Fear of Flying: Top Tips to Calm Your Nerves and Enjoy your Travel

Don't let a fear of flying keep you from your travel dreams!Whoever said that “getting there is half the fun” must not have had a fear of flying!

On Sunday, July 25, United Airlines had yet another incident make the news. A United flight bound for New Orleans had to turn around halfway through the flight and return to Houston because a female passenger became “psychotic,” running through the cabin screaming “we are all protected and loved!┬áThis plane is going to land beautifully and kindly!” It’s unclear whether the woman was suffering from mental illness, or whether this was a case of a fear of flying taken to the extreme.

Whether your flight phobia is just a mild uneasiness, or severe enough to make you want to jump out of your seat screaming, we want to help ease your nerves. Read on for our best suggestions to calm your aversion to airplanes so you can enjoy every part of your international travel.

Fear of Flying is Common

Afraid to fly? You’re not alone. In a comprehensive survey conducted by the Boeing Corporation, 17% of Americans reported being afraid to fly. It was the third most common reason for deciding to drive rather than fly, after cost and the need for having a car at the destination.

Severe anxiety about flying is a real medical condition, known as aviophobia. It’s not unusual for people with aviophobia to have other anxiety disorders or phobias about related issues like heights or elevators. Experts estimate that less than 30% of people with a severe fear of flying seek professional treatment for that specific phobia.

Many more of us have a mild fear of flying, or experience occasional fear while flying. Even people who fly for a living aren’t immune! In a survey of flight crew on a European airline, more than 9% of them said they felt fear while flying at least once a month.

What About Flying Scares You?

If you’re trying to deal with mild anxiety about airplanes, it will be helpful to take some time and think about exactly what you find scary about the experience.

For some of us, being in the confined space of an airplane cabin can trigger a sense of claustrophobia. Or if you aren’t a fan of crowds, you might feel anxious about being in a small space with so many strangers.

Perhaps you are someone who feels most comfortable in the driver’s seat. You might be nervous simply because you feel out of control as a passenger on a plane.

Are you afraid that the plane will crash? Your fears may be exacerbated by news stories of crashes, or scary scenes in movies. The security procedures you go through in the airport may make the tiny threat of terrorism seem more real and likely. And even the most stalwart traveler might get nervous when the plane hits a rough patch of turbulence!

Are you afraid to board a plane?

Techniques to Conquer Your Flight Anxiety

If you have severe aviophobia, you don’t have to resign yourself to a life on the ground. Anxiety conditions like flight phobia are treatable! A professional can help you find the best treatment for your fear of flying. Treatment options include hypnosis, anti-anxiety medications, and cognitive behavioral therapy. Talk to your doctor if your fear of flying is strong enough to keep you out of the air.

For most of us, our worries and fears aren’t keeping us at home. But even mild anxieties about flying can make your trip unpleasant! We’ve compiled tips from experts and frequent flyers to help you stay calm while you fly.

If you are a nervous flyer, you will want to review these suggestions from the experts. Don’t let a fear of flying keep you from your travel dreams!

Source: https://passportinfo.com/fear-of-flying-top-tips-calm-your-nerves/

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Best Baby Travel Gear: Keep Clean and Get Some Sleep!

Keep your baby clean and sleeping peacefully on your trip!As a parent, you know that two of your most crucial tasks are keeping your baby clean and keeping your baby asleep at night! Those jobs can be challenging enough at home, where you are armed with changing tables, cribs, swings, wipes warmers, white noise machines, ergonomic baby bathtubs, and a slew of other special items. While you are traveling, it can seem like an even more daunting challenge. Today, in the final installment of our series on the best baby travel gear, we’ll look at the items you’ll need for diapering, bathing, and getting some sweet sleep on the road.

Diapering Must-Haves for Travel

Diaper duty: it’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it!

The good thing about dealing with diapers while you travel is that you have already gotten in a lot of practice. If you’ve ever changed your baby in a public restroom, in the back of your car, or at your great-aunt’s house, you’ve got the skills you need to diaper your baby on an international trip.

Diapering must-haves for travelYou’ve probably already decided which items are diaper bag must-haves. Those items are going to be the key to your travel diaper kit, too! Our top recommendation is a foldable changing pad, which you can easily stash in your diaper bag, backpack, or tote. Just as you are likely to find that foreign restaurants don’t have highchairs, you are certain to find yourself changing your baby in restrooms that do not have changing tables. With a folding changing pad, you can have a clean, padded surface for your baby. You’ll be glad to have it every time you have to change your baby on the floor of a public restroom! Even in your hotel room, a changing pad will allow you to diaper your baby on your bed without worry of accidents.

