I'm finally putting my hands up and admitting it:
I am a nervous flyer.
At the big age of twenty-one, I still fill with dread at least twenty four hours before every flight I have to go on.
Logically, it doesn't really make sense. I have been flying pretty much every year since I was six and have been on flights that have been a long twelve hours. But no matter how excited for the holiday I am, the anxiety behind having to be on a plane beforehand always manages to get the better of me.
Thus I have created a 'carry-on essentials' list to make your flight that little bit easier, especially considering the current state of the world. Ever since I was a child, my home comforts have always been super important to me, so it only made sense to incorporate this as much as possible when travelling too. Of course, I can't throw my dog and bed into a suitcase but I try to pack things as close to this as I can. Since ensuring that the following items come with me everywhere I fly, I have noticed a significant improvement in my travel anxiety-hopefully including these into your carry on will to!
1. Printed documents:
This is probably something that goes without saying, but having every document you need printed and put into a plastic wallet will put your mind at ease more than you think. I know the majority of documents can be saved into your phone now, but as my last trip was to America, I needed ESTA's, transfer vouchers and excursion documentation all printed out. A cute little plastic wallet to put it into always makes you feel like you've got your life together more than you actually do anyway.
2. Fluffy socks:
I personally think fluffy socks are an unsung hero on flights because lets be real, unless you're boujee asf, economy seats are uncomfy as hell. As well as having anxiety, I am also easily irritated, so the second I am uncomfortable for a long period of time, all hell lets loose. Throwing on a cute pair of fluffy socks may not make you feel like you're flying first class, but they allow your feet and mind that to feel that much more cosier.
3. Downloaded Netflix episodes:
As a typical nervous flyer, every time I hear an unfamiliar noise or let the fact we are so many feet up in the air get the better of me, I instantly turn to Netflix. Comforting programmes such as Friends, Gavin & Stacey and even Shrek are a few personal faves to get lost in when the turbulence bumps start to get overwhelming.
3. Podcasts and music playlists:
Whilst downloading things on Netflix is always a good shout, my anxiety also means I find it really difficult to concentrate on tasks. Sometimes I don't want to be watching anything or I want to go to sleep with something drowning the sounds of the plane out. Having a few podcasts and playlists to listen to allows your brain to focus on something else and distract you from any anxious thoughts without having to concentrate too much.
5. Portable charger:
I know most planes typically have USB ports now but there's always a chance that some old ones won't. Having a fully charged phone always puts my mind and ease so I know there's no doubt about accessing my boarding pass, Netflix or Spotify and that I can also text my parents so they know I've landed.
6. Snacks and water:
Arguably the most important things to carry. For me, no matter how early the flight, coffee is a no-go for me before travelling because it tends to drive my anxiety further. Buying a bottle of water and a packet of sweets always makes me feel more hydrated, happy and lets be real, on flight food isn't exactly gourmet is it? (Last week on my flight I literally had a 'mixed grill' which consisted of a sausage, a flattened egg yolk and tomatoes...)
And that's it, just a few items that will fit in any carry-on bag, be it suitcase or rucksack, to help ease travel anxiety. If you're still able to go abroad this year, please remember to be careful and cautious, and of course I am so bloody JEALOUS.