Stress-Busting Tips for the Airport-Phobe

Stress-busting tips for the airport-phobe 

Over the past year, we’ve noticed people opening up so much more – both online and in real life – about anxiety. Even for those who don’t have anxiety per se, low-level stress is relative and affects everyone at some point. Before our colleagues back away from our desks, muttering “that one needs a holiday…”, most of us are already one step ahead, scouring Skyscanner for the perfect break – but what a cruel irony that 33% of women, and 23% of men, find the journey itself stressful. That stat came from the well-meaning folk at Momondo. Excuse us while we cry into our in-flight G&Ts.

Personally, airports are a huge stress trigger for me, so I wanted to share with you the ways I make the pre-boarding experience as laid back as possible…

Start your zen the night before

If you’re anything like me, you’ll be tempted to book your flight for the evening of your last day at work because it’s just that exciting. If, however, you’re a little more patient, you’ll be rewarded with a more laissez-faire airport experience.

Have a ‘yay-it’s-nearly-holiday-time pamper night.’ Bath like a queen, then give yourself that good-night’s sleep you always say you’ll have. I’m talking the whole shebang: candles, essential oils, a little Enya in the background. Ok, maybe not Enya, but the oils are a must to help you sleep like a baby.

Pack like a pro

I’ve definitely been that traveler who ignores the reminders to ‘have my passport ready,’ instead of rummaging through a huge sack thinking ‘oh-God-oh-God-it’s-on-my-bedside-table-isn’t-it-oh-God-how-could-I-be-so-stupid-oh-hang-on-is-that-oh-yes-there-it-is’.

But no more. I’ve discovered the art of compartmentalized packing (such hyperbole. What I mean is I bought a Mia Tui travel bag, but that doesn’t sound quite so revolutionary). It’s all in the pockets, but having custom-made transparent bags, too, are a dream when going through security. It’s almost as if I’m just a shiny pair of Louboutins away from being that polished, international traveler in the queue ahead of me.

Don’t be tempted to comfort eat (or drink) 

That novelty-sized Toblerone can go right back to WH Smiths, and don’t be lured in by the equally novelty morning-time Woo Woo in the Departures Wetherspoons. Sorry, the fun police have arrived.

I learned the hard way: a sugar rush and crash will not help if you’re a nervous flyer, so I’ve started taking my own snacks with me. Oat cakes, crudités, fresh or dried fruit; you know the drill. Now, my hand luggage always has a dedicated section for some chamomile tea bags and, recently, anti-bloat supplements (I can’t be the only one who seems to alight a plane with legs hard as rocks and about three times the size I was back at home, surely?). The excessive cheese and cocktails consumption begins as soon as I’m poolside but for the sake of my airport experience, I’m the most wholesome darn traveler there ever was.

Those tips are just a small handful of the tactics I employ (when attempting) to become the picture of serenity at the airport. We hope they make your voyage a little more bon, and do let us know your own devices in the comments below!

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Amy Smith

With a degree in English Literature from the University of Cambridge, Amy is a freelance writer and columnist. At YCB Magazine, she writes about all things lifestyle, travel & wellness.