6 Ways Preflight Prep Can Reduce Inflight Anxiety


Embarking on a flight can be exciting for some, routine for others – yet for a few, can create anxiety. The combination of the unknown, anticipation, and lack of control can trigger stress responses. But through proper preparation it´s possible to significantly reduce pre-flight anxiety. Here we´ll explain a half dozen practical strategies to take off successfully and enjoy the flight experience from the first moment

Gather all the Information You Can Ahead of Time

Anxiety often arises from the unknown. Educating yourself in advance about the flight process, safety regulations, and itinerary can give you a sense of control and familiarity.

Plan Your Itinerary

Take it upon yourself to put together a detailed plan for your travel day – without taking it to an extreme, of course – is not only useful but can do wonders for your peace of mind. Researching, planning, and coordinating things like flight schedules, connections and wait times allows you to anticipate and prepare for each stage of the trip, thus reducing anxiety.

Pack “Consciously”

Rather than just throwing stuff together ad hoc, make a list of essentials and pack in an organized, systematic way – for example making sure you have all important documents, charged electronic devices, meds, and personal belongings. It can can help you have a much more relaxed trip as well as reduce pre-flight anxiety and give you more peace of mind than you imagine. And of course don’t leave it until the last minute – talk about a stress-inducer!

Use Stress Management Techniques Before your Flight

Relaxation methods such as meditation, controlled deep breathing, and yoga are effective for calming the mind and reducing anxiety. They´ll help you stay calm and centred as well as give you a sense of emotional balance.

Focus on Positive Visualisation

Going through your upcoming flight in your mind´s eye in a positive way can change your perspective and reduce anxiety. Instead of obsessing about potential setbacks, imagining a smooth takeoff, a smooth flight, and a safe landing is essential to helping you establish a more optimistic and relaxed mindset.

Come up with Entertainment Strategies

Rather than stewing in unfounded anxiety, distract your mind by bringing along an interesting book and/or downloading relaxing music, engrossing movies, and entertaining apps before your flight. It will definitely help you enjoy your time in the air more!


Now, while these recommendations can help you better manage anxiety when flying, remember that if this is a problem that seriously limits your life, the definitive solution is to address it in therapy. There are no shortcuts when it comes to health and wellness.

Happy – and fearless – flying!

David Lanzas is a psychologist specialising in anxiety and trauma, and founder of the Lanzas Institute.