Your bags are packed, your home is secured and the dog is taken care of. Now there’s only one thing standing between you and your perfect vacation – the flight. To make sure you enjoy your well-deserved rest and relaxation, it’s important not to overlook how to stay safe in the air.

Because we know how crucial a good vacation can be to your health and well-being, we’ve come up with five ways to make sure you land safe and sound at your destination.

1. Minimize Risk

Although the chance of a crash is highly unlikely, most flights go wrong during take-off or landing. By taking a direct flight you reduce your exposure to take-offs and landings, therefore minimizing your risk. In addition, pay attention to the weather and whenever possible try to fly in good weather. Avoiding icy conditions and other winter weather hazards can increase the odds of having a successful flight.

2. Fasten Your Seat Belt

Who hasn’t gotten tired of the seemingly incessant in-flight reminders to keep your seat belt fastened, even if the fasten seat belt light has gone off? It turns out there’s a good reason – most in-flight injuries, including bumps on the head, are due to unfastened seat belts. Imagine hitting a bit of turbulence and being bounced to the point of knocking your head on the overhead light. That wouldn’t happen if you were buckled in nice and tight.

3. Stow It, Already

Next to seat belt reminders, keeping your carry-on items properly stowed seems to be the flight attendants’ second-favorite thing to talk about. And once again, they have just cause to keep reiterating the importance of putting your stuff away. Combined with failure to secure your seat belt, falling objects (especially laptops) are the cause of a large number of in-flight accidents. You don’t want to hit the beach with a nasty bruise on your forehead, so play along and keep your items stowed properly when you’re not using them.

4. Check the Heels

The airport is no place for sky-high stilettos – and neither is an aircraft. To make sure you don’t miss out on surfing lessons due to a sprained ankle, stow the heels and opt for sturdy footwear as you run to catch your flight. Likewise, once on board it’s important to make sure that you’re not going to take a tumble squeezing your way down the aisle to the restroom. In addition to general safety on a normal flight, imagine how detrimental impractical heels would be in the case of an in-air emergency.

5. Just Relax

Another large contributor to in-flight injuries or medical emergencies like hyperventilation is anxiety. Regardless of how many reports tell us that air travel is safer than car travel, thousands of travelers still get panicky when it comes to taking off into the great blue yonder. Managing your anxiety both before the flight and during it can be the key to getting your vacation off to a great start. Some of the best things you can do to minimize stress include giving yourself plenty of time to make the plane, deep breathing or meditation, and trying to catch some sleep during the flight.

What other ways do you make sure you stay safe during air travel?

Written by Rebecca Edwards

Rebecca has honed her safety and security skills as both a single mom and a college director. Being responsible for the well-being of others helped her learn how to minimize risk and create safe environments. Learn more

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