Tips for Flying Alone from an Anxious Traveller

Sunday, 10 September 2017
If there’s one thing that I seem to have done a lot of over the last few months, it’s solo flying. My first introduction to solo flying was when I went on my big North America trip last year. I flew from Edinburgh to Dublin, Dublin to Toronto, Toronto to Boston, NYC to Manchester and finally Manchester to Edinburgh all by myself in the space of two weeks. Then when it came around to obtaining my US visa I had to make a solo trip to the US consulate in Belfast. When I went to Riga with Becky we flew in from different airports so again was myself for my flight. So I'm pretty aquainted with being alone in an airport and I've realised a few things that really help me.

Leave yourself plenty of time to get to the airport.
One of my biggest worries is missing a flight so I always make sure I have plenty of time to get to an airport. When using public transport I always make sure that I could get the next bus/train if I miss the one I’m intending to catch. I’d rather be early where possible. Most airports recommend arriving 2 hours before your scheduled department time but it doesn’t hurt to arrive earlier at large airports with lots of international flights (JFK I’m looking at you).

Travel hand luggage only where possible.
Not only are checked bags expensive but they increase your time spent in the airport and also the stress factor. Learning how to pack light is probably one of the kindest things you can do for yourself. For tips on how to pack light click here. I do like using a wheeled suitcase as my hand luggage when I know I’m heading straight between the hotel and the airport but prefer a backpack if I’m going to have to carry my luggage around for a while.

Don’t be afraid to tell flight attendants if you are travelling by yourself and are afraid of flying.
I’ve never actually done this myself, I don’t actually have a fear of flying I just get very stressed in airports. But, I have heard from numerous people that if you let flight attendants know that you’re afraid of flying, they’ll come and periodically check in on you from time to time which would be very reassuring.

It is 100% worth paying extra to avoid a layover or get a shorter layover.
I once took a 7 hour layover because it cost about 150 pounds cheaper than a direct flight. Layovers suck at the best of times but when you are on your own, they’re twice as boring and you can’t really nap as there’s no one to watch your bags. It’s not worth it, trust me.

The PBC method.

This is something that I developed whilst on my US trip. And the language is about to get foul here. The PBC method stands for the Posh Business Cunt method.

Step 1: Identify a PBC. They’re on an early morning flight, no luggage but a laptop case. They’re probably a bit of a silver fox and are wearing shoes that cost more than your rent.

Why bother identifying a PBC? The PBC travels all the time. This person knows their way around an airport.

Step 2: Stick to the PBC. You want to identify your PBC outside the airport and follow them through security. They’re cool, calm and collected. They know where to go and what to do. Just follow them and you’ll be through in no time.

And feeling like a damn detective distracts you from flight related nerves.

And with that, I think I'll wrap this post up.

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1 comment

  1. Great tips! I've just come back from North America from solo travelling and I'm so relieved it all went smoothly and nothing bad happened. I think for me, just asking for help was important. I did get nervous in the airport and most will help you out. No point just panicking alone haha.



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