Travel & Anxiety
About This Page: This is a discussion on Travel & Anxiety within the Vacationing Your Way: Your Special Needs, part of the PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel; I hate the travel part that involves airports and flying! Yes I know it's a faster mode of transportation but ...
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I hate the travel part that involves airports and flying! Yes I know it's a faster mode of transportation but I hate it! I hate the security (most of my anxiety rests here), the other rude passengers, the take off and the landing and then the deplaning, oh how I hate getting off the plane more than I hate getting on!
This September we will be flying to WDW, we cannot drive (BF doesn't want to) and the train takes 35 hours (double the drive time) so flying it is. My DS is SUPER excited to fly again, he loves it. I flew to Maui and hated every last second. BF & I fought there and back and it was our first fight, ever. I tried the Xanax route and it does help a little. I get sleepy but on a 2.5 hour flight, I can't sleep off the effects of the Xanax so it's not an option this time.
Do any of you wonderful people have any suggestions on how to deal with the anxiety? I start freaking out the day before we leave. I know I'll survive (have flown 3 times in my life) and I do believe if I can survive Cleveland, OH to Maui, HI I can handle any flight but just the thought of flying makes me want to cry and cancel our trip. Please help! Pretty please with a cherry on top? Flying makes me a terrible traveler and I'd like to overcome that. I have thought about using my son as a distraction because he LOVES to fly but not sure that will do the trick. Any ideas are appreciated and I will try them!
I agree if you can do OH to Maui, you can handle any flight....lol I make security seem easier by wearing slip on shoes, no belt, no jacket, do not carry anything that may get me searched......as far as departing the plane, we just sit and wait for all the people in a rush to leave first, seems to take some of the stress out for us.....take off and landing do use your son as a distraction by playing a travel game with him during these times or something.....flying gives me tension headaches so my doctor gives me a muscle relaxer that helps and I also take them after a long hard day touring the World so I can go to sleep easier at night.....hopes something I have said helps.....have a wonderful time!!
turns out, in my opinion, it is a wonderful book that really teaches you to understand your fears/anxiety and learn how to work with them instead of trying to fight them or make them go away. (I think most experts agree that anxiety has much to do with how our brains are wired versus an illness that can be cured with a pill).
While I still don't adore flying, I do fly on a regular basis and last month, took a trans-atlantic flight to Paris; it went really well and was almost enjoyable.
I hope you can find a way to work with your fears of flying.
~Shoot for the moon, if you miss, you will land among the stars~
I was also a non flyer, We drove to WDW & it took 2 days on the road, We also did road trips to California, Idaho & everyplace we wanted to go ..
I was totally terrified of flying. I even had big time anxiety attacks just thinking about flying. I am also very claustrophobic.
My doctor gave me anti-anxiety meds & now I Can fly being pretty calm. When I have a attack on the plane I do some deep breathing exercises & calm myself.
So may say drugs are not good, But without them I would not be able to get on a plane..
I am proud to say I have done 2 solo trips & came through with flying colors..
I completely understand. I have flown since I have been 5 , but now in my 30's and really hate it. I have also flown three times to Europe, but I wasn't as bad then as I am now. I have tried Xanax, Ativan and valium and they have absolutely no impact on me. For me it is the turbulance and lack of control because you never no how long or bad it may be. I have flown 2 times in the past three weeks and I hate it so much. My job and love of Disney keep me doing it, but I too would love to get over this horrible fear. Next flight is May 7 to WDW. I just have to think of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
turns out, in my opinion, it is a wonderful book that really teaches you to understand your fears/anxiety and learn how to work with them instead of trying to fight them or make them go away.
I've not read the book recommended, but when I had therapy for anxiety/panic disorder, the technique of learning to cope with the anxiety and embrace the fear rather than trying to fight against it was the technique that got me over the whole ordeal. It is a great coping skill to have. I still use it to this day, even though I now only feel twinges of panic once in a blue moon.
Fighting the anxiety escalates it. Relaxing into the anxiety causes it to dissipate.
