Are you flying across another continent and not sure what to do inside the aircraft? We all experience long flights, especially if we are flying to distant destinations from your homeland. Why not bring your favorite gadget, unread books on your shelves, or maybe a set of postcards or an old notebook where you can draft your future blog post or diary notes?
If you are wealthy or lucky enough to be holding a business or first-class ticket, the flight itself will be a luxurious and comfortable affair, with large seats, great meals, and fine wines. It will be an hour-long of seating for the rest of us, but there are so many things to do to entertain yourself.
Many people think that buying a low-cost airfare will give you an unpleasant flight. The truth is, no matter what type of airline you get, it will always depend on how you are spending your time inside the aircraft.
Yes! It’s entirely possible to make your coach trip bearable and even enjoyable. Just be sure to pack one or more of these items into your carry-on luggage before you leave for the airport.
1) Books and/or magazines
If you’re an avid reader, a plane flight is a perfect excuse to ignore everything else and read for hours on end without anyone bothering you, aside from the odd stewardess offering you a hot towel or a drink. The compartment in the seat in front of you will almost certainly contain a couple of magazines, usually a general-interest one specific to the airline and a Skymall.
Unless you’re really interested in the number of routes, KLM runs from Amsterdam to Asia, or you plan to buy a King Tut lawn ornament and an electronic wine bottle opener. Simultaneously, in the sky, these two magazines will offer you about fifteen minutes of distraction put together.
Bringing your own magazines or books will guarantee that you spend at least a part of your flight focused on your reading material rather than the sardine tin-like conditions in coach. If you’ve just started a long enough novel, finishing it can occupy your entire trip.
And if you get to the airport and realize that you don’t have any books with you, don’t worry. Most airports contain newsstands and even miniature bookstores, so you can stock up on reading material before you reach your gate.
2) An MP3 player
People who carry their iPods everywhere they go won’t even have to think about taking this step, but if you’re not that kind of person, be sure to bring your MP3 player and other travel gadgets onto your flight. Putting on relaxing music can help manage your stress level while in the air, especially if you tend to get nervous while flying through turbulent patches of the sky. And remember to fully charge your player before leaving the house. There’s nothing more frustrating than boarding your flight and taking off, only to realize that your iPod’s battery bar has just a sliver of power remaining.
3) A laptop or DVD player
For years now, larger passenger jets have been built with individual TVs built into each headrest’s back. As a result, many international flights now offer your choice of various films, TV series, and documentaries to be played six inches away from your face. While the selection is wide, it might not satisfy everybody, and the inconvenience of watching a two-hour-long film on a tiny, badly-lit screen at a neck-straining angle can’t be overstated.
If you’ve got a laptop or a personal DVD player, it might be a better choice to bring it with you on your flight, so that you can enjoy the shows and films you want to watch at a more comfortable angle.
And if you’re a gamer, playing a game on your laptop or on a portable gaming system is a great way to pass long hours in the sky. The immersion that a laptop or DVD player provides will also help to drown out the five screaming babies sitting in the rows in front and back of you.
The plane is also a great place to get some work done if you’re so inclined. Working on your laptop can act as an excellent distraction, and if you’re on a business trip, it might free up some time for you to rest after you’ve landed and settled into your accommodations.
4) A pack of cards
This one only really works if you’re traveling with someone else, but card games can make for a great distraction on long flights. Sometimes sold in airport shops, a simple pack of cards can wile away a few hours for both you and your traveling companion. Any other kind of game will work just as well, as long as it can easily fit on or between the tray tables and your seats.
5) Eyeshades and earplugs
When all else fails, the best option is to try getting some sleep. However, as many of us know, sleeping on an airplane can be difficult. Bringing eyeshades and earplugs to block out the sights and sounds of the plane may help you get relaxed.
Airlines will often offer eyeshades and earplugs to passengers for this purpose, but it’s best to be safe and bring some of your own, just in case they aren’t available.
A long trip in coach with nothing to do can be a painful, boring, and tedious experience, but if you heed these tips, your next voyage might just fly right by.