Your first time on a plane can be a very nerve-racking experience. Every slight bump, shake or unexpected shift is justifiably a bit of a shock if you aren't used to the bit of turbulence that comes with air travel. If you're about to take your first flight, here's some tips to keep your nerves down!
1. Talk with others who are pros at plane travel. They'll tell you all about the weird feeling in your stomach when you take off, the strange sensation when you land, and how to ignore all those unexpected motions when your plane flies through a bought of heavy winds.
2. If you tend to get nauseous on car rides, roller coasters, boats, or really anything that moves fast, talk to your doctor about possible over-the-counter medications to soothe your anxieties. Some may even induce drowsiness, so you can just sleep through the whole ordeal (though we don't really recommend that -- how can you ever get over your fears unless you conquer them face-to-face?)
3. Prepare for dry skin and swollen feet. Bring some hand lotion and lip balm along for the ride to ease the uncomfortable dryness you may experience, and if you're worried about the possibility of swollen feet, you can usually purchase in-flight socks that are designed to distribute pressure evenly. And when the seat-belt light is turned off, get up and walk around a bit! Take a trip to the bathroom to stand on your feet and get them in motion.
4. The food is not going to be the most delicious. Eat a decent meal before take-off, and if it's a long flight, feel free to pack yourself a sandwich and some chips in your carry-on bag. To help settle an uneasy stomach, bring along a white soda or ginger-ale.
5. As far as preparation goes, be sure to check carefully what items you're allowed to carry on the plane and pack in your luggage. With airport security as tight as it is, there are a lot of items you wouldn't expect that are forbidden. Don't find out you have to leave your favorite corkscrew or nail file with airport security -- read the forbidden items list online before packing.
6. Think about how much luggage you want to bring on. If you're worried about lost luggage (which, unfortunately, happens more frequently than travelers would like) see how large of a carry-on bag you can bring on the flight, and try packing to that size.
7. Get to the airport early. Especially if you're traveling with another first-time flyer, you'll want to get to the airport at least an hour before your flight boards to allow time to find the terminal and go through security. Nothing is worse than missing a flight, so give yourself plenty of time!
8. Be prepared for weird rules going through security. Most airports require you to take off your shoes and belts, so wear items that are easy to remove so you aren't holding yourself or anyone else up. Other than that, check online beforehand to see what items will set off the metal detectors.