Music has the incredible power of setting the tone for our experiences. A free-spirited song for your perfect road trip with the windows down, an ethereal mix for a quiet walk in the woods… music is the divine element that can transform and elevate our mindset. And that’s why having the perfect, soothing playlist for nervous fliers is imperative.
As a former nervous flier, there are certain prerequisites I need to truly feel ready to tackle a trip abroad an airplane. And one of them? A soothing mix of music that I can turn to. It might be a small trick, but I can’t tell you how thankful I am to have a familiar, calm song to listen to when my heart starts racing. (You can read about my other biggest tips and tricks for overcoming the fear of flying here!)
Today, I’m happy to say we’re sharing the love for other nervous fliers out there. Here’s our playlist “Mid Air, Mid Flight” – made specifically to soothe the worried soul, no matter how turbulent the conditions may be. Think slow, calming songs that have messages of hope, peace and wonder… the type of music that feels like a warm hug.
If you missed our other playlists, we’re spotlight our favorite pieces of music for other Dame Travelers on Spotify. And that’s why we’re sharing monthly playlists dedicated to specific destinations and travelers’ experiences.
We really love making these for you all to “escape to” whenever you like. So, be sure to subscribe and tell us what playlist styles, genres and destinations you’d like to see next!
A lot of my time as a travel photographer is “en route.” In between cities, bouncing between terminals, juggling public transportation – it’s those not so glamorous, in-between moments that actually comprises a lot of what I do! When I was given the opportunity to capture Australia’s Western Wilds in Tasmania, I was beyond excited of the journey that awaited me. Although I’ve traveled many places (64 countries so far!), this would be my first time in Australia!
However, I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you that looking at the travel time between Los Angeles to Sydney (15 hours!) wasn’t something I was looking forward to. Who would ever really love a flight time like that? But, to my luck, my long haul transport to Australia ended up being a breeze thanks to United! Their Polaris business class seats made what could have been a complete nightmare of a ride into a soothing and relaxing time for me to sit, recollect and refresh for the adventure that awaited me in Tasmania.
When sitting down to plan my itinerary, I loved to learn that United has a couple of options. When it was time for me to do my booking they offered bookings to Sydney from Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco. But, United recently started offering transcontinental and transatlantic destinations from New York too. So, east coast travelers – rejoice!
As a New Yorker, the flight to LAX is, admittedly, one of my least favorite legs of travel. But, thankfully after checking in, I was able to slip into the Polaris Lounge’s relaxation areas where they have rest pods and shower facilities to get rejuvenated. Let me tell you, these were a life saver.
Once on board, I was feeling a little more soothed and the notion that the next time I would have my feet on solid ground would be in Australia started to really get me excited. As a female traveler, I’m constantly seeking out destinations that give me that little jolt of thrill and wonder. Australia was certainly that for me!
As the flight began, I was able to see exactly how close we were to the continent with their handy entertainment system’s split screen. Anxious travelers will love this! Even though I’ve definitely become a flight pro, it’s fun to see the slow progression towards Australia in between my long naps on their flat lay seats (hello Saks bedding and thoughtful amenity kit!).
P.S. If you’re debating whether or not to splurge on business class seats, I will tell you… it’s worth it on long-haul flights like this. I didn’t feel like I lost a day’s worth of sleep, thanks to the comfy beds in Polaris business class. Certainly business class isn’t something needed for all flights, but I’d highly, highly recommend it for a long one across oceans like this!
It’s the little things like this that elevate the whole “en-route” experience to something that can actually be rejuvenating, calming and give travelers the time to really soak in the experiences they’re about to have. As the fifteen hour journey unfolded, I woke up about an hour before landing. During those minutes, I was able to journal my hopes, aspirations and dreams for all that Dame Traveler is (big things are coming – I promise). My life has been, lately, a long series of projects and bouncing between destinations. But having the quiet time in this relaxing setting, with just me and a pen and paper was so special.
Oh, yeah… and I should mention, I was able to have this sweet moment of reflection over a lovely wine tasting. What’s not to love about that? (Thanks Polaris!)
I’m thankful for United’s mission to connect women within the Dame Traveler community to cities and places around the world that empower them and help them celebrate discovery.
Australia, awaited me. And I was ready for it.
This blog was written in partnership and sponsored by United Airlines. As always, opinions are my own.
If you should be so lucky to avoid the hassle and absolute nightmare holiday travel can be – consider yourself extremely fortunate. There’s no doubt… traveling around the holidays is stressful. It’s anxiety-inducing, chaotic and downright awful at times.
With a large amount of people maneuvering in and out of airports, it can be hard to imagine getting through holiday travel with peace of mind. However, we’ve picked up some tips and tricks for surviving holiday travel and we want to share them with you today! Here are ten tips to survive holiday travel.
1. Stranded at the airport with nowhere to go? Crank up somelighthearted holiday music to keep your thoughts light and your mind at ease. It’s amazing how simple, holiday songs can bring back a childlike nostalgia and warm, fuzzy feelings. Ignore the chaos existing outside of your headphones!
2. Holiday travel can be expensive and many booking engines have trackers. To avoid a hike in price, clear your cache and history or use Google Incognito.
3. Save money on pricey in-flight drinks, bring an in-flight Cocktail Kit! There are tons of fun ones to purchase online. Our favorites? We love this mix for an Old Fashioned, this Gin & Tonic kit, this spicy cocktail kit for Bloody Mary’s! (P.S. these make great gifts for travelers!)