Many folding changing pads come with a wipes container as an accessory. A wipes box or pouch is an essential item for your travel diaper bag. You don’t want to lug around a whole large package of wipes, but you WILL need wipes while you are out and about! We love the Uber Mom Wipeboxes, which come in a wide variety of designs from classic to whimsical.

Don’t Bring: a whole mega-pack of diapers. Bring enough for a few days, and then buy more diapers as you need them. You’ll find that disposable diaper sizing is the same as at home. No need to try to convert baby’s weight to kilograms!

Bathing Baby in Hotels and Vacation Homes

At home, you may have a plethora of items for bathing your baby. You’ve probably got a baby bath tub, hooded towels, bath toys, and a selection of baby-safe toiletries.

Guess what? This is the one area in which we’re going to advise you to go super minimal. The baby travel gear you absolutely need for bathing your baby consists of just one item: baby wash. For the time that you are away, you can make do without a baby bathtub or special towels. Simply bring your baby into the shower with you, and use the towels provided by your hotel.

You should bring a gentle baby shampoo or all-in-one baby wash, as the hotel soap or shampoo is likely to be too harsh for your baby’s sensitive skin. Look for a product that can be used on both your baby’s hair and body. A bar formulation is ideal, since there’s no worry of it spilling in your bag. One option to consider is Dr. Bronners Baby Mild Soap Bar, which can also double as soap for mom and dad!

Baby Travel Gear for Safe Sleep

We’ve saved the biggest, most important, most challenging topic for last. Sleep. You want your baby to sleep well at night, so you have a chance to get some rest! It’s also critically important to have your baby sleep in a safe environment.

Baby travel gear for safe sleepWhen you travel in the US, you can be reasonably confident that major hotels will have cribs available. These are usually Pack N Plays or similar portable playpens. But when you are going overseas with your baby, you may find that many hotels do not have cribs available. If a crib is provided by your hotel, it may not be one that meets US safety standards. Be very careful, and ask a lot of questions before you rely on an international hotel to have a crib for your baby! It’s a bit of a splurge, but if you want to be certain of a safe place for your baby to sleep, consider purchasing the Lotus Travel Crib. Traveling parents swear by it, and praise it for being light, easy to pack and carry on flights, and simple to set up.

If it isn’t possible for you to bring a special travel crib, and your hotel or vacation home doesn’t have a crib available, you may consider the option of having baby sleep with you. Just make sure to always follow the guidelines for safe co-sleeping.

Gear to Help Baby Sleep Well When Traveling

Does baby have a lovey toy or a special blanket you always use for bedtime? Bring it along… and make sure not to leave it behind on any of your stops!

If your baby uses a pacifier at night, bring extras of the kind your baby likes. Travel is not the time to try to break bedtime comfort habits.

Before you leave home, download a white noise app for your phone. You’ll be glad to have it if you find yourself listening to taxis honk all night!

Finally, one of the most multi-functional baby travel gear items you can bring is a muslin swaddle blanket. These large, lightweight blankets fold up as small as a t-shirt. They’re not just for swaddling. You can use them as a crib sheet, a beach blanket, a towel, a changing pad, a sunshade for the stroller, or even as a scarf or sarong.

What is your must have piece of baby travel gear? Tell us in the comments!

Source: https://passportinfo.com/best-baby-travel-gear-keep-clean-get-sleep/

The Best Baby Travel Gear: Food and Drink Edition

Best baby travel gear for food and drink

You’re taking your baby on an international trip, and you’ve got all the baby travel gear you’ll need for transportation. But what about the items you’ll need to feed your baby once you get to your destination? You might be looking around your kitchen in despair, wondering how you’re going to transport all the myriad items you use for your baby. Don’t stress out! We’ve consulted with expert traveling parents to find out exactly which baby feeding items are travel must-haves, and what you can leave at home. Today we’ll cover the things you’ll need to feed your baby while you travel.

A hungry baby is an unhappy baby, and you do not want an unhappy baby as a travel companion.

Bottle-Feeding While You Travel

For babies too young to eat solid food, your travel feeding gear will be pretty simple. Babies who are exclusively breastfed don’t need any special equipment at all – they just need mom! If your baby takes bottles, bring along several of the bottles your baby prefers. Fill a travel-size bottlewith dish soap and bring a small bottle brush so you can clean the bottles in your hotel room. We also recommend bringing some pacifier and bottle wipes so you can do a quick clean up of bottles while you are out and about.

