5 WAYS TO ENTERTAIN YOURSELF ON A LONG FLIGHT
Tips for when you suddenly realize you’re trapped in that seat.
Once you’ve found your seat, stowed your carry-on in the overhead compartment and settled in, there comes the sudden realization that you’re trapped in that seat (apart from restroom breaks) for the next nine to twelve
hours. Long haul flights are never easy, particularly if you’re in economy, and not in your own personal first class pod with massage functions and a champagne on demand button (allegedly).
So for the rest of us…how do you avoid cabin fever, and keep yourself entertained over those long, often dull hours?
1 – Be an efficient business machine
Take the opportunity to clean up your smart phone: delete unused apps, organize them into folders, along with your photos, and delete junk contacts.
You can also respond and write emails while on airplane mode, using the Gmail offline function which will send your emails the moment there’s Wi-Fi connectivity
Still nine-hours-and-thirty-seven minutes left to go…
2 – Binge Watch an entire season of a TV series
We’re currently living in a renaissance period of small screen entertainment. While Hollywood films are dominated by super hero tent-pole films that they can duplicated endlessly, Netflix, HBO, Showtime, and Amazon are producing intelligent entertainment with high level of production value and an almost slow burn of character development. These shows are limited series meaning there’s anywhere from 6 to 13 episodes in a season; so you can easily get through an entire season on a long haul flight. Please see below a few binge worthy options, but don’t be afraid to branch out and try something different. With the amount of shows produced and platforms to put them on: hidden gems are everywhere.
So whether you’re taking advantage of your inflight entertainment screen or have downloaded an entire season onto your iPad, binge watching a new TV program is a great way to pass the time.
3 – Exercise your mind
Okay so someone has already butchered the crossword in the inflight magazine, but that’s fine, because you’ve planned ahead. Whether it’s a book of sudoku puzzles, word searches or crosswords —engaging your mind is a great way to pass the time, and keep your synapses firing on all cylinders. Reading may sound a little obvious, but why not take the time to delve into something you’ve been meaning to read for a long time. With a little prior planning you can have a great book to read, and do it cheaply. Amazon has hundreds of free books to download to your Kindle. Don’t have a Kindle? No worries, just download the Kindle app to your tablet or smartphone. Or how about a trip to your community library, rumor has it there’s a lot of free books to borrow there.
If you really want to zone out —get someone to read the book to you. And no not the nice lady in seat E —but rather via audio book. There’s a plethora of audio books available to download; so why not have Sir John Guielgud read the ‘Importance of Being Earnest’ to you. There’s also destination guidebooks to read up on, and find the cool local spots that are off the beaten track.
4 – Phone Games
Yes, it’s candy for your mind, and you haven’t actually played any sort of video game since Ms. Pacman in your sophomore year of college; but a long haul flight is a great opportunity to give one a try. There’s a multitude to choose from and who knows, today’s game is tomorrow’s movie —hello ‘Angry Birds’.
5 – Napping
“When you can’t figure out what to do, it’s time for a nap.”
– Mason Cooley
Okay, it’s not really entertainment, but no one wants to arrive bleary eyed, looking like a limp noodle, so why fight it: It’s an adult’s guilty pleasure and reward all rolled into one. Unlike those pesky toddlers who fight these things like a trapped tiger, napping is the perfect way to recharge and pass the time on a long flight.
Some things to consider long before your inflight nap:
- Choose your seat wisely, pre-book, check at the gate or use your travel miles to upgrade or pick seats near the emergency exit or bulkhead, which frequently have more leg room.
- Inform your flight attendant that you don’t want to be disturbed; nothing cuts into your sleep vibe worse than being awakened with an offer of stale peanuts.
- Wear comfortable clothing. A long haul flight is not the place to go ‘Back to the Future’ with your tight disco pants. Loosen your shoes or wear slip ons, but keep your socks on. Most, if not all flight attendants cringe at the barefoot traveller —because they’ve seen what hits the floor!
- Avoid alcohol the night before a long haul flight, and avoid coffee and caffeinated beverages for several hours before your flight —if you are wanting some serious zzzz’s.
- Noise canceling headphones , a sleep mask and neck pillow can help you obtain the necessary Zen stillness for a good solid nap, and is worthy of purchase beforehand.
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