Flying can be stressful from trying to get to the airport early enough to TSA to trying to stay calm during liftoff. There is a seemingly endless list of reasons to fret when traveling, but these five tips can help ease the stress of air travel and make for an easier experience.
Book On Off Days
Nothing makes air travel more stressful than trying to find your way through a bustling airport and dodging the kids running around without their parents. If mitigating the busyness of the airport is your top priority, then try to fly you on a Tuesday or a Wednesday. Even better, visit your vacation destination in the off-season to continue avoiding crowds.
Make a Packing List
Packing lists are not just for those who need very specific items for their destination. Whether you’re going to a destination wedding as a bridesmaid or are simply going to the next state over for a weekend trip, a packing list can help minimize stress and prevent the panic of forgetting something integral.
Additionally, make packing lists for both checked baggage and carry-ons. What you’ll need during the flight and what you’ll need at the hotel are very different, and the last thing anybody wants is to sit down on an eight hour flight only to realize their headphones are in their checked bag.
Unleash your inner Monica Geller when it comes to the airport because it pays to be cognizant of TSA guidelines and security requirements, especially in the busiest airports. For instance, Laguardia in New York has an average wait time of 17 minutes and George Bush International in Texas has an average of 19.8 minutes.
With an already long TSA line, the last thing anyone wants to do is be that guy that holds up the line. Familiarizing yourself with TSA rules and regulations can help you be aware of what you can bring through security and decide the most practical outfit not only for flying, but also for going through security.
Nothing ruins the vacation experience more than catching a cold in the airport or on the airplane. Colds are much more likely to spread inside a plane rather than on the ground, so air travel is a hotbed for getting sick when half of the passengers are recovering from a cold or are about to get one.
Even if it seems like overkill, bringing along antibacterial wipes, hand sanitizer, washing your hands, and avoiding touching your face can be the deciding factor of whether you end up getting sick because of your flight.
Enjoy the Downtime
It can be tempting to work even while on a flight, especially if it’s for a business trip, but the downtime offered by a flight can be an excellent excuse to take a breather in order to de-stress after the hustle and bustle of the airport.
Some of the best ways to decompress is to step back from technology, so bringing along a book, a crossword puzzle, or even a neck pillow to get some shut-eye can all be excellent options. For those who struggle with sleeping on airplanes, the Nodpod weighted eye mask blocks light and utilizes deep touch pressure to relieve stress and anxiety and lull you to sleep, regardless of your surroundings.
Flying can be stressful whether it be due to the time of year you’re traveling, a short timeline to get to your destination, or even a fear of flying. Coming to your next flight prepared, however, can be crucial in making your experience more enjoyable. While you can do things already mentioned such as booking on off days, sometimes that is not always practical.
If you find yourself stressed out and not sure what to do next, try to self soothe by practicing mindful breathing techniques that work to calm your physical state. Additionally, familiarizing yourself with the facts and figures surrounding air travel can help appeal to your logical side and help reassure yourself that air travel is one of the safest modes of travel. If nothing else, try utilizing a weighted product such as a Nodpod weighted eye mask or weighted blanket to help calm your nervous system and to distract yourself from what else may be bothering you.