Don’t Bring: multiple cans of formula, unless your baby takes a very special variety. The major formula brands you’re familiar with are sold in countries around the world. Similac, for example, is available in 96 countries! Save the space in your suitcase, and purchase more formula from a local grocery or drug store. You’ll need to go to the store to buy bottled water, anyway!

Sippy Cups Are a Travel Must-Have

Sippy cups are a travel must-have

For older babies and toddlers, you’ll want to bring a leak-proof sippy cup so you can carry water for your baby without making a mess. You probably already have a collection of sippy cups at home. For travel, choose one that is as leak-proof as possible. You’ll also want to pick one that is easy to clean, without complicated valves and straws. Our favorite is the Munchkin Miracle 360 Sippy Cup

We also think that silicone sippy cup lids are perfect for travel. You can pop these stretchy lids on to just about any glass or sturdy cup. It makes it so easy to get your baby a drink at a restaurant, without having to memorize the phrase “I’m sorry for the mess” in the local language! The silicone lids are also very easy to clean because they are just one piece. No worries about curdled milk or sticky juice lingering in the sippy cup!

Baby Travel Gear for Restaurant Meals

One of the best parts of traveling is getting to eat at lots of restaurants. But as a parent of a baby or toddler, you know it’s a bit more complicated when you have a tiny diner with you!

The biggest issue you’re likely to face when you eat out with your baby in a foreign country is the highchair, or lack thereof! In the US, we’re used to restaurants supplying highchairs and booster seats for our kids. This is not always the case when you travel overseas. Even in well-developed countries like Italy, you’ll find that many restaurants do not have highchairs for babies. When you do find a highchair, you might discover that it lacks straps or is otherwise unsafe. (We heard one story of a traveler who put his one-year-old in a restaurant highchair, only to have the back fall off of it, exposing sharp and rusty nails!)

While you certainly can hold your child in your lap while you eat, it’s a lot more relaxing to have your baby secured in her own chair. If you have room for it, a portable feeding chair that straps on to a dining chair is an awesome piece of baby travel gear. The Summer Infant Pop N’ Sit Portable Booster is the most popular option on Amazon. It folds up into a small package, and also has a convenient feeding tray. Another, even smaller, option is a cloth harness to strap your baby into his own chair.

Is baby a messy eater? (Are any babies NOT messy eaters?) Consider picking up a napkin clip or two so you can turn any napkin, cloth, or paper towel into a quick travel bib.

Don’t Bring: baby’s own bowls, plates, or cutlery. Your baby can eat using a regular teaspoon, off of a saucer or bowl provided by the restaurant.

Snacks – The Secret to Baby Travel Bliss

Snacks - The secret to baby travel bliss

You wouldn’t take your baby to the mall without an ample supply of snacks to keep her pacified. That same theory applies when you travel with your baby!

Make sure you have plenty of snacks with you when you board your flight with your baby. The best snacks for the airplane are small ones like puffs or Cheerios that you can slowly dole out, one by one, to keep your little one occupied.

You should be able to replenish your supply of snacks at local groceries at your destination. However, you should definitely bring a good snack container or two. The best baby snack containers for travel are ones that allow your baby to access just a piece or two at a time, without being too easy to dump out.

TSA Rules for Flying With Baby Food and Milk

You’re likely familiar with the TSA’s rule that you can’t carry any liquids or gels larger than 3.4 ounces onto an airplane. But did you know the rules are different for baby food, formula, and pumped breastmilk?

The food and drink your baby will need for the flight are exempt from the TSA’s limitations on liquids and gels. You are allowed to bring pureed baby food in a “reasonable quantity.” This means you can bring enough food to get your child to your destination, so don’t bring much more than you think you will need for your flight. Even if you prefer to make your own baby food, it’s a good idea to bring commercially packaged jars or pouches of baby food.

You will need to pull your packages of baby food out of your carry-on bag to be screened separately. The packages may be swabbed with chemicals. Have some of those pacifier wipes on hand to clean them up before you feed them to your child.

You are also allowed to bring special drinks for your baby or toddler, such as premixed formula, milk, or juice. The TSA officer may ask you to open a container so they may test a small quantity.

Traveling with pumped breastmilk? You are allowed to bring ice packs or gel-filled freezer packs to keep the milk cold while you travel. If you are flying with a large quantity of breastmilk, you may want to consider freezing it solid and checking a cooler as luggage. Although there is no set limit on how much breastmilk you may bring in your carry-on bag, we have heard too many stories of mothers being forced to throw away their “liquid gold” by TSA officers who misunderstood the rules.

Tell us your baby travel stories in the comments!

Source: https://passportinfo.com/the-best-baby-travel-gear-eating/