Some common sense tips to help you have a stress-free flight.
Do you dread flying or even put off booking a holiday just so you don’t have to deal with the stress? We all know that feeling in the pit of your stomach on the rush to the airport. That little stress grove in your forehead that never seems to go away no matter how often you fly.
Imagine a world where you rock up to the airport happy and carefree, the only thought in your mind being how great your tip is going to be. Well, you can achieve this with these easy steps.
1) Identify what is stressing you out.
The first thing to do is identify what is stressing you out about your flight. Are you worried you’re going to miss the plane? Do you have a fear of flying? Does what you can and can’t take through security stress you out? Are you worried there will be a delay or missed connection? Are you uneasy about how you will get to your accommodation at the other end of the flight? Or does the thought of sitting and doing nothing for the next 17 hours get under your skin?
Mine is weight limits, I am constantly paranoid I will have to choose between paying vast sums for extra kilos or chucking stuff out at the airport. Which I hate to admit is a semi-regular occurrence.
Is one or a combination of these things causing you to worry?
2) Research your concerns at booking.
Now you know what the source of your stress is, address it early, preferably when you book your flights (2-3 months out for optimal pricing). If you have a fear of flying, research some relaxation techniques and start practising them immediately. If you’re not sure about what can go through security read the airlines website. Worried about a missed connection? What is the airline's policy and what steps would you need to take if it came to the worst? Research the local shuttle or taxi options so you know where to head when you land.
Do some research and make an action plan for if the worst should it happen? We tend to feel more relaxed when we are in control and have a plan of action. Print out all the info you need along with your tickets and keep it with your passport, so it is all ready to go and you don’t have to think about it again until the week you travel.
3) The one week out rule.
You know how we always say we will pack early, or find that elusive charger but it never quite happens. Well here’s your chance to make it a reality. When you book your flight set an alarm on your phone for one week before you’re due to travel. When that alarm goes off, drag your ass up off the couch and pack your bag. Yes, now a whole week before you travel!
Ok, so you may have to throw some toiletries in at the last minute but actually packing early gives you plenty of time to find lost items, remember that last minute present for Gran and make sure you have the right sized bottles for security. It also gives you time to weigh your bags and make critical decisions about what to leave out without the pressure. Or load movies onto your laptop for inflight entertainment.
The other thing to do a week out is set an alarm (or several) for the day of your flight. Give yourself heaps of time to get to the airport, I mean heaps! Even if your flight is early, worse comes to worse, you can have a coffee and play on the free Wi-Fi, waking all your friends up telling them how awesome your trip is going to be.
Identify what is causing you stress, make a plan to deal with it and prepare early and you will never have to deal with that ball of stress in the pit of your stomach pre-flight again. Those are my three best tips for a stress-free flight, not revolutionary perhaps but if you can give yourself that extra time to prepare, you will be amazed at how the stress will melt away and you will be free to enjoy your adventure.
What stresses you out about travel and has you put off booking a trip? Let me know in the comments and will address your ideas in future posts.