel when you get there is great motivation to get on a plane and put your trust into the man or woman in the cockpit. Whether you are going somewhere you've always wanted to go or you are bringing your significant other to meet your parents for the first time, keeping your motive in mind for traveling could be enough to keep you calm.
7 Look At Some Statistics
We know that flying is said to be the safest mode of transportation, but when you are afraid or worried, it seems that all logic goes flying out the window. However, keeping in mind some helpful statistics and facts can help you understand exactly how safe airplanes are. For instance, your chances of being involved in an aircraft accident are about one in 11 million! Between 1982 and 2010, about 3,300 people died during aircraft accidents in the United States. For comparison, in 2010 alone, there were about 33,000 deaths due to car accidents in the US.
6 Always Refer To The Flight Attendants
One of the best things you can do when you hear a scary noise or feel a movement that makes butterflies flutter in your belly is look at how the flight attendants are handling it. If they are still doing their food and drink services, you can bet any money that things are going very smoothly. Even in mild turbulence, the flight attendants will still serve cold drinks and food at the very least. You know that there is nothing to worry about as long as the flight attendants are still smiling and walking around the cabin. Even when pilots ask flight attendants to sit during turbulence, it is usually to keep them from falling and injuring themselves or passengers.
5 Tell Someone How Nervous You Are
Sometimes the best thing to do is let a flight attendant or your seat buddy know that you are a nervous flier. That way, if you have any questions, they will be more sympathetic to your worries and may even check up on you throughout the flight.
If you are traveling alone or with small children, you may even be able to purchase a special ticket that will notify a flight attendant that you are novice flier and are traveling alone. That way they can help you with any questions you have, or even sit you near the front or back of the plane, near the flight attendant nooks.
4 Avoid Plane Crash Investigation Shows
These shows are extremely interesting and arguably addictive. The very informative television shows demonstrate both devastating and non-life-threatening plane crashes alike, explaining to the viewers how these things happen and what flight investigators do to avoid the problem ever arising again. Some people have the nerve to watch it right before a flight, but there is a reason why shows like these aren't including in the in-flight entertainment system. Once you get up there, you start to wonder what could go wrong. Our advice is to just avoid them altogether, especially if you are a nervous flier.
3 Trusting the Pilot
Putting your trust in a complete stranger can be so difficult, and we know that! But when it comes to airline pilots, you can bet that they have been flying airplanes for a long time. In fact, they are so good at what they do that even the pilot gets to take a nap on long flights!
There are many different factors that come into being an airline pilot, some including having medical certificates, completing extensive background checks, as well as a minimum of 3,000 hours of flying. That's 125 days of straight flying!
2 Try A Window Seat On The Wing!
It may be a myth, but who cares if it works, right? They say that the safest part of the airplane is the back, but the most stable is on the wing.
When you are sitting near the wing, it may help you avoid feeling like your being dragged behind the rest of the plane during take-off, as well as dealing with mild turbulence. Now, we know that the plane moves as a unit, but when you are afraid of flying and you aren't used to it, sometimes it doesn't feel that way.
1 Just Breathe Through It
This may be easier said than done, but when your nerves take over while you are flying, it is best to just take a moment, count to 10 and breathe through the panic. Sometimes, being nervous on a flight comes from not being able to do anything if they plane starts to go down.
That's where trust and the ability to just accept anything that may happen comes into play. It may be hard to come to terms with, but you have to realize that once you're in the air, there's nothing to do but try to relax!