8 Ways to Help Overcome a Fear of Flying

There’s no need to let a fear of flying keep you from seeing the world — here are a few smart tips to help dispel airline anxiety, from a perfect packing list to the best smartphone apps.

Understand What Causes Your Anxiety

The first step in determining the best course of action for stress maintenance is understanding what elements trigger your travel anxiety. Is it turbulence? The space? The sounds? Take a moment to think about and try to pinpoint where your fear of flying originates, then take appropriate steps to help make those things disappear.

Fear of Flying Tips

Equip Yourself With Knowledge

Do your research before boarding the plane. The flight attendant will share basic safety features, but you can take it a step further. Learn about the built-in safety mechanisms of each aircraft, read about the rigorous training process a pilot must complete, and understand the scientific reasons for turbulence. These extra steps can go a great way to helping eliminate the fear of the unknown.

Select the Best Seat For You

Elect for a seat closer to the front of the plane, where you’re likely to feel less turbulence. Also, it might be worth it to upgrade to a first-class seat and enjoy the comforts of extra space and enhanced offerings.

Fear of Flying Tips

Pack the Essentials

Comfort is the key to a peaceful flight. Consider purchasing a weighted blanket, designed to reduce stress and create the ideal environment for a nap. If you don’t want to carry the extra baggage, pack smaller distractions like books, magazines, a device pre-loaded with movies or shows to watch, and plenty of your favorite comfort snacks.

Fear of Flying Tips

Download Helpful Apps

You’ve likely brought a phone or device — make good use of it! Before your flight, download apps to help curb your fear of flying. There are plenty of options to help, from apps developed by psychologists to apps designed to distract you during takeoff and turbulence, along with a number of great travel apps to help you navigate everything from the airport to your destination.

Consider a Fear of Flying Treatment

Flying into (or out of) the San Francisco Airport? Register for their Fear of Flying Clinic, which draws on the expertise of pilots, engineers and flight attendants to educate you on the flying process to help you combat fear. You can also take free courses online or consider visiting a therapist for personalized treatment.

Fear of Flying Tips

Remember to Breathe

Perhaps most importantly, remember to take a deep breath. If you can’t focus, consider using an app on your phone or smartwatch to guide you through breathing exercises.

Face Your Fears

It may not always be easy, but one of the best ways to overcome fears is to face them. Don’t let the fear of flying keep you from new travels and adventures. The first step onto the plane is always the hardest, but you’ll be happy when you land in your vacation destination.



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