Sunday, January 04, 2015

Tips for nervous flyers and surviving long flights

As a child I never flew in an aeroplane, I think it was mostly because my mom is terrified of flying.
So eventually at the age of 18 I hopped on a plane for the first time, it wasn't a long trip at all, a whole 35 minutes from Johannesburg to Durban, but it was awesome none the less! A group of us were going to celebrate a friends' 21st for the weekend.

Since then I have flown more times than I can remember, in 2014 alone I flew 17 times. It's crazy, really. The longest flight I've been on so far is 8 hours. BUT in exactly one week we'll be flying to Paris, 8 hours to Dubai from Johannesburg, then a 3 hour layover, then a 7 hour flight to Paris, just reading that makes me a tad anxious...and I love flying!

So here are my tips for nervous flyers/if you're flying with a nervous flyer.
1. Try get a seat near the front of the plane, it's quieter and you experience less turbulence there.

2. Chew gum, this always helps me with the change in air pressure in the cabin during take-off, I don't know why, it just does.

3. Avoid coffee, caffeine results in increased heart rate, increased thirst and hunger, anxiety, nervousness, dilation of air passages, and insomnia.

4. Get distracted, since you cant make use of any electronic devices during the taxi and take-off I suggest reading a book/magazine or chatting to the person next to you - if you know them. Don't be that annoying passenger that WONT-SHUT-UP throughout the entire flight, and if your neighbour is "that" person you're just welcoming him to be a pain in the ass for the next few hours!

5. During the flight you can use electronics on in-flight mode, so make sure all of you devices are fully charged and full of entertainment you enjoy (e-books, series, music, movies, games etc.). Also take full advantage of the in-flight entertainment that most international flights offer free of charge.

6. Keep in mind that air travel is the safest mode of travel.

7. If you're extremely nervous let an air hostess know, they are trained to deal with this stuff and are usually very helpful and friendly.

And here are my tips for surviving a long flight.
1. Dress comfortably, in layers , I usually wear leggings/my comfy jeans, a camisole, a long sleeve top, and sneakers/tommys with socks, I also take a scarf and a warm, soft jumper/cardigan for if I get cold.

2. Make sure all your gadgets are charged and full of content you enjoy (See point 5 above). Also don't forget your chargers (newer planes have USB charging sockets in the back of each seat) and earphones, airline earphones are often crappy and uncomfortable. Earphone buds also block out cabin noise when you (try) sleep!

3. Stay hydrated during the flight, the toilets aren't normally too bad if you're flying with a good airline so rather stay hydrated and make trips to the loo. I always take a bottle of water onto the plane with me and avoid coffee/tea as they are natural diuretics...(in case you were wondering, that means they make you need to pee more often.)

4. Take some healthy snacks on board, you'll be sitting for a long while (hardly burning ANY calories) so dried fruit, nuts, protein bars and biltong are a good idea! It's also nice to snack while you watch movies/series.

5. Take an immune booster, and wash your hands EVERY TIME you go to the loo (this should actually go without saying, but you never know!), germs are everywhere and in a plane there is no where for them to escape to, they are around you for the entire flight. Prevention is better than cure!

6. Pack your toothbrush and toothpaste, and anything you may need to freshen up, in your carry on luggage.  You don't want to disembark the plane with morning breath and sleep filled eyes, not pretty.
Pack some painkillers and motion sickness meds as well, you never know when you might need it! Also pack wet wipes and moisturiser, you will definitely need it!

7. Try to get some sleep, take an eye mask and ear plugs with if you need it. It's a good idea to try and adjust your sleeping pattern to fit in with your destinations time zone during your flight, this way you don't loose your first day of your trip due to jetlag.

8. Walk! Get up between movies and stretch those legs! Take a wander through the cabin, go to the loo, whatever you do just get your blood circulating again.

I find that following these tips help me disembark the plane feeling alot more human and a little less zombie. I hope they helped you and if you have any other tips please let me know in the comments below!


  1. get distracted is such a great tip... i used a be a nervous flyer but now ive got used to it so im not bad at all any more! id love it if youd comment back xx

    1. Thank you Amy, I love flying, I think it's the "I'm on top of the world" feeling that it gives me that I like so much. :) Your blog is super cute BTW! :D

  2. This was really interesting to read as my boyfriend is terrified of flying and I really struggle to comfort him every time the moment approaches. Thank you! xx

    1. Thank you! I hope that these tips will help the next time you guys fly :) xx

  3. This was a really good blogpost for me, I am not scared of aeroplane flight but I do get extremely bored so this will come in use. Your blog is really nice, I found it through a comment on another blog.
    Please could checkout my blog I would love a follow and any comments or advice you may have :)

    1. Thank you, glad I could help :) I will have a look at your blog. xx