The majority of people go through the same process: book your next flight, and then immediately start googling “how to overcome the fear of flying”. The pain of wanting to go travel the world but having flight anxiety is like seeing a cake but not sure if it’s ready to be eaten (or you could just eat that cake anyway). We’ve got some top tips from sleeping on a flight to some great hacks that you might not have discovered to help you get over your fear of flying.

Meditation

If you don’t believe in meditation we know you will after this. If you’re taking a device with you, we recommend downloading some meditation music and relaxing soft music. Breathing in and out and focusing on your breaths while listening to this helps drain out the fear of flying and help you relax even more. The most important thing is to remember to breathe and focus entirely on your breaths, as soon as you start to panic you’ll get worked up in a state and that’s not ideal mid-flight.

Cup of water

One tip that an air hostess showed my brother was to ask for a cup of water and place it on your tray in front of you and just stare it. It’s kind of like watching paint dry, but it’s such a good airplane travel tip if you really hate turbulence. Although you may feel like you’re dropping a lot and the plane is swaying, if you focus on this cup of water it’ll make you see that actually it’s not that bad. There’s a reason why they give you cups without lids on a flight.

Book an aisle seat

Normally everyone rushes for the window seat, but if you’re afraid of flying we recommend an aisle seat. If you start to feel claustrophobic you can easily stand up and go for a slow walk, even if it is to the toilet – a walk is especially good on a long flight. It’s also much easier for you to avoid looking out of the plane and see the clouds. The best way to overcome flight anxiety is to just focus on you, and there is more chance of doing these on an aisle seat.

Meet the cabin crew

If you’re travelling alone and have a fear of flying, get to know the cabin crew. If you make them aware that you have flight anxiety they will try their best to go above and beyond your expectations to help make you feel more comfortable on your flight. They might even have some tips to help you relax. Once a flight, I saw a flight attendant give someone a small amount of rum to help calm their nerves and it seemed to have worked so it’s always good to ask.

Learn to be ok

Yes yes I know, this airplane travel tip is a lot easier said than done. Once your brain begins to learn that being on a flight isn’t as bad as you think, anxiety will decrease the more flights you take. Is this a good excuse to travel? We think so.

If you’re still struggling to think about getting on a plane, check out Virgin’s excellent fear of flying programme here.

It’s never easy getting over your fear of flying, however as long as you follow some of these tips and figure out ways to keep calm you’ll be wanting to fly every day rather than fear it. Don’t let your flying anxiety stop you from exploring the world.