I only recently started to have anxiety when flying. My doctor had prescribed an anti-anxiety med for when my attacks are bad. (I am also on a daily anti-anxiety med.) I took a pill on the way to the airport & it helped a bit. I also made sure I had some movies downloaded to my iPhone to distract me while on the plane.
I'm with you about deplaning...that mad rush to exit is the pits!
What I often do is just sit there once the plane stops. Seriously. Wait until the rest of the mob leaves and then leisurely get your bags and walk off at your own pace. It's not like you're going to save any significant time because you'll just be waiting at the carousel to get your bags.
I bring a good book (and a Kindle for above 10k feet), and keep my mind on what's on the ground when I get to my destination. That helps. I wish you great luck!
I start freaking out the day before we leave. I know I'll survive (have flown 3 times in my life) and I do believe if I can survive Cleveland, OH to Maui, HI I can handle any flight but just the thought of flying makes me want to cry and cancel our trip. Please help! Pretty please with a cherry on top? Flying makes me a terrible traveler and I'd like to overcome that. I have thought about using my son as a distraction because he LOVES to fly but not sure that will do the trick. Any ideas are appreciated and I will try them!
I see so many good suggetions here!
It sounds like it isn't just the flying that is the problem. It seems to also be the freaking out before-hand. Two thoughts on that...
If you have a two hour flight and you spend ten hours freaking out before that, you've just been uncomfortable for 12 hours instead of two. Is there any way that, at least, you can avoid the pre-trip anxiety?
2nd thought is letting your son or some other pleasant distraction take your mind off the flying sounds like a great plan. Maybe have an arsenal of pleasant distractions on hand.
Maybe make a mix tape of your favorite tunes or bring a movie on an ipod. Or have a job to do on the flight tray and keep your mind and eyes on that.
Is there a wise friend or some professional who can do some short-term work to find a plan?
I TOTALLY understand. I HATE to fly and for some odd reason, my flights are always delayed, flying thru turbulance, around tornados & hurricanes, technical problems and I was away during 9/11 in (of all places) NY and had to fly out three days later. If you see me in an airport, make sure you're not on the same flight.
So, naturally, flying is a really serious ordeal for me. I used to have to take Clonopin which is a big time tranquilizer and I don't recommend it to anyone (yes, drool happens and escorts off the plane are embarrassing). If I'm really a mess I MIGHT take a half or quarter Xanax. If the stress starts the day before, I might take the other half then.
Here's what I do. First, I book the EARLIEST flight available and stay up all nite. No lie, I try to work the night before as late as possible, go home, finish packing, take a shower and watch tv. So by the time I get to the airport, I'm tired and guaranteed to sleep on the plane. The early morning hours at an airport are quiet and no crowds. I grab a lite breakfast and bring a book to read while waiting for the plane.
I also try to get seats up front since this means you are last to board and first to get off. I get a window seat so I can rest my head against the wall (just one inch more room makes a ton of difference).
I wear comfy clothing - yoga pants, tshirt and a zip up jacket or hoodie. Layers are great but I really tend to get cold on a plane so I ask for a blanket and pillow as well. Reading on a plane makes me ill so I bring my Ipod and turn it on as soon as I'm allowed. I don't eat or drink during the flight since that means having the tray down and invading my space.
Regarding security, avoid carryons so the chance of having your bag searched is nil. That is absolutely nerve wracking plus overhead bin space is limited and you don't want to have to search for a spot for your bag. Remember on the way back to not have anything "illegal" or that might seem to appear so on the xray (I got searched for a star shaped Christmas ornament!!). Wear slip ons or flip flops, have your keys in your checked bags, have all your paperwork out and ready before you approach the security line and keep it out until you are through.
I would definitely recommend getting a self help book like the one listed above. It arms you with tools to cope with anxiety. Unfortunately, my anxiety is so severe, books and therapy didn't help me - all the tools I learned just went right out the window! I will tell you this, over the last 5 years, my daily anxiety and panic attacks have dissapeared and I live without meds and fear.
Flying is my enemy but I ONLY fly to Disney if I have to (luckily I'm only 600 miles from WDW now). Guess what, I'm flying SOLO in October (1.5 hour flight) to Disney and I'm going to just fine! I might be asking you for help in six months!!