Boarding an airplane on your own and flying to a destination solo can be a daunting experience — though it doesn’t have to be.
I still remember flying by myself for the first time. It was a flight from Johannesburg, South Africa to Windhoek, Namibia, and I was super excited every step of the way. In fact, I don’t think I really slept for the week leading up to the flight!
And in the end, it was way better than I expected. I fell in love with Flying and never looked back, but it’s not the same for everyone. Some of you might be clueless and super nervous about your first time flying solo.
I realize solo flying confidence takes time to develop, and that there are steps you can take to feel more assertive and to ease anxiety.
So to help those who are nervous about flying on their own, Here are a few tips you can use for your first solo flight.
Tip: A power bank and charging cable are two of the most crucial items to pack for a flight since they help ensure that your phone is always charged, allowing you to access your electronic boarding ticket, research your destination, and enjoy the in-flight entertainment.
1. PLAN YOUR FIRST DAY OF TRAVEL JUST RIGHT
Whether it’s your first time traveling by yourself domestically or abroad, you’ll probably feel a little uneasy.
Some people prefer to travel without a plan, while others want to have every detail of their vacation planning. In my opinion, if it’s your first time traveling alone, you should schedule your first day or two of travel in a way that makes it easier for you to adjust.
These two components are essential:
- booking accommodations in a convenient location
- Don’t reserve too many excursions or activities
One less thing to worry about when traveling by flight is knowing that you have a safe location to stay that is accessible and close to places like restaurants and cafés.
You may find it easier to readjust to this new solo travel experience if you have time to become accustomed to your surroundings before worrying about schedules and meeting locations.
While there are many advantages and disadvantages to traveling alone, one of the biggest advantages is having the freedom to design your itinerary whatever you like, so make the most of it.
2. BECOME FAMILIAR WITH TSA-FRIENDLY TECHNIQUES TO ELIMINATE FIRST-TIME FLYING ANXIETY
I strongly advise practicing a few relaxation techniques, such as: if you’re nervous about traveling alone or have never flown alone before.
- Practicing breathing techniques
- Listening to guided meditations
- Playing puzzle games
- Saying affirmations while watching ASMR videos
It’s also a good idea to know what causes your anxiety. For example, since gastrointestinal problems can cause anxiety to flare up, limiting caffeine, junk food, and fried meals can help you keep anxiety away.
This also implies that you should abstain from caffeine and sugar when the flight crew offers you snacks and beverages.
Making sure you eat regularly and include nourishing items can help you avoid skipping meals, which can also be an anxiety trigger.
Additionally, working out before your flight might help you release any pent-up tension and feel more at ease once you take off.
Finally, if you’re feeling extremely anxious, think about getting a flying phobia treatment.
3. CHECK IN ONLINE IN ADVANCE SO YOU CAN SAVE TIME AND REDUCE ANXIETY
It’s common to experience anxiety and overwhelm when traveling alone. Making a little early preparation is one of the finest strategies to lessen that anxiousness.
An easy first step you can take is to check in early. In most cases, travelers can check in up to 24 hours prior to the scheduled departure of a flight. You can either visit the airline’s website or download its app to check in that way.
An excellent strategy to save time and avoid huge lineups at the airport is to check in early. It even enables you to avoid the lines and go straight to the security checkpoint if you aren’t checking any luggage. It also ensures your seat on the flight, so you won’t have to worry about it being given to a stand-by passenger.
Early check-in enables you to choose your favorite seating areas, pay in advance for any luggage you’re checking in, and download electronic versions of your boarding tickets to your phone or another device.
Make sure to capture a screenshot of each boarding pass once you have digital copies for each flight so you can store them on your phone. In this manner, even if the airport’s Wi-Fi is down, you may still get a duplicate of your boarding pass to provide to the gate agents.
Be aware that early check-in normally closes an hour or two before the scheduled departure time of the flight. You would need to head straight to the counter after the deadline.
4. CARRY A NOTEBOOK AND JOT DOWN ALL THE STEPS
Carry a notepad with you when you fly alone for the first time, and make a list of all the details you’ll need, especially if you’re going abroad. Make sure you are familiar with the procedures for baggage drop-off, checking in for security, and organizing your immigration documents.
It will also be useful to know how to approach border personnel and customs officials, proceed to the baggage claim carousel to retrieve your belongings, locate your pre-paid taxi, and find the way to the railway station to connect to your final destination after landing.
It’s crucial to write down any addresses that are required. For instance, you should make a note of the names, phone numbers, and addresses of your hotels, as well as any emergency contact information. This way you don’t have to rely on your memory or your cell phone battery. Instead, everything will be available to you at your fingertips.
5. DOWNLOAD THE APP OF THE AIRLINE YOU ARE FLYING WITH
Concerned about taking your first solo flight? It can seem intimidating, but if you are well-prepared, it’s easy.
I like to start out by downloading the app for the airline I will be flying with
When you uncover a fantastic flight deal, you can book it directly through the airline’s app using Google Flights.
Or, if you’ve already made travel arrangements, you can enter your name and flight information in the app to store your trip details for quick access.
One day prior to your flight, the app will notify you when it is time to check-in. It guides you step-by-step through the check-in procedure and, once your boarding pass is ready, lets you add it to your phone’s wallet.
You won’t even need to go to the counter when you get to the airport if you aren’t checking a bag! Simply breeze right past security.
The app notifies you when you arrive at the airport if your flight is delayed or if there is any other information you might need to know.
Airport maps are also available. Some apps even have a “track my bag” feature if you know your bag tag number. The features vary depending on which company you are flying with but they are all incredibly helpful.