4. Book a red eye or an extremely early flight to avoid crowds and long lines. Trust me. It’s worth it. No use in getting bogged down by lines at the security gate! And you’re less likely to have a delay or cancelled flight early in the morning. Do not take your chances during the holidays!
5. Have a portable phone charger on hand such as a Mophie or a small, USB connected charger so you’re not sitting on airport floors or wrestling over an outlet.
6. Try as best as you can to avoid checking your bag. Carry-ons are the way to go. Especially if you have tons of gifts… ship ’em instead! There’s nothing worse than losing your luggage right before the holidays commence.
7. If you must check your bag, consider purchasing a Trakdot device or a GPS Connected Smart Travel Lock and pack it in your suitcase. The GPS technology detects the location of your luggage if lost or stolen… giving you peace of mind!
8. Pack snacks in your carry on bag to avoid getting hangry. Some of my favorites are Trader Joe’s trail mix, a fresh apple with Justin’s peanut butter and dried fruit. Make healthy choices while in transition home. You already know you’ll be eating good – choose light options beforehand. Your immune system will thank you.
9. Don’t forget your Vitamin B and Cs! They are essential to reducing stress. And again, they give a nice boost to your immune system. Perfect for long flights where lots of germs can be exchanged.
10. And lastly, tons of patience and optimism go a long way. Remember – even the nastiest people you encounter on your holiday travels want the same thing – to get home safe and sound. Show your flight crew respect and thankfulness. They’ll the lifesavers of holiday travels!
If you’ve been unlucky enough to experience a flight from hell, you know that sometimes air travel can be no fun whatsoever. So, today we wanted to spotlight four simple things you can do to be a great flight passenger.
Mind Your Scent, Sound & Space
Part of being a great flight passenger is being aware of your impact to other guests on the airplane. That means saying no to your strong perfume and aftershave and being cognoscente of how you use your space. No one likes to sit next to the person who hogs the armrests or stretches their legs into another passenger’s space. Keep your belongings underneath the seat in front of you. Open up chip bags and use other noise-making objects before takeoff. Simply put – be polite to others. In such a small space, it really adds up!
It’s true! Flight attendants can take tips and they do love gifts. If you have some spare change in a foreign currency, why not pay it forward and get your flight staff something sweet? If you’re strapped for cash, simply being kind and considerate to the staff during your trip goes a long way. Mind your p’s and q’s… and acknowledge the little things done to ensure you have an enjoyable trip.
One of the most arduous parts of air travel is ensuring that guests board the aircraft orderly and on time. Once on the plane, find your seat, find your overhead cabin bin area, place your personal items on your seat and stow away your carry on. Do not take another guest’s stow away area! Once one person does, the whole plane becomes a mess of passengers desperately trying to find a space to put their suitcase… which leads to delayed departures and lots of bickering!
We’ve all seen the passenger that overpacks their carry on so badly that they can barely lift their suitcase above their waist. Don’t be that guy! (Of course unless you have physical restrictions that make it impossible or dangerous to do so!)
Know & Follow The Rules
It’s so simple – you are not the exception to the rules. So follow them! And even better, do so happily. Your flight staff will be thankful.
What are some little things you do to be a great flight passenger? Or, on the other side of the coin, what are some of your flight pet peeves? Let us know in a comment below!
I always do my best thinking when up in the air. Swallowed by sky and clouds and the spanning oceans and sprawling landscapes below, I feel most in-tune with myself. Maybe because the time I spend in an aircraft is a pause in the craze-filled frenzy traveling full time can be. It’s my moment to sit and just be. Any flight, whether it’s a hop, skip and a jump from island to island, or a luxury craft filled with hundreds and multi-tiers of explorers, is “home” for a tiny bit of our life. It’s a recluse, a pod, a little quiet place to be still. So when we find an airline like Air New Zealand, that makes the experience of flying more serene and luxurious, it makes me so grateful.
Sometimes knowing I’m in for a long flight can send my anxiety into epic new heights. Upon booking my nonstop flight from Los Angeles to London, I can’t tell you how daunting the 10 hour flight felt. But when I was greeted by the welcoming faces of Air New Zealand’s attendants and settled into my comfortable (and ridiculously spacious) Business Premier seat, I knew my original nerves were not welcomed here. I was in for a serious treat – a relaxing experience – words I would not typically choose for a long-haul flight.
I mean, when your seat can convert into a memory foam flat-laying bed, not relaxing would be a sin! Kudos to Air New Zealand on this gem. Seriously, why can’t all airlines have Skycouches?
Nestling into my space was oh-so dreamy. In between writing in my journal, I was able to catch up on the television shows I’ve been missing out on while sipping on New Zealand wine and settle into the ultimate relaxation-mode. Air New Zealand leaves no stone unturned when it comes to providing a list of New Zealand’s best wines (curated by seven leading wine experts). Give this girl a glass of refreshing white wine, some cuddly blankets and some tv shows to binge, and I’m as happy as a clam.
And I should mention, I was able to settle into my ultimate relaxation state while also devouring Chef Peter Gordon (the godfather of fusion foods) and Michael Meredith cuisine (known for his award winning celebration of New Zealand’s culinary traditions). I also devoured their CrossTown donuts and other refreshments while on board! Happy stomach, happy state-of-mind.
It’s in the air that I’m given the time and the setting to be still. It here in my long haul flight that I am able to dream, to set goals and intentions, to reflect on all the great experiences I’ve gathered and all that is yet to come. Thank you to Air New Zealand for setting off my trip to London on such a great note!
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