Motion sickness, paranoia-fueled nervousness, claustrophobia, or simply a nagging discomfort that you can’t put your finger on. These things can make flying the worst part of your travelling experience, but there are little things you can do to alleviate the discomfort and make your journey a little less daunting, and hopefully more enjoyable.
Start right with some nourishment
It helps if your body is already as comfortable as can be before you board. Have a light meal about an hour before your flight, so you’re not hungry, but not stuffed either, and your stomach is nice and settled.
Some recommend a drink to calm the nerves, and that’s cool. But avoid flying hungover, its a recipe for disaster.
Comfort over chic
It’s great to start your travel in an awesome OOTD, but in this case, feeling good trumps looking good. Avoid tight clothes that might constrict blood flow while you’re bent into your seat, and wear layered clothes that’ll keep you happily snug and warm, but can also be removed according to your needs. Wearing your shoes and covered clothes also saves you a bit of luggage space.
Pack some feel-good treats
Bring a small bag with your favourite candy or snack to keep your stomach calm during the flight. The induced swallowing also helps with ear popping. Some cooling peppermint or ginger lozenges, ointments, and essential oils will also help relieve any motion sickness. Don’t forget to check that your items pass security regulations!
There are anti-nausea and sleeping medications you can take like Dramamine and scopolamine patches, but consult your pharmacist or doctor, and be aware of the potential side effects should you decide to use them.
Music can do wonders for your mood and state, so prepare a playlist of your favourite tunes to bust out and enjoy on noise-cancelling earphones during the flight. If silence is more your genre, earplugs are great for blocking the wails of babies or other unpleasant noises that might irritate you, complemented with an eye mask.
On board: Staying loose
If there’s space on your flight, do some simple stretches if you can. It squeezes out the kinks, soothes your muscles and gets your blood flowing, giving your body and mind a quick recharge. Changing your position by standing or propping your head against a pillow or rolled up jacket also helps reduce any queasy sensations.
Gently massaging your temples with ointment, or doing a simple acupressure exercise, can also be helpful in releasing those tense muscles.
Travel sickness tends to be aggravated when focusing, like while watching a movie or reading, especially if you’re straining in the plane’s dim lighting. It helps to relax your vision and re-balance your equilibrium by looking out a window, or at a distant object. Try to avoid closing your eyes immediately, as it might disorient your body further. Slow and gradual is the name of the game.
Keep yourself hydrated to stay resistant to any travel sickness, by sipping on water or carbonated, caffeine-free beverages like ginger ale to reduce your stomach’s acid concentration. It’s important your brain is saturated to avoid dizziness and other unpleasant sensations.
Time flies when you’re distracted.
Think happy thoughts, about where you’re going to, or the vacation you just took, and let your mind daydream (your playlist makes for a handy soundtrack to your mind’s recap video here), whatever takes your mind off your malaise. It’s good if you have a friend to talk to who can distract you from your discomfort and worry.
The discomforts of flying can pounce upon the best of us, and everyone has their own ways of coping. Some like to board a flight with their sleep batteries not fully charged, so that it’s easier to fall asleep during the flight. Some take their shoes off. Eventually, you learn what works for you.
The important thing is that by preparing yourself with these suggestions, it reassures and puts you in a better state of mind as you fly. Being comfortable, worry-free, and at ease, will keep your discomfort to a minimum. If the unexpected hits, don’t be afraid to let your flight stewards know. With their experience, they might have some fantastic advice.