Flying to another continent is one of the most painfully uncomfortable experiences in life. Aside from the bad food and the lack of legroom, you have to contend with nothing to do with 8-12 hours. So how can you entertain yourself on long flights? Here are some ideas.
Read a book
It always takes the sting out of the length of a flight if you’re doing something that you can naturally spend hours on anyway. Reading can be just the thing. So load up something new or one of your favorites into your e-reader (or phone) or pick up a book at the airport. You can even hunt down a free book exchange and get a new book on your trip.
Listen to a podcast
If you’re not a fan of squinting to read under a horrible plane reading lights, you can listen to your stories instead. From murder, politics, to travel, there’s pretty much a podcast for everything. If you’re lucky, someone’s best radio voice will help lull you to sleep.
If you’re landing somewhere early in the day,the most logical thing
to do is sleep on your flight. I wouldn’t know. This hasnever worked for me. If you have trouble, you can help yourself along with asleeping pill or melatonin, or like 4 glasses of wine during the dinner service.
Watch the in-flight entertainment
If you’re lucky, the airline offers a lot of TV and movie choices to keep you entertained during your flight. You can usually look this up online ahead of time directly on the airline’s website. There’s always at least one or two good movies or old episodes of The Office for you to enjoy. If all else fails, you can watch your neighbor’s movie, which is somehow always better than yours.
Flying can be a great time to write, if you’re into that kind of thing. A travel diary can be a fun way to chronicle your experience, including the anticipation of getting somewhere or the feeling you get when you leave a place to go back home. But don’t stop there. Write postcards, write books, write a screenplay about an airplane-crashing-on-an-island-type show.
Sudoku is not just for unnecessary conference calls; it’s also a great way to get through a long-haul flight. Sometimes the plane has games like Solitaire or Tetris. Otherwise you may have to bring some on your phone or in a book of puzzles. May your Temple Run be just as long as your flight feels.
Bring a crafty hobby on-board
If you do anything that requires minimal material and can easily travel, then bringing that on your flight can help you pass the time. This could include origami, cross-stitching, knitting. Yes, you are allowed to bring knitting needles in your carry-on, but it’s preferable if they’re wood instead of metal. If you don’t know how to do anything crafty in particular, bring a coloring book.
If you do anything for money that can be done remotely and without internet access, bring it on the flight with you. Getting paid to edit a document or write something can be an awesome way to entertain yourself on a long flight. It’s like getting paid to fly.
Listen to music
Flying is one of the only times where most people get a chance to just listen to music as opposed to combining it with other activities like driving and cleaning. Make a trip playlist and sit back with it. Airlines usually also offer some limited selection of music choices if you didn’t bring any of your own.
Make friends with other passengers
Just kidding. Everyone around you is trying to get some rest and you have morning breath. Don’t be that guy.