I. Hate. Flying. I have flown three different times, two being international trips, and have cried every single time. I hate flying. If you read my recent blog, which you can find here, you know that I recently took a trip to Disneyland. I went with my sister and brother-in-law, but they live in California, so I made my way there by myself. I was pretty nervous because every time I have flown, I have been in a group with 20+ people and this was my first time traveling by myself. I was nervous not only for being on the plane by myself, but I never paid attention in airports because I have always just followed what everyone else in my group was doing. I have put together some tips that I am sure are to help make your trip more comfortable whether you are a first time flyer or don’t like flying as much as I do.
1. Arrive Early
Okay, this is pretty much a no brainer. You should always get to the airport early at least an hour before your plane boards because you have to check-in and go through security. If this is your first time flying, I suggest you get there even earlier so you can figure out what you are supposed to do and find your gate without any panic. I also like to get to the airport early because it gives me time to sit and relax for a little bit and also buy a snack if I want.
2. Airport Standards
Always, always, always make sure you know the airport regulations. This will help your trip go much smoother. I suggest going to the airlines website and searching for all the regulations such as bag size, what is and what is not allowed in your carry-on and other things like that. I say this because on one of my trips there was a person who did not put their liquids in a zip lock bag in their carry-on and had to throw it all away. Airport standards are pretty strict and it is always a smart idea to know what is expected for your safety and others.
3. Packing Carry-On
When I went to Africa a couple of years ago, there was a computer glitch and the airline lost thousands of bags. My group altogether lost about 20 of our bags (personal & bags filled with mission items) leaving five people in our group without their personal suitcase. I was so lucky that I was one of them. (By the way, if you ever see me on your plane make sure you try to switch planes because the plane will either be delayed or you will lose your luggage. I have the worst luck flying.) After this, you would think that I would have learned to pack my carry-on better. Wrong. My suitcase got lost again as I went to Disneyland. Luckily it came the next morning, but still. Make sure you pack at least two outfits, your make up, and some of your toiletries (remember there are guidelines to the liquids you can carry) in your carry-on.
Now that we got the before flight issues handled, lets move on to what will help you stay calm on the actual flight!
Not only make sure that you have a device filled with the music you love, but also make sure you take your headphones. I forgot mine this trip and had to pay $20 for a pair that would cost $5 if I bought it at Walmart. You can listen to it during takeoff and landing, which is my least favorite parts of flying, and close your eyes and concentrate on the music instead of flying. Music is also helpful when there is a person who talks really loud or a crying baby. I 100% think music helps relax me on my flights and also helps pass the time!
Current favorites: “No” by Meghan Trainor, Chris Young, Daughtry, James Bay, Dalton Rapattoni (ugh… anyone else fall in love with him on Idol!?), anything from the Biebs of course!
Books are really good things to take with you, but only if you read at home because if you do not read at home, you most likely will not read in the air. However, if you do like to read I suggest doing this to help get your mind off of things. Instead of taking a couple bulky books, I recommend buying books for your tablet because it helps save space in your carry-on.
Recommendations: anything Nicholas Sparks, but I especially love The Wedding, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs-will be a movie in September!, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (personal favorite)
3. Gum and Earplugs
Every time I travel I am either sick right before, during, or right after. This trip was no different and I got sick right before. I had a sinus infection and I could hear my heartbeat in my right ear because of the pressure that built up. When I came home from Ireland, I was sick and I had the most excruciating pain in my ears that I have never felt before. Needless to say, I was terrified that I would feel this pain again and/or my eardrum would bust and I would become deaf in my right ear. I literally tried everything I could before this trip to help save my ears. I purchased some earplugs that are called “earplanes” that are supposed to help slow down the pressure by opening up your ears to allow for them to not pop as much. Gum helps also because it makes you swallow more which helps to open your ears. If nothing else, I completely recommend using these two things, but if you have been sick prior to your flight I also suggest taking ibuprofen, a decongestant (Mucinex), saline nasal spray, and ear drops.
4. Blanket and Pillow
If you are going on at least an 8 hour flight, you should consider taking a blanket and a pillow. This will help you fall asleep easier and allow for you to become comfortable in an uncomfortable situation. If you are on a short flight, you should consider at least bringing a jacket because it gets a little chilly on the plane.
I hope this list will help you on your first or 100th flight you take. These are just some of the things I do in order to make myself more comfortable and relaxed on the plane or things I do to make sure I am prepared to travel. What are some things that you do when you travel?
I have one more blog idea for next week that I want to post that centers around my trip to Disneyland so be sure to keep checking back!
Disclaimer: None of the pictures in this blog post are mine.