Keeping Sane On An Airplane – Tips From a Flight Junkie!

Let’s be real, flying is flying. It’s literally some people’s worst nightmare and greatest fear (quite conveniently usually the person sitting next to me), and it’s some people’s biggest high. I happen to be the later. I am a freak of nature who loves flying and is always super prepared. I’m talking rose water misting on my face the moment my flight lands and my next layover tickets organized by city, kind of prepared. Need wet wipes? I have those too. So here are my best tips on how to get through the mildly dreaded (or sometimes very dreaded) airplane experience.


Don’t Panic

Bring a Buddy

If you have a serious fear of flying, then you need something to keep you distracted. Planning a trip with someone can be a lifesaver when it comes to flying. When I recently went to LA for work, I sat next to my coworker and from takeoff to landing we never stopped talking. The flight went by so fast!

Know Your Statistics

Okay, I am a total statistics nerd and can ramble them off all the time. Statistically, you are safest in the back of the plane, within five rows of an exit, and sitting in a middle seat. Also know that your plane is built to withstand A LOT. No amount of turbulence will take your plane down. And lightning? Well your plane is built to withstand that as well. Back up engines? Your plane has those too. See, so safe!

Keep Yourself Busy

Pack a book or update your music on your iPhone. Luckily for long international flights there are movie options. If none of these work to ease your mind, think about things you do at home that calm you. Does a morning cup of coffee and a good Sudoku put you at ease? Maybe reading the news does, or even opening an adult coloring book. Chances are, what eases you at home can easily be prepared in a way so you can rely on it when you fly. Ask for a cup of joe (or wine which I also recommend) and bust out that coloring book! I’ve seen people knitting a damn sweater on a plane. Seriously. Whatever works!

Story time: Last month before boarding my 16 hour flight to Poland, panic set in when I realized I forgot my camera on the kitchen table. My group was literally being called to board when I realized this. I mean, my freaking camera!!! The camera I asked for for Christmas to document my trip to Poland. The camera that I specifically got for its special selfie video mode. At that point I could have really panicked, but there was nothing I could do. I calmed myself and mentally prepared for the long flight ahead. Stuff happens, but remember to always remain calm. Also, do remember to make a checklist of important items you absolutely cannot forget, like your freaking camera. No, I’m not bitter at all still…


Be Prepared

Jacket (Check!)

So you have your buddy and you’re getting comfy in your pre-chosen seats in the back of the plane. Always carry a jacket on the flight with you because planes tend to get very cold after you’ve reached cruising altitude. This tactic will also save you some room in your carry on! I also like to throw a scarf in my carry on so I can use it to drape over my legs if I get really cold.

Snacks (Check!)

Always have a snack or two handy. I even like to tuck a snack in the mesh compartment where the instructions and such are usually located. That way I don’t have to go in to my bag when I am hungry. Sometimes cart services can get held up, or maybe you won’t even like what they are serving. So always have a back up! Nothing is worse than being ‘hangry’ on a place. The one time I thought I wouldn’t need a snack, I ended up really needing one and it made for a slightly nauseating flight. If you’re prone to motion sickness you’ll definitely want a snack.

Portable Battery (Check!)

Bringing a portable battery or charger is a lifesaver. You can never find outlets at the airport when you need them, and good luck getting one of the newer planes with USB ports. You probably don’t want to rely on those things, especially if you have an international destination with multiple layovers. For travel I use the Anker Portable Charger. Charge it before you leave and then plug in your phone when necessary. This gives you one full charge to 100% from 0, and then a second charge of about 50%!

Story time: The last flight I was on hit so much turbulence that we were unable to have a cart service. I was so glad I packed a snack just in case even though the flight was decently short. You just never know. Then there was my latest flight back from London where I went on a snacking binge. I bought an entire pack of Sainsbury’s Custard Creams just before my flight and determined that because I was in another country the kcal’s must be like ten times lower and not accurate (literally I rationalized that thought). I ate the entire pack. The male flight attendant sitting across from me looked at me and said, “did you just finish a whole pack of custard creams on this flight?” My proudest moment yet.


