Peak holiday season is approaching fast and airports all over the world are getting ready for their busiest time of the year. While some believe ‘the holiday begins at the airport’ – 9am pints at the ready – most of us find the whole experience rather harrowing, and that’s putting it mildly. Indeed, hell has nothing on Heathrow; getting through the gates of Gatwick more grueling than those of Gehenna; and you can spell, erm, ‘satan’ from Stanstead. Ok, too much. We didn’t mean to worry you. Quite the opposite in fact, we’re here to chill you out, and help you sit comfortably, with these, our 7 IDEAL ways to make your next flight stress free.

PASSPORT SCRUTINY

Before making a trip overseas, it’s vital to check your passport is all up to date and in order.  Make sure you check your passport well in advance before you travel to verify how much validity you have left; many airlines require you to have at least six months of validity left on your passport to fly, so the sooner you check, the better, to avoid any nasty surprises. If you’ve never travelled abroad before, you’ll need to apply for your first passport. The process can be lengthy, so it’s best to set the ball rolling as soon as you can.

ONLINE BOARDING PASS

The check in process can be a confusing thing, with what’s required (or not) of you constantly changing and shapeshifting. Can I queue here? Do I have to pay for these? Do I need to print anything anymore? Instead of having to rely on the rhetorical, and bringing a physical copy of your boarding pass, why not use your mobile phone to carry the information instead? Most airline and booking apps now provide the facility to store all of your documents in one place on your phone.

CREATE A PACKING LIST

Knowing what to pack for your trip well in advance can take the stress and hassle away from your journey as the big day approaches. Many people make the mistake of leaving everything to the last minute, but being prepared is key for a stress free, smooth experience. There are various apps that you can download such as Wunderlist which can be a great way to track what you have already packed and what else needs to be put in for your journey. Simply tick off each item as you go, so you can be assured it’s in your luggage. We’ve given our ultimate space saving tips for packing over here, check it out.

SLEEP THROUGH IT

If you are flying long distance, getting some much-needed rest is important if you’re to put your best foot forward and stride confidently straight into holiday fun off the flight. Catching some Zzzs on the flight, then, is essential. A sleeping mask and some earplugs to shut off from everyone around you will help, as well as coordinated use of supplements such as melatonin, which helps you adjust to a new time zone succinctly.

WEAR COMFORTABLE CLOTHES

What you wear on the plane can make a huge difference to your overall experience. Air cabins can get very cold due to the air conditioning, meaning you should plan accordingly and wear clothes that will keep you comfortable throughout. Though it might look the height of fashion, when you’re mile high, a soft tracksuit does the job perfectly. Also, try and refrain from wearing too much jewellery, especially as you will have to take it all off when going through security, which is always a pain. Ditto boots which require a lot of lacing; slip on shoes are far preferable when passing through security gates. All in all, it’s better to travel with little adornment on your body for the most comfortable, hassle free travel experience.

CONSIDER PAYING A LITTLE MORE

Hey big spender! If the thought of travelling abroad makes you feel anxious and you have the budget to splash out, why not consider flying privately? Companies like Paramount Business let you use a private jet to get from A to B, making the process several notches less hassle free (with prices travelling in the opposite direction, of course). It’s prudent to use a charter flight cost calculator to find the best private jet charter pricing, as there are various aspects that come into play which can alter the cost of hiring a private jet significantly, such as the size of the aircraft and the distance you fly.

GO EASY ON THE ALCOHOL

We’ve all felt the pull of the early morning g’n’t; the start of the holiday marked ceremoniously with drink. Indeed, for the aerophobic, it can be especially tempting to reach for the booze in the airport or plane as a way to calm your nerves, but this can be problematic as counterintuitively it can lead to increased anxiety. What’s more, a low-pressure cabin will make you feel dehydrated, particularly when drunk, which can lead to nausea and being even more fearful; a toxic mix, we think. Stick with water.

ENJOY IT

Perhaps the greatest piece of advice is that you should enjoy your time in the air. To put it simply, rarely are we granted hours of undisturbed sitting time, with people bringing us drinks and food as and when we wish, and hours of entertainment at our fingertips. Embrace the experience and make the most of it, in order to fight off the fear.

 

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Rachel is the beauty and fashion director at IDEAL. She loves trying new products and is an avid fan of London's fashion, from the high end to the high street.