Fear of flying

8 Powerful Nervous Flyer Tips For Nervous Flyers! (2023)

Battling an annoying and completely useless fear of flying?

Yeah, I know all about what that’s like. I have been doing that for more than 15 years, somewhat dependent on the form of the day – but always there.

This is why I have a few great nervous flyer tips for all the nervous flyers out there!

Having nerves, or fear of flying, is very common, and different people have different hang-ups about flying that they find difficult.

Some struggle with the take-off (like me), some have a fear of turbulence, and others again fear flying over water or feel claustrophobic in the plane. 

More useless waste of energy probably is unheard of because once in a plane, there is nothing you can do about anything but accept your current situation.

And you want to travel, right?

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I Have Experience In Flying With Fear

Nervous flyer tips: if fear of flying hinders you from experiences views such as this, from a mountain top to be able to see vast views of valleys, mountains, and horizons, you might want to learn how to conquer that!
Magic moments are waiting on the other side of travel

I, you see, am sometimes spending most of my flight time in a state of extreme vigilance.

Listening for sounds out of the ordinary, prepared at any time to raise the alarm at dangerous issues the flight crew might not pick up on. 

Ready to assist the pilots on the flight deck in an emergency should they require my assistance. Yep, I know. But that is what I am doing.

So how do we deal with this issue, people? Well, if it were easy, I would have gotten rid of mine years ago.

But as a frequent flyer with a well-developed fear of flying, I have also developed some coping mechanisms over the years that might help you, too. 

If you cannot get rid of it, there are things you can do to deal with it, manage and live (and fly) a little easier with it. Here are my nervous flyer tips!

1. The Power Of Flight Statistics

Nervous flyer tips for making it easier to stepping up the stairs to a plane like this at the airport!
Some peoples bliss and some peoples worst nightmare

First of all, implement the science of statistics. The fear of flying is irrational BUT not completely rooted in fantasy – which is the actual problem.

Because sometimes flights do go wrong.

It is not like, say, a fear of alien invasion, which is one level up on the scale. 

But still, when it comes to flying, statistics is ON YOUR SIDE.

I bet you do not get into a train or bus or your car, obsessing over whether this means of transport may well end in death and devastation during your journey.

Yet, the statistical odds are a lot worse for all of the above. 

Trains and buses get into trouble a lot more often than planes. And you are not a better driver than average (like 80% of drivers tend to think, again; statistics).

It is a lot more likely you will get yourself into trouble or meet an idiot on the road. 

Statistically, there is a one-in-5.3 million chance of you at some point being in a plane that encounters severe trouble during your lifetime.

That means you could fly every day for 14.716 years before anything should happen.

You have a better chance of winning the lottery twice! So, keep that in mind from the start.

Check out the page flyconfidently.com

2. Some Crazy People Fly For A Living

The next thing is that some people do this for a living. Some people, the flight crew, get into this death trap every day of their life in order to work.

And if the risk really was what your gut tells you, the mortality rate of flying personnel probably would be a lot higher, and recruitment levels lower.

The thing is, they also know a lot more about aerodynamics than you probably do, and still choose to do this for a living. 

I tend to tell myself that they too, want to get home for dinner, and their risk analysis probably is a lot more qualified than mine. I choose to trust them.

fear of flying tips: how to conquer fear of flying so you get to admire this view from the plane window at night!

3. Take A Fear Of Flying Management Course

Take a fear of flying course! At your nearest airport there most likely are courses or fear of flying classes either organized by an airline or a travel company.

Or search for an online fear of flying course if you are not near an airport. 

I have taken such a course, and although it did not remove my flying issues completely, it did help me manage my thoughts a little.

Now my head works more to my advantage than the opposite when flying.

They tell you about aerodynamics, mental training, and physical exercises that might help.

Some places you go inside a plane to learn all about it, or even go for a short flight! All these little things help you in the right direction.

4. Fear Of Flying Therapy

There are therapy options if you have a serious problem, for example, if you refrain from traveling altogether due to your phobia. 

One therapy form you may try is hypnotherapy. The idea is that it connects to the unconscious and aims to change our thoughts and behaviors associated with flight. 

Through suggestion and relaxation techniques, hypnotherapy is said to help you to become a more relaxed, calmer thinker and help you to feel safer and in control of your fears.

