Ever since I figured out the magic of Google Flights, I have been planning future trips and creating fake itineraries. Note: if you are not using this, you SHOULD be. In fact, the ability for me to travel freely (and cheaply) was a major factor in deciding where I would move! I wanted to move to a city that was notorious for airfare sales and hookups. Now that I know I’m moving to DFW, I cannot wait until I’m settled in and ready to take advantage of $600 deals to Dubai after I get some furniture. But let’s take a pause because I’m going to be completely real about one of my reservations in regards to my future travel.
I DON’T BANG WITH TURBULENCE.
No pun intended…but in all seriousness, I’m the most peachy zen flyer there can be until that plane starts shaking. I’m not even talking about the subtle turbulence that rocks you mildly. I have been flying long enough to know that happens, and similar to riding in a car, your body is going to move a bit. HOWEVER, my nerves are not yet comfortable enough with my body being lifted and vigorously shaken. I even have a crazy pre-departure routine of stalking weather forecasts and wind speeds before taking off, just so I know the battle that I’m going to face. I am also one of those travelers that frequents the liquor store and purchases the carry-on sized bottles of Crown Royal (whoops). I despise taking off, but I’m cool with the descent since, “we’re going down anyway”.
I am grateful for some adjustments airline companies have made to assist me in my traveling adventures. The main one that I thank the powers that be includes me being allowed to listen to my music as long as my device is in “airplane mode” during the takeoff. I also absolutely adore my infinity scarf because I’m able to cover my weird faces if needed. To add to my level of crazy, I also have to sit near the window so I can at least seewhat is going on. Recently, on a flight to St. Louis, aside from it being the worst takeoff ever and the attendants were not permitted to perform cabin service for an hour…I was in the middle and the nice woman at the window kept it down the entire time. Not that seeing the wings move would make my body feel better, but when I could not see anything, and the plane was shaking?!…I had to take extra zZQuil’s. Does this make me an airplane control freak?!
I have also recently discovered that reading while flying also aids in bringing calmness to my nerves. Perhaps it is because my mind is focused on the text and not the weather. I’ve even read that “extreme turbulence” is rare and normally, we would not be flying through it, but even still, when the pilot tells the flight attendants to sit down, my heart hurts. The science geek in me enjoys tracking the route of the airplane through my iPad (this part is free). I like to take my flights in increments, ex: “Alright in 30 minutes, we will be halfway through the storm“. Let’s be clear though, I refuse to let my fear of extreme turbulence get in the way of my future plans. If I choose to let fear dictate my travel routes, I will miss out on a lot this lovely world has to offer.
FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE FEARFUL AS WELL, CHECK OUT THESE ARTICLES THAT I FOUND.
- Don’t Let Turbulence Freak You Out (source: CNN)
- Five Myths About Air Turbulence (source: USA Today)
- 10 Things You Need To Know About Turbulence (source: Conde Nast Traveler)
My Suggestions for Handing Turbulence
- I am almost always going to fly by the wings. First class and economy look great, but for my nerves, I feel more secure by the wings.
- Headphones! I don’t want to hear children screaming “woah!”. I don’t want to hear people screaming. I don’t want to hear any noises except some bass thumping in my ears.
- Break the seal before your flight. If you don’t know what I mean, Google it.
- Use a relaxation mechanism (i.e. zzQuil, Xanax, stress ball, humming, deep breathing techniques, music)
- Stay busy! The more you’re distracted, the less you have to worry about what’s going on in the air around you.
- Never ever sit in exit rows. #NoPressure
As I get deeper into my #30CountriesBefore30, I will be increasing the lengths of my flights. After all, Dallas to Dubai is approximately a 14 hour flight!