5 Tips for Keeping Your Travel Experience Stress-free
Are you considering traveling out of the country for a medical procedure but the fear of flying might be holding you back? If you have a fear of flying, you definitely are not alone. According to Boeing researchers, 18% of adults in the US are afraid of flying- that’s over 57 million people in the US alone. For many, it’s not just the notion of the actual plane ride itself, it’s the overall dread of the entire process. For people who aren’t a fan of crowds, simply imaging the hustle and bustle of their nearest airport may be too much. Check out these top suggestions from frequent fliers to help ease your anxiety.
1. Arrive With Plenty of Time
If you are already stressed out just thinking about your trip, nothing makes it worse like the stress of fretting over if you are going to make your flight or not. Plan to arrive for your flight with ample time to check in and make it through security. Once you’ve cleared security, check the time and familiarize yourself with the airport layout and your gate location. If you have plenty of time before your flight, take a stroll through the airport or shops, grab a snack or enjoy the scenery of the planes. There’s no reason to rush right to your gate right away (unless you didn’t follow this advice and you’re late. If so, then hustle!)
2. Talk to People You Know
One of the greatest reassurances you can get is to speak with someone who is familiar with your departure airport and can offer insider suggestions of the best way to clear security, where the good restaurants and lounges are, or even where to grab the best cup of coffee.
3. Be Prepared to Stand in Lines, a Lot of Them
No one likes standing in line, but with air travel avoiding lines is nearly impossible. Just understand that everyone is in the same boat. A key tip is to always read the signs and ensure you are in the proper line. Not only are there dedicated lines at check in, both security and the boarding gate are likely to have separate lines dedicated to certain tiers of service. If you followed the advice in #1 (arriving with plenty of time) give yourself a moment to relax and read the signs to ensure you are in the right place.
4. Don’t Be a Grump
Don’t be THAT person. Seriously, avoid the dark side. Air travel can bring out the worst in people, but there’s no reason to be rude to other travelers or service professionals. Instead of fuming about how uncomfortable you are, make this a time for yourself. Bring a good book or magazine to take your mind off things. Plug into your favorite music and block out the hustle and bustle of the crowd (just be sure to hear the announcement when your flight is boarding!)
5. Keep Your Documents Handy
Prior to arriving at the airport, put your photo identification and itinerary/tickets information in an easily accessible spot – and keep it there until you are on the plane. You’ll very likely need to show this information at multiple stages and it’s no fun having to dig frantically to find it.