Fly Smart

Save Time Wherever You Can

In the year 2016 I am still surprised at those people who make travel ridiculously complicated for themselves. Utilize modern technology whenever possible. Things like signing up for TSA Pre-Check, checking in to your flight 24 hours before, and having your boarding pass sent to your phone will save you a world of inconveniences.

Organize & Prioritize

I like to keep organized with a passport wallet. I put my passport, my ID, my most used credit cards, and my boarding passes (if for whatever reason they didn’t send to my phone which sometimes happens) in to the wallet. Keep everything in a secure place that’s also easily accessible. I prefer traveling with a large leather tote that’s easy to throw things in to so I don’t have to worry about zippers. Instead, a magnet closes the tote. You’ll also want to prioritize your off flight plans of action. If running to the restroom to freshen up is high on the list before you catch your next flight, be sure to have those items ready! If grabbing a meal before you have to jet off again is a high priority, make sure you’ve looked up what gate you’re flying in to and have your money ready.

Never Check a Bag Again

Would you believe me if I told you I only took a carry on to Europe for two weeks? I have major anxiety about airlines losing my luggage. If you do too, taking a carry on may put you at ease for the long flight ahead. Wear all your heaviest items to the airport including heaviest shoes, denim jeans, and that jacket for the cold flight. Check out My Smart Guide to Packing For Big Cities for more tips! These tips should ensure your carry on meets weight requirements. Lastly, make sure you always check in to your flight online 24 hours in advance. This will get you the best boarding group possible so you have compartment space for your carry on and don’t end up having to check your bag.

I find that these tips really help to keep yourself sane while flying. From the time you board, to your next layover and your final destination, don’t panic, be prepared, and fly smart. These will ensure the best possible experience from the flight lover to the ‘I’d literally rather be doing anything else but’ flier. Hopefully my own stories put you a little more at ease too.

Where are you off to next, and what’s one thing you have to do before you fly? Leave a comment below! Also please leave me a comment if you could finish a whole pack of custard creams as well. I can’t be the only one!


  1. You’re a girl after my own heart…I NEVER take more than a carry on, even when I moved to Paris for a few months! Having to check a bag adds a level of stress I just don’t want to deal with on an international flight. My husband had to go to Colombia for work last month and the airline LOST all of his camera equipment (he’s a videographer) for 24 hours. No thank you!

    1. Right?! I always think to myself the day an airline loses my luggage will be the saddest most stressful day of my life haha. I am completely attached to the things I own. I know people say they are just things, but I travel with all my nice stuff. I would just be so devastated! That is awful about your husband! I would FREAK OUT. So I totally feel you on only taking a carry on.

    1. Luckily I’ve never had luggage lost yet either. It is like my biggest fear though! Thanks for reading Shireen. πŸ™‚

  2. These are all spot on, Emily! There is literally nothing worse than getting hangry on your flight. When I was coming back from Arizona, security actually pulled my backpack aside to do a separate screening because I had “so many snacks”. I felt slightly judged haha but at least I was prepared πŸ˜‰

    Kathryn β€’ The Fashionography

    1. Ahahahaha! That is something that would totally happen to me. I NEED MY FOOD. So funny, thank you for sharing. Hope you have a good weekend Kathryn!

  3. This post is very helpful! I like to travel a lot and I am always comfortable and relaxed in my seat, but there is always a little bit of fear at the back on mind so I make sure I bring with me lots of fashion magazines so I wouldn’t think about it and keep my mind on the next outfit or accessories I am going to buy haha! πŸ™‚ have a nice weekend!


    1. That’s such a good idea! Similar to like if you could online shop while in the air haha. That would definitely keep me distracted! Thanks for the comment Yiota. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks for reading Kelsey! Hope you are going to somewhere amazing, and have a great trip! Taking only a carry on is the way to go. I swear by it haha.

