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News, Interviews and recommendations from High Spirit Bags.

 

Filtering by Tag: safe

10 Tips to Overcome the Fear of Flying

Josh okungbaiye

Many of us enjoy the idea of travelling in order to experience new cultures. However, there’s one part of travel that isn’t so fun for a lot of people: that is flying. For some, flying is simply a hassle due to high fares, potential flight delays, as well as lost luggage. For others, flying is simply terrifying.

It is important to know the reason for your fear of flying. In addition, there are certain steps you can take to help alleviate your fears. For those of you who are determined not to let this fear stop you from seeing the World, below are a few tips to help you overcome your fear of flying.


1. Familiarise yourself with the plane

Getting to know what your plane looks like can make it seem a little less scary. Research what type of aircraft it is. Is it an Airbus or a Boeing plane? Research how many passengers it carries, as well as the on-board benefits such as a café for those travelling on long flights.

2. Choose an aisle seat

Most airlines and booking engines allow you to request a seat assignment when you book your flight. Request an aisle seat, particularly if you’re prone to claustrophobia as you’ll feel less surrounded by other people. You will also be able to get up and move around the cabin more easily allowing you to avoid looking out the window if those sky-high views make you nervous.

Check out Seat Guru. This site enables you to view the position of your seat so you can make an informed decision on booking your seat online.

3. Avoid watching or reading anything plane/flight related

Avoid airplane disaster movies, news coverage of plane crashes, or other scary media images. Remember that the vast majority of flights arrive safely, but only the problem flights make the news. Don’t let that make you have a negative outlook on flying.

4. Don’t rush at the airport

Allow yourself plenty of time to get to the airport before your flight is scheduled to depart. Racing to the gate and worrying about missing your plane will only add to your fear and anxiety. Make sure to have everything prepared the night before including your passport and your boarding pass; so that it will be smooth sailing on the actual day.

5. Stay Entertained

Make sure your phone or tablet is stocked with relaxing music to help get you into a peaceful frame of mind. Remember to pack a magazine or a good book to take your mind off what is happening. Select a comedy on your plane’s in-flight entertainment system, or pre-load a few of your favourite movies and documentaries onto your laptop.

6. Avoid caffeine

This and other stimulants can make you even more jittery, adding to your anxiety. Opt for water as it contains no sugar, which could tamper with your nerves.

7. Breathe

Breathing is by far the best way to calm yourself down if you feel yourself starting to panic or become anxious on a flight. There are various techniques you can use, but the main goal is to slow your breathing down and focus on the exhale rather than inhale, because as you panic, your breathing gets shallow and fast, making the state of panic even worse. One trick is to breathe out fully first before inhaling. Then breathe in deeply, hold it for a couple of seconds and breathe out completely. Keep doing this until the panic passes.

8. Use earplugs and eye masks

Some nervous fliers find overnight flights very daunting, but if you can try to get some rest it’s the best way to make the time fly by. Bring an eye mask and a pair of earplugs with you to help you sleep. The earplugs are especially useful as they block out the loud noise of the plane. The eye mask will also signal to the flight attendants not to disturb you while you nap.

9. Tell a flight attendant

Flight attendants deal with nervous fliers on a daily basis. Next time you’re boarding a plane, tell your nearest steward that you’re feeling anxious. There is no need to be embarrassed; their job is to help you and make you feel comfortable. They can check in that you’re doing okay. They also might have some tips to share with you from their experience.

10. Take a Fear of Flying course

If your fear of flying is preventing you from traveling or making you so anxious it’s impacting your health or enjoyment of your time away, consider seeking professional help. Some airlines, including British Airways, Virgin and EasyJet, as well as some airports, offer fear of flying courses. These courses are led by pilots, crew, and psychologists with intent to address all aspects of flying fears and how to overcome them. Trained professionals will answer all your questions and give you pointers for addressing your fears.

Nicole Fernandez Medina

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The Ultimate Guide To Prevent Pickpocketing

Josh okungbaiye

Travel is a beautiful thing and exploring other countries is a wonderful way to open our eyes and learn about the World in a fun and exciting way. In addition to enjoying the sights and immersing yourself in culture it is really important to make sure your stuff stays safe from pickpockets. Pickpocketing is a major petty crime that affects people across the world, particularly tourists. Pickpockets ruin people’s holidays so to help out we put together an Ultimate Guide on how to protect yourself from pickpockets. All the tips are below. Happy Travelling. Enjoy!

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(1) Stay vigilant in crowds and stay away from commotions

Whenever there is any type of commotion or a sudden surge of crowds, BE ALERT as it is the perfect situation for pickpockets to create a distraction for their target. It can happen very quickly, so make sure you keep an eye on your belongings.

(2) Spread your valuables instead of keeping them in once place

Put your money, valuables and important documents in different compartments and pockets. This is so it decreases the chance of all your valuables being taken away at once.

(3) Watch your bags and luggage on trains

Keep a close eye and hold onto your bags and luggage on the train/bus. Also check they are not accessible through open windows or train/bus doors because thieves will reach through and grab items as quickly as they can.

(4) Avoid rummaging through your wallet or counting money in public

This is important, so you don’t make yourself more visible to be targeted by pickpockets. If you feel you need to count your money and sort out stuff in your wallet or bag, make sure to do it in the safety of your hotel room.

(5) Keep purses/backpacks strapped tightly to your body

Tighten the straps of your bag to your shoulders or arms, this will ensure extra safety with your possessions as it will be easier to detect any tampering and it will be harder for thieves to snatch your bag away.

