Takes All Types
tactics for different personalities
Y J E N N I F E R K E A T S C U R T
you the sort of traveler who always arrives at the airport three hours
early and then stews because you can't board the plane until a half-hour
before departure? Or maybe you're the type who never bothers with reservations
because, hey, space will always be available-- and then you freak out when
you can't get the seat you want.
routine travel situations-- waiting for flights, sitting for hours in cramped
quarters, enduring delays and uncertainty-- can make travelers uptight,
whatever their temperament. In 15 years of stress-management work with
a clientele whose jobs demand constant travel, therapist Linda Frazee of
Positive Imagery in Scottsdale, Arizona, has identified four types of air
travelers and developed strategies to help them reduce their vulnerability
to travel-related stress
make specific "to do" lists and have an elaborate internal dialogue before
finalizing plans. Change makes you agitated or fearful, but you tend to
internalize those feelings.
of the Universe
to vent. Call someone you trust and let off steam, or write down your fears
and visualize Plan B so you won't be thrown out of whack when changes occur.
Ask a flight attendant to suggest options in case you miss your connecting
flight. Forget the cost and use the onboard phone to alter plans when necessary.
reading material or office work to distract you from feeling overwhelmed
by circumstances out of your control.
dealing with strangers makes you uneasy, fly first-class or take an aisle
seat so you won't feel trapped.
yourself already at your destination, relaxing in a comfortable place.
your main goal is to get where you want to go with no surprises, you are
similar to the Punctilious Passenger, but rather than internalizing anger,
you externalize it: when you lose control of a situation you become annoyed
or, at your worst, hostile. To reduce anger, expect the unexpected, and
look for ways to avert your frustration. Remember, when you choose to travel
by plane, you surrender control to people more experienced at flying than
in the Air
before leaving your house or office to see whether your flight has been
canceled or delayed.
prepared to make business calls from the airport.
deep-breathing exercises or other stress-management techniques-- like maintaining
a sense of humor.
flustered by changes and the need to make quick decisions (and not overly
fond of air travel in the first place).
the most reliable airlines and those with which you have had positive experiences.
essentials (toiletries, a change of clothes) in your carry-on. If your
luggage is delayed or lost, you can proceed the next day without major
upset. Pack light so you have less to worry about.
a list of the places you are staying, along with key phone, confirmation,
and emergency numbers.
your flight is delayed, try to recall similar situations that worked out
travel style is easygoing: you want to have a good time, meet interesting
people, and have adventures. However, because of your carefree attitude,
you may leave things behind, run late, or even miss a flight. Also, you
may annoy others by talking too much. Organize thyself.
© December, 1997, American Express Publishing. All rights reserved.
a list of travel necessities, and double-check it.
your ticket. Verify that the information matches your itinerary.
a daybook. Make a daily agenda that lists specific times and details of
for possible delays in getting to the airport.
that some people prefer silence to chitchat.
drink too much.