Travel Advice

Top Tips To Prevent The Fear Of Flying

Fear of Flying Tips

Today I’m going to talk about something that is a bit embarrassing for someone who loves to travel as much as me – I’m scared of flying.

It all started with a bad flight I had, the turbulence was crazy, and since then I really dislike flying. It’s not that I’m scared of crashing, well not more so than any normal person, and I know flying is far safer than driving, but it is to do with the feeling of not being in control and also being in the enclosed space.

Here are some coping strategies, my top tips if you will, for dealing with the fear of flying.

Plan Getting To The Airport

Airport Tips
I feel in control and less stressed when everything is planned out. So I check and double check the flight times, and plan how I would get to the airport in plenty of time for the flight. Often I stay overnight in an airport hotel to avoid traffic jams and having to get up at a silly o’ clock time.

Book A Lounge If You Can

If I can, and especially when I’m flying long haul I book an executive lounge at the airport. I recommend the No1 lounge at Gatwick and Heathrow. Lounges like this although they do cost, give you food, drink (including alcohol) wi-fi and a relaxing environment pre flight.

Book A Comfortable Seat

Virgin Upper
The extra space on an exit row seat makes me feel much better so I always try and book this type of seat if I can. Other than that a premium economy seat or business class/upper class will give you more space, better food and greater comfort. I have to warn you though, when you go upper class you will never want to book economy again!

Upper class on Virgin Atlantic gives you access to a special lounge with unlimited food and drink, a streamlined no fuss check in, excellent food on board with proper cutlery and china and a seat that converts into a bed.

Prepare Your Travel Bag

Make sure your travel bag is full of items to make the journey more comfortable. I pack:-

  • Travel sickness tablets
  • A small handheld fan
  • Ipod full of relaxing music
  • Tablets from the Dr to calm my nerves (diazepam)
  • A magazine to keep me occupied
  • My Mac – so I can work if I want to
  • Some mints or sweets
Use Alcohol Wisely

A couple of glasses of wine or beer may make you feel more relaxed, just don’t over do it, and be careful if you are mixing alcohol and sedatives.

Keep Yourself Busy

If I am going long haul I check out the entertainment system on the plane beforehand. Virgin have an excellent entertainment system on their long haul flights. Their website has a section called My Movies which allows you to see what films are on that month and what is coming next.

I look at what films are on the flight and then plan what I am going to see in time blocks. This way I always have something to keep myself busy.

If I have some spare time I listen to music, read travel books or write blog posts.

What To Do If You Feel Panicky

Breathe slow and deeply to prevent  hyper ventilating. Some people find it helpful to count steadily from one to five on each in-breath and each out-breath.

If you are starting to feel worse, adjust the ventilation so you have cool air on you, put your headphones on and set it to the most tranquil music you have. If you have any tablets like diazepam for anxiety take one. Remember how safe flying is and try and relax as best you can.

Fear Of Flying Courses

Learn to Fly

Some airline companies run fear of flying courses which are worth considering if your fear is preventing you from travelling. Alternatively consider learning to do your private pilots licence, the more you learn about how a plane works and know how to fly the more in control you may feel.

Tell me, do you get scared flying? What do you think of my coping strategies?

Mrs W

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  • Blogging mummy
    June 2, 2016 at 10:31 am

    I know someone who did a fear of flying course and she now flys loads. She never had before been on a plane!! I actually always plane as i don’t mind flying but i do get nervous. I always make sure we go down to the airport the night before, stay over to make it less stressful.

  • Joanna
    June 2, 2016 at 11:18 am

    Great tips I’m going on a plane for the first time in 11 years lAter this year so am feeling rather nervous.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      June 28, 2016 at 5:57 pm

      A friend of ours recently flew after over 20 years. After the experience he said he didn’t know why he was so apprehensive and is actually looking to go away again soon.

  • rebecca
    June 2, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    Wonderful tips, thank you for sharing! I am off on a plane next week for the first time in over 20 years, feeling nervous but excited so this post was great to read! x

    • Mr and Mrs W
      June 28, 2016 at 5:52 pm

      Hope you have a great trip, flying opens up the world for you.

  • Vikki Holness
    June 2, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    Fantastic tips here. I’ve never had a fear of flying myself, but given all the horrific airplane crashes/disappearances that have been in the news this last year, it’s definitely made me more weary and cautious about flying. xx

  • Zoe Forde
    June 3, 2016 at 9:57 am

    I can be such a nervous flyer. It’s not that I ever fear a crash or anything specific – I just fear SOMETHING. Love your tips xx

  • Kerry norris
    June 3, 2016 at 10:10 am

    I used to love flying when I was younger but I honestly hate it now. Think this has been caused by all the horrible things going on. Booking a lounge sounds like a great idea to stay relaxed before hand x

  • This Mama Life
    June 3, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    Bless you lovey, being scared of flying is so horrible. I never used to be scared at all but since having kids I’ve developed a weird anxiety around the whole thing. It’s strange! Great tips 🙂

  • Fritha Strickland
    June 4, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    ooh that look so nice! We went on a tiny little 8 seater plane recently and it was terrifying! So flying in normal planes now feels totally fine in comparison! x

    • Mr and Mrs W
      June 28, 2016 at 6:01 pm

      It was very nice. I haven’t yet summoned up the courage to fly with Mr W in the little two seater plane above, although I have sat in it on the ground!

  • Kellie Kearney
    June 5, 2016 at 8:19 am

    Brilliant tips. I hate take off, once I’m up I’m grand it’s just that initial speed to get up there. Agree with it all

  • Lucy Dorrington
    June 13, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    You’re so brave to face your fear and not let it effect your life! I haven’t flown for many years, I imagine I would be pretty nervous if I did!

  • Tanya McGrory
    June 22, 2016 at 8:27 am

    I really wish I could just hop on a plane tomorrow because it really is that easy if I didnt worry so much :/ Never heard of the fear of flying courses before so will have to give them a try. I do love the tips you have given because I would of never thought of the myself! Fingers crossed I hop on a plane soon!!!!

  • Candice Nikeia
    June 24, 2016 at 11:22 pm

    These are great tips! I have a friend who is fearful of flying. I will send him this article!


  • Tara
    June 25, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    Some great tips here! I’m flying next month + it’s been a while. Eeeeeek

  • Agata
    June 26, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    I love being in the air, this said flying makes me sleepy so I normally sleep the entire flight 🙂

  • Laura H
    June 28, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    The worse thing is when you forget one of your flight comforts such as a magazine or headphones. Checking and double checking that you’ve got everything to entertain you, especially if it’s a long flight, is essential!

  • 7 Days, 7 Posts #54 - Sally Akins
    July 17, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    […] at travel blog Fly Drive Explore (@FlyDriveExplore) with her husband Mr W. She’s posted some Top Tips to Prevent the Fear of Flying, which is definitely something affects me from time to time. I’ve got it under control most […]

  • Rachel
    January 24, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    I can’t tell you how scared I am of flying yet I’ve travelled so much in my life and my dad is a pilot! He can’t believe it to be fair! LOL. Great tips, thank you 🙂 x