Fear of flying can be a significant obstacle for many people in today’s modern world. Instead of looking forward to sun, sea, and beaches on vacation, some individuals dread the thought of spending hours in a sealed metal tube. Here are some tips to help make flying a little easier for you.

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Please note that these tips are not suitable for those with aerophobia, an extreme fear of flying. If you suffer from aerophobia, it’s best to seek professional help, such as the “Fly without Fear” center, rather than relying on internet advice.

If you find yourself feeling nervous before each flight and are looking for ways to make the experience more manageable, consider the following suggestions:

1. Acknowledge and accept your fear

Acceptance is the first step to coping with any problem. It’s perfectly normal to be afraid of flying, and you’re not alone – millions of people share your fear. Humans are not naturally designed to fly, so psychologists often explain the fear of flying as stemming from primitive instincts. Embrace the fact that you’re afraid and recognize that flying despite your fear is a significant accomplishment.

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2. Choose a comfortable seat

Select a seat that won’t exacerbate your fears and will make the flight as comfortable as possible. If you can afford to fly in business class, opt for tickets in that section, as economy class’s narrow seats and minimal legroom may increase claustrophobia. Avoid sitting in the window seat (as you may not want to see the view from a height) or in the tail (which is more affected by turbulence). The ideal seat for someone afraid to fly is in the front rows after business class and on the aisle.

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Also, I do not recommend sitting at the window (unlikely you want to admire the views from a height) and in the tail (in the turbulence, there shakes the most). The ideal place for a person afraid to fly – in the front rows after business class, at the aisle.

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3. Arm yourself with statistics

Visit Flightradar24.com to see all the planes currently in the air. This will help you realize that thousands of flights are taking place at any given moment without incident. Aviation prioritizes passenger safety above all else.

4. Learn useful information

Identify what aspect of flying scares you and research it. This may include learning about aerodynamics, turbulence, or how weather affects flights. Knowledge is power, and understanding the processes involved in flying can help alleviate fears.

5. Download a helpful app

Consider downloading the SkyGuru app (currently only available for iPhone) before your flight. Developed by a professional pilot and a specialist who works with people afraid to fly, this app provides real-time information about your flight, including your location and how weather is affecting your plane. The app is free but costs $4.99 per flight (or $19.99 for ten flights).

6. Learn to relax

Find ways to relax without relying on alcohol. Practice meditation, create a playlist of soothing music, or engage in a calming activity such as knitting, embroidery, or coloring. Watching light comedies on your device can also help.

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7. Be prepared

Pack lollipops and gum (chewing can help distract you from your fear), a sleeping mask, a neck pillow, and earplugs (to help block out the flight). Dress comfortably and bring along slippers or warm socks for added comfort.

Remember, knowledge is power, and understanding the processes involved in flying can help alleviate fears. With these tips, you can make your flying experience more manageable and enjoyable.

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Janet Benoir is an esteemed travel journalist renowned for her vivid storytelling and deep cultural insights. With over 20 years of experience, her work has graced the pages of prestigious publications such as "Geography Insider Malaysia" and "Traveling + Exploring". Her passion for adventure and unique narratives has led her to over 80 countries, immersing herself in local cultures and traditions. Janet's eye-opening features, which artfully blend history, culture, and personal anecdotes, resonate with readers globally.