As a frequent traveler, I’m all for taking steps to reduce stress while flying, from sticking with carry-on bags to bringing my own food. Are you tired of feeling aggravated and overwhelmed when taking to the skies? Check out a few of my all-time favorite ways to reduce stress while flying.
1. Avoid Checked Luggage
When it comes to helping reduce stress while flying, I typically avoid checking luggage if possible, instead sticking with a backpack and briefcase as carry-on bags. Depending on where I’m going and how long I’ll be there, this isn’t always an option, but even so, I’ve definitely surprised myself over the years with just how much I can fit into my carry-on bags. Keep this advice in mind while you pack, as traveling with only carry-on luggage can often speed up your check-in time and also prevent you from having to wait for your bags upon arrival. And best of all, there’s no chance of anything getting lost!
2. Join a Mileage Rewards Program
If you’re a frequent flier, one of the absolute best things you can do is enroll in one or several mileage rewards programs. I, for instance, recently signed up for an airline’s mileage rewards credit card, which has certainly come in handy. Along with the obvious benefit of racking up miles I can put toward free first class or economy tickets, my membership in this program also allows for extra perks like priority boarding, a free checked bag and occasional passes to the airline’s private lounges, all of which help ensure a smooth, hassle-free trip. Of course, mileage programs and their sign-up requirements are as varied as the airlines themselves, so be sure to research options before choosing the ones that are right for you.
3. Stay Positive
Missed your connection? Dealing with a cancelled flight? Whatever the situation, take a deep breath and try your best to keep a cool head while actively taking steps to resolve things. As tempting as it can be to get worked up, stressing out and becoming upset will only make an already tense situation worse. Customers who are rude and disruptive are also not very likely to receive especially helpful treatment from airline officials, so as much as you reasonably can, try to remain positive at all times.
4. Bring along Fun Distractions
If you’re like me, you probably tend to get bored pretty easily when facing anything from an unexpected delay to a lengthy flight that feels like it might never end. This is why I never hesitate to bring along a couple more books, magazines or movies than I think I’ll actually need, just to make sure I have all my bases covered in the event that things don’t work out as planned.
5. Take Time to Relax
As helpful as it can be to use your flight time to catch up on work, doing so might also end up making your trip far more stressful than it would be otherwise. Instead of working, I try to think of flights as a chance to unplug and relax, whether by taking a nap, reading or watching a funny movie. Work will still be there when I’m back on the ground, and by taking some time for myself, I can help make sure I feel well-rested and ready to tackle whatever adventure or mishap comes next.
6. Pack Your Own Food
While you’re not allowed to bring bottles of water or other beverages through the security checkpoint line, food items like sandwiches and snacks are usually perfectly fine. Before I fly, I always stop off at Subway to buy a quick and simple meal I can store in my carry-on bag, therefore allowing me to avoid crowded airport restaurants and overpriced airline snack packs.
7. Check in the Night before
Since many flights will allow you to check in online up to 24 hours ahead of time, I’m always sure to do this the night before I fly. When traveling with nothing but carry-on luggage, checking in beforehand allows me to head straight to security after verifying my gate, helping ensure that I always get there with plenty of time to spare.
While flying may never be an experience completely free of frustration, simple tips like these will hopefully help make things at least a little bit easier. What are some of your own favorite ways to reduce stress while flying?