(6) Secure your bag to an immovable object 

When you are at a restaurant or cafe, loop your bag’s strap around the leg of your chair, the leg of your table or your leg. This ensures that thieves can’t come by and quickly snatch your bag. 

(7) Keep your phone off the table

Smartphones and tablets are very popular for pickpockets to steal. Many people leave their devices on the table while they’re socialising and eating, which makes it easy for a thief to snatch it and run away.

(8) Limit what you carry

When sightseeing you do not have to carry a lot of stuff. It is advised to not carry a lot of cash or valuables on you at any given time during your vacation. It will be much safer leaving it in your hotel room.

(9) If you have a heavy coat you are at more risk

BE AWARE because it will be a lot easier for a thief to insert his or her hand in your pocket without you feeling anything. In order to increase protection of your stuff, make sure you put your things inside hidden pockets and compartments. This is very useful for tourists that will be travelling to colder destinations.

(10) Put both hands in your pockets when in highly crowded areas

Keep your hands covering critical pockets such as your front pockets when in crowds to prevent external access to your contents such as wallets, cash or ID.

(11) Don't carry your wallet or smartphone in your back pocket

By putting your wallet or smartphone in your back pocket, it leaves you open to be an easy target for pickpockets. Keep these high valued items concealed and out of sight completely.

(12) Be wary of any strangers approaching you

Ignore beggars and random individuals that approach you. It is more than likely they know you are a tourist and their approach will create a smokescreen leaving you vulnerable to being a victim. Please be aware that pickpockets can sometimes work in twos or threes against a target. So if you are approached, please ignore them and keep going.

(13) Leave your passport at the hotel

Your passport is the single most important document you will carry on your vacation, so if you don’t need to carry it everywhere with you, just leave it in your hotel room.

Just for extra pre-caution, you can create photocopies of your passport and keep them in various bags and pockets.

(14) Keep your hands in your pockets when walking through large crowds.

Putting your hands in your pockets when you are walking through large crowds creates a blockage to prevent any pickpockets from slipping their hands into your pockets to take your small valuable items.

(15) Do not speak with anyone while using the ATM/Cash machine

While withdrawing cash do not accept anyone's help in making a withdrawal. Whilst typing in your PIN number cover the keypad with your free hand so the PIN cannot be viewed. Also, watch out for an extra card reader at the front of the machine or where you swipe your card. These card readers are called skimmers and can capture the information from your credit card if you swipe or insert it. In order to ensure safety, go to a bank and withdraw cash from the check-in section or get assistance from the bank employee.

 

(16) Carry your theft-proof bag

Pickpockets like to target people that clearly look and dress like tourists. One of the telltale signs that make a tourist a target is when they wear their backpack on their front. That lets pickpockets know that you are a tourist and you are unfamiliar with your current environment. In order to avoid this, you should get a theft-proof bag that has hidden anti-theft zips that enables you to wear your backpack on your back without worrying about being a victim of pickpocketing. The bags are also made of strong sturdy material that prevents slashing. Here is the link http://www.highspiritbags.com/shop

(17) Final Tip

Most people assume pickpockets are dodgy looking men, but a large number of pickpockets are actually young girls and boys — usually around 10-18 years old. Most tourists don’t suspect that a young child would steal from them, so they’re less defensive around them. Sometimes, pickpockets are well dressed and you’d never expect them to be thieves. So as you are enjoying your holiday, just try to stay vigilant and aware and you will be totally fine.

TOP 5 SAFETY TRAVEL APPS

Josh okungbaiye

Travelling to another part of the World is exciting. However, it is always important to stay safe and keep in mind your personal security while you are having fun. While you are travelling, situations may arise unexpectedly that may be out of your control and it doesn’t hurt to be prepared just in case. As we all know, summer is fast approaching and we know that a lot of you guys will be travelling this summer. To help you get prepared, we wanted to give you some useful tools to help you stay safe so we listed our top 5 safety travel apps to help you on your journey.  See below. Enjoy! :-)

(1)    ICE

While on vacation a medical situation may arise. They can be unexpected and it is best to be prepared as much as you can. The ICE app is a very useful tool if such situations arise. The app keeps details about your medical conditions, your insurance information and your doctor's direct contact details. It can also be accessed even if your phone is locked. Everyone should have this app all the time. The app also comes in a number of different languages.

travelling

(2)   Tripit

This app enables you to track your itinerary. You can also share your itinerary with your family and friends so they are also aware of your plans and be reassured of your safety. This is useful for just in case you forget or can’t pronounce the name of your destination. 

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(3)   iTranslate

This is a dictionary and translation app. It can easily translate texts in over 90 languages. It can also translate your voice phrases. Absolutely genius! Not being able to speak the local language can make you very vulnerable so this app is a powerful tool in empowering you as a tourist and gives you a lot more confidence in navigating the country that you are visiting. Also, if you are in a risky situation and cannot speak the local language the app will help a lot in assisting you in the situation.

(4)   Companion

This app acts like a guardian angel. The app lets your friends and family know that you are on your journey. All you have to do is enter your destination and select your contacts to be your Companions. They don’t even have to have the app installed.  These companions anywhere in the World will see a live map of your progress. It alerts your friends and family and lets them know if something happens to you so they can take action. It’s a great app that puts you at ease and also puts your friends and family at ease wherever you are in the World.

travel together

(5) Safeture

The app provides real-time status on warnings, alerts and security. The app automatically filters warnings and information to you based on your location or your travel destination. The Safeture app has for a number of years provided international businesses and Government organisations with travel security. The app also provides you with emergency information and updates quickly on events that may affect your travel plans and well-being.