Okay, you’ve bought your ticket, you’ve got that perfect hotel overlooking the ocean booked, and now all you have to do get on that plane and make your way to your destination. Only problem is: you hate flying.
The following are some great tips for both men and women that will help you make your flying a little easier and if not an enjoyable experience at least one that isn’t completely uncomfortable.
Know What You’re In For
You know it’s coming and you should not kid yourself about your own fears. Some people have a very terrible fear of flying than these folks should maybe not be flying at all, or at least they should seek some measure of treatment before they get on the flight.
Just make sure that if you have any particular fears let the staff on the plane know. They do this for a living and they have probably calmed people twice as anxious as you, so just know that you are in good hands.
Also, try and find out exactly where your flight is flying over, and exactly how long this will take. This will give you a time frame and goals you can set for yourself. For instance, if you are traveling over the ocean, you’ll know you only have a couple of hours left once you are over land.
For the truly analytical person, a fear of flying can help extinguished by looking at flying safety facts. For instance, every morning 11 people die on the roads in America on their way to their jobs. This means that you have a far greater chance of dying on your way to work than dying on a flight. In our post-9/11 world this may be of little comfort, but it should at least help to know that the numbers are on your side.
Where you are sitting can mean the difference between a good light and a nightmarish aerial circus of pain and discomfort. If you are flying with loved ones this can make a huge difference. Firstly you’ll know that you won’t have some gross stranger talking to you or touching you. It also means that you’ll have someone who can assuage your fears if things get choppy.
If you have long legs, it always helps to get an aisle seat, so you can stretch out. If you are close to the rest rooms, it means there will be a high amount of traffic coming and going around you. This could hurt your chances of getting any sleep.
Lastly, if you are seated close to an emergency exit it means you have some special responsibilities. For instance, if there are any problems you may be required to open the door to let people out. But this only really is an issue if all of the flight attendants are suck out an airlock or something, and let’s face it, that’s not very likely.
Whether prescription or otherwise, drugs are a great way of making your flight more enjoyable. I’m not saying your should drop acid, or eat a pile of hallucinogenic mushroom before you get on a plane (that could be really ugly). But, a small joint or some hash might help you relax a little bit…just watch out for those drug-sniffing dogs.
Prescription drugs like Ativan or Quaaludes can be the perfect sedative for a flight, they’ll let you slip into a comfy dream world where all the world’s anxiety will just slip away into a cloudy haze. Just be sure you get them from your pharmacist.
There is a really good reason they give people booze on flights, and it’s not to spark an impromptu scene recreation from the movie Soul Plane. Booze will put you to sleep like a baby. Not only that but the high altitude means that the effects of the booze will quite effective so you’ll get drunk right fast and right quick.
The major problem with booze however is that while it gets you drunk twice as fast, it also gets you un-drunk twice as fast and the resulting hang-over can be devastating, and may even out a damper on the beginning of your trip.
It also really sucks when you wake up with a pounding headache and you realize you are in a country where you can’t speak the language, everything is complicated and you have to get your ass to the hotel. So, drink with caution and you should be fine.
We all know that flights supply some measure of entertainment. We also know that this entertainment can be 5 different kinds of brutal. If you want to shell out $5 for headphones just so you can watch Tracey Morgan in Ghost Dad II, that’s your prerogative.
My suggestion would be to bring plenty of books, magazines and of course your MP3 player or MiniDisc. This will help you pass the time. A friend of mine likes to budget his material through the flight, so he knows that when he gets to chapter 34 in a book or if he makes it to his fourth CD the flight should be almost over. You’ll be surprised at how fast this method passes the time.
The last thing you want is to be stuck on a flight wearing tight leather pants and flip-flops (well, let me rephrase, the last thing you’d ever want period is to wear tight leather pants and flip flops). During a long flight, you own clothing will seem like a synthetic prison.
Be sure to wear loose comfy clothes made out of natural material. These will breathe and avoid the uncomfortable phenomenon I like to call groin swamp.
You should also layer your clothing. Because the plane will be taking you from a possible snowy ground, to a freezing sky, to a warm ocean breeze then to a blazing hot tarmac, you’ll want clothes that can handle all of these environments.
Ah airline food. So many jokes, so few of them funny. Airline food is what it is and that’s that. If you are a vegetarian be sure to let the staff know and if you have special dietary considerations due to your faith, or lifestyle the staff will be more than happy to help. But, if you complain or throw a tantrum, you are part of the problem, and don’t be surprised if an irritated passenger yell’s ’Let’s Roll’ and you find yourself tumbling 30,000 feet to your much deserved fate.
My (non homicidal) suggestion is to bring your own food. You know what you like to eat, so just bring that. You’ll be doing yourself a favor and you’ll make new friends by dolling out the constituent parts of your in-flight meal to those who you deem worthy.