  4. I honestly can not believe how many people DON’T check into flights online the day before. It always astounds me, those queues! OMG! Is it laziness? Because surely it’s not being uneducated! Not in this day and age. I love flying, I’m a person who gets overly excited to board then gets bored and wants to land immediately while in the air! More so for impatience and eagerness for the adventure than anything else. One thing that I’m the worst at while flying is a purposely lack of hydration. I hate those toilets, I hate how small they are and I hate having to line up. It’s the absolute worst thing to do and yet one thing I can’t seem to let go of.


    1. Right? I have to admit it’s hard to remember sometimes. And then it’s crazy when you check in 24 hours before on the dot and you’re still like the last boarding group! That’s so frustrating. I love flying as well! You don’t meet too many people who like it. I swear I could live in an airport. I love people watching and just the whole atmosphere of it. I am really bad at staying hydrated too. Arg! Thanks for stopping by Sonia and hope you’re having a great weekend. πŸ™‚

  5. I wish I read this a week ago! I freak out when it comes to flying because I’m afraid of heights. It didn’t help that I was flying alone so that just made it all worse! Anyway, thank you for this! It calmed me down a bit πŸ˜€

    house of akih |

  6. Ahh I don’t know that I’d be able to only take a carry-on, but I do try to pack light a lot! I’ve found that most airlines have those screens on the backs of the seats now, so I alternate between watching movies and sleeping, and time flies!

    Angelina Is | Bloglovin’

    1. Yeah it’s so nice when they have movies! Packing a carry on is all about strategy. Surprisingly it can be easy. πŸ˜‰

    1. Right?! I love not checking a bag now. Especially because you don’t have to wait for your luggage either. I think people think I’m crazy as well, especially when I tell them I enjoy a light turbulence too.

  7. I’ve always stuck to one carry on for my travels and yes, I also think calories on packets reduce in a different country (I mean, come on, you’re walking around more for sightseeing, so obviously those calories mean nothing…) I ate a whole pack of chocolate digestives and rationalised it by saying my anxiety would burn it off and so would all the trekking…ha

    Pop over to my blog!


    1. You’re welcome! The more you do it the less scary it becomes I think. Sometimes I still have moments of ‘this plane looks hella sketchy eeekk’.

  8. Great post! Thank you for all these amazing tips! I hate flying, but it’s just something you have to do if you want to travel! I already follow a lot of your advice, but I cannot manage just carry on luggage for a long trip (even though I wear jumpers, coats and boots for the flight!) and I then spend the entire flight wondering if my luggage is going to end up in the same place as me!
    Julia xx

    1. You’re welcome! It does kind of suck that if you want to travel you have to get over the fear of flying. Maybe someday there will be super sonic fast flights (hopefully soon). It’s definitely not easy with only a carry on at times. I think I might do a blog post on how it can be done soon! πŸ™‚

  9. These are great tips! Planning ahead for things to do on the flight is super important to make time pass faster.

    Although nothing can quite prepare you for the people around you; once I sat next to a nervous flier who drank himself silly on a 6 hour flight. He was int he middle seat and talked to me and the other person the entire time!

    xo, alice / T Y P E N U

    1. Thank you! I’ve had some not so cool buddies too. Once I literally had this woman in the row behind me put her foot (in sandals mind you) between my arm rest. It was so gross! Flights are always interesting for sure.

  10. I really think I dislike carrying everything with me up to a point where if the airline loses my luggage, well, hey. I saved myself a really horrible back pain kinda day!

    I never thought about taking a snack with me, fearing all the time that security would whisk my good food away from me, must try it!

    1. I will say that is the only downside. It can be quite a hassle when going through TSA and customs and what have you. The more stuff you have on you, the more stressful it can get. For me, I’m still happy knowing my luggage is safe and with me. I can see the other side though! TSA shouldn’t confiscate any food really. I’ve seen people bring homemade PB & J sandwiches in a baggy haha.

    1. I’ve definitely employed that tactic a few times! Usually I end with a shorter first flight though, so then I am super groggy and grumpy still when we arrive at our layover airport.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.