Being on a long-haul flight usually means we’re heading off on a great vacation to somewhere exotic, or sadly coming home from one. If it’s the former, there’s all the excitement and anticipation of the holiday itself to enjoy – those new places and new adventures. If it’s the latter, there are the memories of the time away to keep you happy. However, on a flight, it’s not long before you start to get bored and restless. On a long-haul flight it’s even more depressing as you still have many hours of travelling left ahead. Here are some great ways to keep occupied on a long-haul flight.
I actually like long-haul flights as it’s a window of time where nobody can get to you and where no matter what is happening on the ground, you are powerless to do anything about it. I actually find it quite liberating. I have two long-haul flights planned this year – a sunny summer break at an Ocean Florida villa, just chilling in the sun; then an exiting festive trip to Los Angeles in December. Here’s how I occupy myself when travelling long-haul.
Take A Walk
As strange as it may seem, taking a walk up and down the aisles when you’re flying can really help shake off the boredom. You can chat to other passengers (although don’t wake anyone up if they’re asleep!) and find out where they’re going when they land and what they’re hoping to do. You can talk to the cabin crew too if they’re not busy, and that’s always interesting because they have travelled to many different places. People often think you need to stay seated, but it’s good for your health to keep your legs moving when flying for a long time. Even if you don’t end up speaking to anyone, moving around is still important. It ensures that your circulation flows well and prevents blood clots from forming (a real risk on long-haul flights).
Watch A Movie
Many long-haul flights will use aeroplanes with screens mounted on the backs of the chair in front – gone are the days when there was a large screen at the front of the plane that was hard to see and that you couldn’t ignore if you just wanted to sleep! These screens will have several different channel options from TV to movies to radio, and you can while away the hours using them for your own personal entertainment. If you’re on a 10-hour flight, you could watch three or four movies, depending on how long they are. For some people, that’s ideal, and they will happily plug in their earphones and enjoy their ‘cinematic’ experience. This is the ideal time to catch up on all the most recent movies as these are the ones that tend to be showing, although you might be able to find some older ones too; it will depend on the airline and the availability of the films.
Listen To Music
You can choose to listen to your own pre-made playlists on your smartphone, or use the radio in the plane itself to listen to music. Sit back, close your eyes, and let the music relax you. Before you know it, you’ll be landing. Music really does make the time fly by. Alternatively, you can listen to music while moving around the plane or doing puzzles and so on – it’s good to have some soothing sounds in your ears no matter what you’re doing. The same applies for podcasts or audiobooks too.
Reading a book or a magazine or switching on your e-reader is another excellent way to spend your time when you’re travelling a long distance on a plane. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an avid reader and try to turn a few pages every day, or you’ve been so busy you haven’t read anything for months. There is something genuinely comforting about sitting in peace and reading, but the key is to pick a book or other reading material that you’re going to be able to stick with for the long haul (literally). One great tip is to find books about the place you’re travelling to so that you have an idea of what to expect when you get there, or to learn more about the history and culture of your destination.
Many of us don’t get enough sleep in our everyday working lives – there’s too much to do and too much on our minds. So when you’re on a long flight and there isn’t much you need to worry about anymore – you’re going on vacation, after all – you can catch up on some of that lost sleep. It really doesn’t matter what time of the day or night it is; having a sleep on a plane is the best way to arrive at your destination feeling more awake and refreshed.
Writing is a great way to pass the time as before you know it, an hour will have gone by as you’ve been putting your thoughts down on paper. You can start a travel journal, perhaps, detailing your experiences leading up to your flight (and then continue this throughout your vacation). Or, you could write a short story, or maybe even the start of a novel. Write poetry. Write a letter. Write anything at all and time will fly by.
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