What to Do on a Long Plane Trip
By Editorial Staff
Contributed by Info Guru Aurora LaJambre
Flying in an airplane sounds so adventurous in books.
In movies, characters look well rested and glamorous in their unrealistically spacious dream planes. In the real world, that metal tube bouncing through the grey sky gets smaller by the minute and there are oh so many minutes. You’re not the only one suffering, struggling to sleep, but the plane can only move so fast.
These top ten things to do on a long flight will preoccupy your thoughts and help ease your discomfort so you can enjoy your travels.
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You don’t have to be an artist to find fun things to do on a long flight. Bring pencils and a sketch pad and draw your fellow passengers, or some of the places you hope to visit. When that gets old, sketch images that come to mind as you listen to your music. If you’re flying with children, pass the doodles over for them to color in.
Boring plane rides are not the place to catch up on a classic work of literature. It’s hard enough to be physically uncomfortable for an extended period, why make your brain do back flips? Instead, tickle it with something light and funny. David Sedaris’ personal essays will have you laughing out loud, as will Jenny Lawson’s “Let’s Pretend this Never Happened.” Rent a free book or stop by the airport books shop before boarding.
8. Take a Walk
No chance of getting lost in the aisle, but strolling to the back of the plane every hour will keep your blood flowing. Put this on you checklist of things to do on a long flight. Walking around prevents blood clots, according to the World Health Organization. Slip on some comfy shoes and explore hourly.
7. Puzzle it out
Maybe you never thought you’d be one of those people who stare at a Sudoku puzzle so intensely, but at least you won’t be bored. Brain teasers and other puzzles are entertaining and exercise the brain so it’s a little less stir crazy.
It’s not always easy to tell if your seat neighbor wants to talk, but it doesn’t hurt to try. Strike up a conversation with a stranger, and you never know what’ll happen. Ask if she’s ever been to your destination before. You may be able to get some tips on where to eat or things to see.
Once you’re past security, fill a foldable water bottle before boarding the plane. Drink regularly throughout the flight to avoid dehydration and avoid alcohol. Along with the water, drink Gatorade or another drink with electrolytes to help fend off sickness and prevent blood clotting.
4. Listen to Something Educational
Your knees are pressed against the seat in front of you and your neighbor has taken over the arm rest. Close your eyes and let your mind engage in something intellectual – no matter how squished your body feels. Audio courses can be an otherwise bored, distracted traveler’s best friend. Load up your MP3 player or tablet with fascinating learning materials. The Great Courses will point you to the right audio class for you.
It’s no secret that airplane food is underwhelming, but not many people know they can bring their own tasty snacks (no liquids like dipping sauces though). Why make hours in the air worse with a growling tummy? Bring a container of granola (minus the peanuts in case anyone on the plane has a severe allergy), cheese and crackers and easy-to-eat fruit like grapes and bananas.
Assume there will be a crying child aboard and plan to sleep as soon after takeoff as possible, when the child is at his noisiest. Drink a cup of chamomile tea and put on your sleep mask when you’re still at the gate. This is a natural way to ease any anxiety you have about flying, and it relaxes the muscles to help you sleep. A pretty sleep mask lets the flight attendants, and your chatty seatmate, know that you don’t wish to be disturbed.
1. Listen to Music
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Seriously, there’s no better way to block out everything around you than putting on headphones, closing your eyes and letting you favorite music take you where it may. Look for the kind that closes over your ears instead of resting inside of them to block out the maximum amount of noise around you. Make a few playlists, including good sleeping music (in case of crying baby) and familiar mood-lifting favorites.
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