How to overcome your fear of flying

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You know, we've all lingered a little too long on those television shows that detail scary plane crashes and have subsequently developed a nervousness of flying. When you think about it, it's not a fear of flying you have, rather, it's a fear of crashing. Don't worry though, you aren't alone! 

Many people get nervous before they board the plane, but when there are so many amazing destinations waiting for you outside the Melbourne Airport, it's worth it to overcome this fear. And we can help.

Follow our easy tips to help you get over the fear – the world awaits! 

Stay calm, see the world. Stay calm, see the world.

Tip 1: Face the fear head on, understand the rarity of crashes 

The first step in overcoming your fear is understanding what it is that's making you afraid. Like we said earlier, for many, it's the fear of crashing. While this is an understandable fear, you have to understand that crashes are extremely rare.

You only think they happen a lot because when they do, the media really hypes them up. But think about it, for every one crash there are thousands of flights that take off and touch down safely. In fact, data from a Boeing's annual report "Statistical Summary of Commercial Jet Airplane Accidents" found that from 2007-2016, there were 388 accidents and only 62 of them were fatal.

To note, the total amount of fatal accidents decreased in just a year – from 2006-2015, there were 65 fatal accidents. Flying is only getting safer as technology improves year after year.

Tip 2: Pick a place you're excited to visit 

Reduce your anxiety of travelling by picking a place that you're incredibly excited to visit. Sure, that might sound like obvious advice, but as long as you're making your destination something so worthwhile, your feelings of anxiety and fear will be easily trumped by the anticipation. 

Tip 3: Prepare for the flight 

When you're booking your tickets, do yourself a favour and upgrade to first class. These seats give more room so you don't have to worry about feelings of claustrophobia that come with sitting in the centre seat in the middle of the plane. Feeling comfortable physically will help you relax mentally. If you can't afford a first class or business seat, consider what seat will be best for you. They all have their own benefits. 

Bring things with you to help keep you distracted throughout the flight when you aren't sleeping. Engross yourself in a good novel or bring along a colouring book – whatever it is you do to make yourself relax at home, bring along. 

Additionally, there are medications that can help you relax during a flight if your nerves are really on edge. Don't take anything without your doctor's approval – make an appointment before your flight to assess what's right for you. Your doctor may also be able to suggest breathing exercises to help you calm down.

Tip 4: Pay attention to the safety demonstration 

Many people who travel frequently plug in their headphones and tune out the safety instructions provided by the flight attendants. But if you have anxiety, be sure to pay close attention to the demonstration and read the literature provided in the seat pocket so you know exactly what to do in case of an emergency. Coming up with a mental plan of escape can help you feel at ease – you know exactly what to do to stay calm, cool and collected in case of a crash landing. 

Bring music or earplugs so you don't have to listen to crying babies.

Tip 5: Eliminate as many stressors as possible 

If you're sitting window seat, consider closing the shade so you don't have to see how high above the ground you are. Bring music or earplugs so you don't have to listen to crying babies. Put your bag in the overhead compartment so you have as much space as possible in your seat. Just be sure to take out any of your distraction materials so you don't have to get up to get them. 

Part of getting rid of stressors includes zoning out what is happening around you. Consider doing some in-flight yoga to help calm both your mind and body – yes, it can be done! Simple moves like giving yourself a spinal twist or a seated cat cow can help relieve tension in your muscles that comes from both anxiety and sitting for too long. 

It's also common for people to stress about things that are out of their control back at home. Did I leave the stove on? Did I close the garage door? Did I lock the car? Well, we here at Pacific Airport Parking can help calm your nerves there!

Drop your car off with us and we'll park the car in a secure spot for you – just one less thing to worry about! And once you turn the keys over, jump on our convenient shuttle bus that will take you right to your terminal. Check your rates for the time you travel today. 

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