Why aren’t you excited for our holiday yet? If you’ve ever been asked this question, then you’re not alone. The booking, the preparation, the packing, and the getting there; they all represent obstacles to our sense of enthusiasm about the approaching adventure. Only when the plane touches down, it seems, does the trepidation tumble, and excitement gets hysterical. But it needn’t have to be this way. Flights, in the right hands it turns out, can be fun. Here are 10 IDEAL ways to make your next flight less stressful.

START THE HOLIDAY EARLY

To vault the barrier to your holiday excitement in style, there are certainly worse moves than starting the holiday early. This could take the form of a relaxing spa the day before your flight, to have your body loose and mind laid-back before you tackle 12 hours of confinement. Or, you could dine at a restaurant serving the cuisine of your destination, to whet the appetite and anticipation for the eating to come.

ORGANISE ALL YOUR DOCUMENTS

A false start is the worst start, we think. Fumbling for your oyster card to get on the Piccadilly Line to Heathrow, failing to unearth your booking reference for the Gatwick Express, realising you’ve left your boarding card in your other jacket pocket or the most dreaded of all, you’ve misplaced your passport; all this risk can be mitigated by keeping all of your documents in the same place. Yep, we know what you’re thinking; all eggs, one basket, but hey, if you can’t keep your eye on just one folder from flat to airport, then you probably shouldn’t be leaving the house anyway.

GET TO THE AIRPORT IN GOOD TIME

We’ve probably all got friends and family who fall on both extremes of the spectrum with regards to timing their airport arrival. There are those who insist on being there 3 hours early, and then wonder why the gate isn’t open. Even worse, those (you know who you are!) who think they can rock up 5 minutes before take off and a kind air steward will lift the rope and roll out the red carpet. We’re not advocating the former approach, but being there in good time saves a lot of unnecessary stress – the recommended two hours is recommended for a reason.

BOOK YOUR PARKING IN ADVANCE

If you’re driving to the airport, then the stress levels could go either way. Sure, you’ve alleviated yourself of the heavy burden of lifting luggage on busy platforms, but equally, finding a parking space might send your anxiety into overdrive. Therefore, it’s imperative you book an airport parking space in advance. Companies such as Sky Park Secure can take all of the hassle out of this part of the process by taking care of the finer details.

DRESS RIGHT

You’ve made it this far without losing anything – bravo! Now you have to negotiate the primary physical barrier to your excitement, before the metaphorical one spent in the air.

The security gate can give even the most law abiding citizen the heebie-jeebies, so it’s best to be prepared sartorially. We’ve all wondered whether or not we really have to remove our belt and watch, but more often than not, you do, so wearing trousers which don’t require being kept up is a good idea. Loads of fiddly bracelets and earrings which set off the alarms are also obviously a mistake. Shoes which slip off easily are big embarrassment savers; the last thing you want to be doing is bending down to untie shoelaces, queue at your rear, when you’re not wearing that belt.

TAKE YOUR OWN TOPICAL ENTERTAINMENT

Once you’re on board, trials and tribulations safely negotiated, it’s time to probe the excitement button. Taking entertainment which will enhance your anticipation of the country you’re visiting is a great way to pass the time in the sky. If you’re visiting Thailand, for instance, why not read The Beach or a great Thai cookbook to get you in the mood for frivolity, frolics and feasting.

STRIKE THE RIGHT BALANCE, BOOZE WISE

The temptation of the Tanqueray trolley is so often impossible to resist – ‘just a couple of these and I’m set’. But overindulging on board can lead to some serious dehydration, with air conditioning blasting and the gin jacket warming you through. Even worse outcomes could be in store, so watch your consumption and don’t lose your head.

PACK A BAG OF RELAXATION GOODIES

A soothing balm applied to the wrist, a soft as silk eye mask, one of those pillow necklaces; little relaxation goodies can be the make or break between a flight of fancy or fret. Pack a bag full of them and you won’t even notice the flatulence of the adjacent bloke or the sneezing of the lady in front.

GET EXCITED!

There are few situations in life where you can sit back for hours, with no pressure to move, think, or reply to emails, with entertainment abound and refreshments delivered to your hand ad finitum. So, settle in, get excited and just enjoy the ride!