I have not tried this myself, but Sara Gallo, who runs the blog The Five Foot Traveler, explains in this interview with Jessie from Jessie on a Journey how she overcame her flying phobia.

Take a look to see if it is for you!

5. Move Around A Bit On The Flight

Get up and walk a little during your flight! This may seem irrelevant as a tip at first glance, but let me tell you why this is a good idea. 

When YOU are moving around the plane, you will actually pay LESS attention to all the potentially devastating sounds and movements of the aircraft.

Your senses are busy moving you and your body around, and this will diminish your focus and ability to pick up on, evaluate and assess all the sensory information that takes all your capacity when you are sitting still. 

And look out the window every now and then; it just might be beautiful out there. Takes the edge off. Give it a try!

fear of flying tips: amazing night view from a plane window over a lit city.

6. Tell The Crew Or Your Next Seat Neighbor

If you have a really bad flying day, tell the crew. This somehow makes things feel a little better and also gets you some nice attention and TLC during your flight (even if you fly economy). 

I have had flight attendants sitting next to me for parts of flights, holding my hand and with great skill and compassion, making me turn my mind towards more happy thoughts!

I have also held the hands of strangers next to me, and once I even ended up sitting next to a Christian missionary who said prayers out loud for me the entire flight!!

It took my mind off things for sure and was kind of helpful. It did not change my religious point of view, though, but I was very thankful. 

7. If All Else Fails – WINE (Or Yur (Legal) Substance Of Choice)

If all else fails, you always have wine – or your self-medication substance of choice (within the legal sphere, of course). 

My idea of what hours in the day drinking is acceptable changes dramatically when I am in an airport waiting to board a plane.

If it is a shitty fly-day for me, I head for the bar at 06:28 in the morning if I see fit. No shame, no regrets.

8. Lastly – Always Remember WHY You Are Flying

And lastly, keep in the very frontal lobe of your mind the WHY, why you are taking this flight!?

At the other end of this flight may be great adventures, new friends, or business opportunities! Or maybe beaches, long-lost family, and excellent shopping?

Whatever lies on the other end of your dreaded flight is highly likely worth it.

Something you and your LIFE would be missing out on just because your nervous system is having a go at your normal sense of reason.

Mind over matter, everyone!

Educate yourself, face your fears, have a drink, and laugh a little at yourself to take the edge off.

And invest in some things that make you feel cozy and comfortable, like a small blanket, a scarf, a travel pillow, or some of these travel essentials for anxious flyers recommended by another anxious flyer!

Enjoy your flight – and this foto of a secluded beach somewhere in Costa Rica <3

fear of flying tips: mastering fear of flying can get you to this amazing secluded beach in Costa Rica, or anywhere you want to go!

Searching for your best (cheapest + fastest) flight options should be an easy process, and you need to be confident that you get the best deal, service, and secure bookings. 

I use Skyscanner, and Booking.com. These are my favorite providers for comparing airlines and getting the best and fastest fares for their customers.

Travel agencies. 
For adventurous travelers who also are social (or rookie solo) travelers, you might want to book your trip with a company like G Adventures.

They organize amazing & sustainable small-group adventure travels all over the world. 

I have traveled with G Adventures all over Costa Rica, the jungle of Colombia, and the mountains of Peru, and I can testify that the JOURNEYS are fantastic!

The guides are super professional, the organizing is great, and they make sure you get the absolute best adventures while looking after the environment and local resources. 

If you like your home away from home to be personal and unique, nothing is better than Airbnb for that.

On the budget side, you also have Hostelworld.

They list Casa Particulares, small hotels, and hostels, which have great standards and value for money. 

On the high-end side, I have experienced a number of other hotels like Iberostar and Melia Hotels & Resorts, for when you want to go all-in on the luxury & all-inclusive mode! 

Digital security.
Before you embark on your fabulous adventures, you may consider protecting all your digital gadgets and information with a VPN. I have found the best option for me, providing security and incognito mode when necessary, is ExpressVPN in 2022. 

Here is also my 2023 travel shopping advice for gadgets and clever things that makes your traveling easy peasy breezy

Read more from The World By Hege about travel resources & hacks to simplify your travel planning. 

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