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  • Tips for overcoming a fear of flying

    2013-11-19

    Air travel makes many people anxious. However, travelers don't have to live in fear of flight. Here are a few tips and tricks to come to terms with the safest form of travel there is.

    Get informed
    Before traveling, fliers should gather as much information as they possibly can about the ins and outs of air travel. A column by USA Today called Ask the Captain - which is wholly dedicated to answering questions about air travel - recently commented that people's fear of flight isn't so much about the flying itself but a fear of not being in control. Bumps, shakes and noises during a flight all play into travelers' fears, mainly because they don't know what is going on and what they can do about it.

    Knowledge is a great way to feel more in control. There are plenty of books and online forums dedicated not only to overcoming fears but also to explaining things heard and felt on a plane. There are even classes that help familiarize travelers with common occurrences during a flight.

    Get positive
    Travelers should try to maintain a positive state of mind in the weeks before taking off, Independent Traveler recommends. One of the ways it suggested keeping upbeat is to avoid any negative media concerning air travel. As Ask the Captain noted, people still fear their lack of control even when they know on an intellectual level that flying is one of the safest ways to travel.

    Travelers can try to divert their anxieties even further by focusing on all of the enjoyable aspects of their trip that they will get to enjoy once they land. Positive visualization of a safe landing may also ease fears.

    Get comfortable
    Once on the plane, there is no media to avoid and no more research to be done. The key tactic for travelers is to become as relaxed as possible. Travelers can assert their control by introducing themselves to the flight attendants and even the pilots if allowed. Nervous fliers may also wish to book an aisle seat, where it is easiest to get up and move around.

    Once the plane is moving, travelers should feel free to ask flight attendants any questions they have about the flight. Otherwise, the best thing to do is to take some deep breaths, put on so music or a movie or, if at all possible, try to catch some sleep.

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