Getting Ready For a Flight

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Traveling by plane can be an anxious experience, but with some advance preparation it can become much simpler.

Always pack essentials when travelling abroad, such as an extra pair of socks and an additional pillow or blanket. Also make sure that the status of your flight hasn’t changed from its original schedule; double check this both the day prior and on departure to ensure its continuity. Many Cathay Pacific flights are available and you can enjoy them even more with these tips. 

Pack a day or two in advance

Air travel can be stressful. From long lines at security checkpoints to fierce competition for overhead space, it is wise to be well prepared in advance in order to enjoy a less-stressful flight experience. Here are some helpful tips for prepping yourself before your next flight:

Packing in advance will help ensure you don’t forget any essentials like toiletries, medications and snacks. Plus it gives you enough time for one last check that ensures no items that exceed 3.4 ounces can make their way onto a plane!

Before beginning packing for a trip, be sure to create a list of all of the items necessary. This will enable you to keep track of everything you are bringing and minimize any possibility of forgetting something important like your passport. It would also be prudent for you to familiarize yourself with your airline’s baggage policies should you plan on using their checked bag service.

If you’re traveling across multiple time zones, try gradually shifting your sleep pattern towards your destination before your flight. This will help avoid jet lag and make the transition easier.

Finally, it’s smart to bring along a small first-aid kit. This can contain essential medical supplies in case of emergency such as pain relievers and antihistamines. When traveling internationally, be sure to include the contact details for the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate which can be found by visiting State Department’s Country Specific Information page as well as each embassy or consulate’s respective website. It is also wise for international travelers to carry a copy of their passport at all times for additional security measures.

Check the weather at your destination

As weather-related flight delays and cancellations are a leading cause, it’s wise to monitor conditions at your destination airport prior to your trip. Poor conditions at one airport often have an unforeseen repercussion for others in its flight system – so checking weather patterns in both your departure and arrival cities ahead of time could help anticipate potential issues.

If you’re concerned about turbulence at your destination, make sure that when researching weather forecasts you select “Hourly.” This will give six hourly forecasts and may help. Look out for two things when making this selection:

Note the height of any thunderstorms along your travel route. If they’re under 350 feet in height, your plane should be able to fly above them easily, while for anything higher your pilot may need to search for gaps or try flying around them if necessary. Otherwise you could experience an uncomfortably bumpy ride.

Be mindful of the temperature. High temperatures can lead to dehydration and low humidity can leave your skin looking like prunes; to minimize these effects, drink lots of water before and during your flight as well as bring along a moisturizer that you can apply throughout your flight.

IF YOUR FLIGHT IS DELAYED, it is wise to book accommodations immediately. Airline personnel will usually offer alternate flight options or offer to put up passengers in hotels as necessary.

Download an aviation weather app like ForeFlight Mobile for accessing METARs and TAFs at airports, static weather imagery libraries, as well as global icing/turbulence forecasts on your iOS or Android device. It’s available both ways!

Take a few deep breaths

Deep breathing may be one of the easiest and most effective ways to calm your nervous system before flying. This simple yet effective technique can help you relax quickly – though it won’t eliminate all your anxiety completely. There are various techniques for deep breathing; find one that feels natural to you such as square breathing (in for four counts and out for six) and abdominal breaths (try placing one hand on your belly and one on your chest; the latter should move less than your abdomen).

Stressful situations cause your brain to activate the sympathetic nervous system, which governs the fight or flight response. Just as when running away from an animal or being chased by one, this response also occurs when anxiety sets in at work or before flying. Deep breathing activates parasympathetic nervous system instead and may help reduce stress while slowing your heartbeat and soothing an upset stomach.

Try taking slow and deep breaths before entering any stressful situation, such as presentations or meetings. Not only will this practice help calm you before your trip begins; but it will also allow you to be more in control of your emotions if something unexpectedly goes awry on board or during meetings.


Spending long periods sitting, whether on your sofa at home or the hard seats aboard airplanes, can be taxing to both body and mind. Sitting for extended periods can cause stiff muscles, as well as increase your risk for deep vein thrombosis (DVT), an potentially life-threatening condition in which blood clots form deep within your legs or thighs and cause blood clots to form in them.

There are ways you can prepare your body for flight and help alleviate its uncomfortable effects. First, get your heart rate up while waiting at the airport: A walk around the concourse or quick workout can boost circulation while stretching key muscles. Stretching can help you so much more than you would initially imagine. 

The seated figure four stretch is another full-body stretch that helps release glutes and relieve pressure off of your back. Simply find an area in which you can sit with right ankle on left knee; if flexible enough, wrap left arm around right knee then gently press into both hands on it with right arm to feel this stretch in back, hips, shoulders. Repeat on other side. You’ll feel it throughout back, hips, shoulders.

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