JC Travels: What to take in your hand luggage if you’re scared of flying
To go along with my posts on tips for fear of flying, I thought I’d do a little ‘what’s in my bag’ of little bits and pieces I like to take along with me. Hopefully, some of this is useful not just for those who are nervous with flying as generally, I like to be as prepared as possible when I get on that plane! So much so I’ve even begun thinking about also taking some CBD pills to really calm me throughout the flight, just in case I ever get a little too anxious! We are off to Australia very soon so these are what I’ve been picking up to help get through the flight.
First up, the bag itself! I always prefer taking a backpack on as hand luggage – makes it much easier to move around the airport when you have both hands free and easier to find things when you’re on the plane. I bought a new one from Cath Kidston recently for work which I’ll be taking along. It does have a laptop sleeve but I think I’m going to leave the laptop at home for once – makes it much lighter! Now, what to take inside…
Noise Cancelling Headphones
One of the main bits I hate about flying is the noise – a slight change in engine noise and it spikes my anxiety like no other! I usually rely on listening to something throughout most of the flight to get me through it. My parents have bought me some new Bose noise cancelling headphones for my birthday which I’m really excited to use. They really cut out the noise and you don’t even need to be listening to anything to actually use the noise cancelling function. Plus they are perfect if you end up with noisy children in your bit of the plane!
To go alongside the headphones, I need an eye mask. Although there is about a 0.1% chance I will get any sleep on the flight, I generally get to a point on the flight where my eyes are so tired that I just need to sit and rest. This is where the eye mask comes in handy – it’s useful to block everything out along with the headphones to give you the best chance of getting a bit of shut eye!
Or just anything that is a scent which calms you down. No point in spraying it all over the cabin but I really love lavender as a scent to chill me out a little! Even just a bit of essential oil on a cloth would be ideal. I think scents are a good way of pulling you back to the present and getting you to focus on your breathing.
Now a wee while ago I was freaking out in an airport and some kindly people gave me some of these to suck on to calm me down. It’s similar to the lavender spray in something to try and get you to think back to the present and get you to focus on your breathing. This is the first time I’ve bought a little pack of these for the flight so I will report back!
Although on short haul flights I don’t like to take any kind of prescription, on long haul flights I like to have them as a back up! If I end up being scared in the middle of a short flight, I know that it will only be an hour or so until we land, whereas on long haul, it can be 10 hours +! This way, I know that if I need them, I have something which will calm me down. I also can’t drink on these which actually helps as I never find drinking helps much on a flight! If you are at the point where your fear of flying is pretty bad then the doctors have always been really supportive in giving me something to take during!
Sudoku / Colouring In / Puzzles
I always recommend keeping lots of things to do whilst you’re also watching TV or movies – I need to keep that mind busy! As it is like 30 hours on planes, I like to keep a variety of bits to try, this time I’m doing for a big puzzle book full of sudoku, but also a little colouring book which should hopefully keep the hands busy.
Spotify sleep playlists
Like I said, it’s pretty rare for me to sleep as I hate not having noise in my ears when I’m on the plane. I’m a big plan of planning some playlists ready to go to then use on the plane. There’s nothing worse than resting your eyes to some quiet calming music and then a really upbeat loud song comes on and ruins your sleep. If you have the paid Spotify then you can download all your podcasts to be available offline which is very handy.
Along with stocking up my kindle, I also try and get a heap of interesting podcasts saved up too. Listening to a good podcast while playing games on my phone is one of my favourite things to do on a plane – it actually keeps the mind nice and busy and not stressing out as much.
Alternate Nostril breathing
Okay, this isn’t something which you can pack in your carry on, but it’s something I’ve found really useful as of late. It’s a form of deep breathing where you block out one nostril for each inhalation. I find it reeeeally good as it doesn’t rely on counting so it really forces the calm breaths to come in. I’ve done it on some recent flights to Glasgow and it’s been a treat for those times when I’m getting really stressed. Yoga with Adrienne does a really good video on it too if you need some good instructions.
There we have it – all the bits I find really useful to pop in my carry on. Of course, there is a load of other stuff you should take from changes of clothes, to paper organisers, to all your liquids but these are the specific things I find useful to help battle my fear of flying. Be sure to check out my other posts on tips for flying if you want more info!
What is essential in your carry on?