4 Items to Bring Onboard if You Have Fear of Flying


We’ve talked plenty on this blog about strategies to help manage and soothe fear of flying (for just three of them, see “related posts” at the bottom of this page). Today we’re adding to those a quartet of specific things to slip into your carry-on which can make your flight more comfortable and serene:

Something to Distract

Having something pleasant and interesting to focus whilst flying can generate positive feelings  which will help divert your attention away from the negative emotions produced by aerophobia. These days, these are most likely to be tech gadgets such as your phone, tablet, or laptop, but can also be something as simple as a book, magazine, puzzles, and the like.

Calming Products

Here we’re talking about things to boost your comfort and ease your stress, such as a soft blanket, neck pillow, sleep mask, or soothing lotions.

Earplugs or Noise-Cancelling Headphones

For fearful flyers, among the most anxiety-causing stimuli are the various noises made by the aircraft inflight and especially upon takeoff and landing. So products which muffle or cut out these sounds will help contribute to a sense of calm and serenity.

Anti-Anxiety Medication

Whilst they’re of course no panacea, prescription and over-the-counter meds used responsibly and in moderation can help ease anxiety, especially if it’s particularly acute. Keep in mind that if your choice is over-the-counter, you should research beforehand any potential negative interactions it might have with other medications you already take.


So go ahead and give one or more of these a try on your next flight – and happy trails!


David Lanzas, founder of the Instituto Lanzas, is a psychologist specializing in anxiety and trauma.

Photo | yacobchuk