Taking a long flight can be a torture sometimes, especially if you are flying in economy seat. Spending long hours is both physically and mentally exhausting. So what can be done to improve this experience and make it easier next time you step aboard? Let’s look at some suggestions by experienced long flight travelers.
Surviving long flight: watch a movie!
Most obvious recommendation, of course, is to simply watch a movie on a flight entertainment screen. Most airlines nowadays have installed them and the choice is usually quite good. During my last long flight I watched Intern – great movie to kill time! On the way back from the US (after visiting Las Vegas) I really enjoyed Ocean’s Eleven (although I’ve seen it dozen times). If you like to watch shows, there is even more choice for you! The only problem I encountered was the person in front of me who obviously preferred to sleep during the flight and had his chair pulled down, bringing the screen too close.
Read a book
Regardless whether you are into paperback books or Ebook- having a good read with you can save your life! Reading can easily take up few hours, if not the whole flight (has to be a good book!). I recommend “Shantaram” by Gregory David Roberts. Great read, a story set in the underworld of contemporary Bombay. Shantaram is narrated by Lin, an escaped convict with a false passport who flees maximum security prison in Australia for the teeming streets of a city where he can disappear. It’s powerful, emotional story that will open up a new world and give you a great perspective of India.
Games on smartphone
You probably won’t have a chance to play Pokemon GO, but there are many other options. Depending on the battery capacity, playing a game on your smartphone can spare you an hour or so. I recommend some strategic games that will keep you excited – my personal favorite is Plants vs. Zombies. If gaming is your thing, you might need a power bank to maximize play time.
Write diary or blog
Years from now you won’t remember the trips you went on and how you felt. Write it down – as soon as you can! If writing is not so much you thing, consider getting a travel journal – it will give you tips and hints how to go on and what to put down in writing. If you have an active blog, make a few posts about your travels or at least put down some ideas for future posts. Long flight is a perfect opportunity to sit down, take your time and think. You probably won’t get such chance once you land.
Have a nap
Even though most people struggle to fall asleep on a plane, you should at least try. Sleeping is the easiest way to spend time on a long flight. Check on the neighbor behind you and pull your seat down as much as you can. Use the blanket and pillow, also the earplugs and eye mask. Try to get as comfortable as you can. Avoid alcohol – it will dehydrate you and actually prevent from falling asleep. Also bring some comfortable clothes – jersey, t-shirt, sport pants and warm socks.
Sort photos in your camera
Every time I come back from a holiday, I like to sort the photos I’ve taken right on the plane. So when I’m home, I’m immediately ready to show them to my family. Use the time of the flight to delete bad shots, modify and fine-tune the rest and download them to your laptop. If your flight offers WiFi, you might upload some pictures to social networks.
Although watching movies and napping makes the flight go by quickly, sitting for 10+ hours will eventually force you out of your seat. It’s essential to get up from time to time and move. Plane is not exactly a large area, but you may find a way to exercise. One of the best areas to stretch is near the toilets – usually there is at least 2x2m of free space. Do some sit-ups, bend you back and turn your upper body right ad left. There is also a tab with drinking water!
Have a meal
Meal is served 2-3 times during a long flight. Make sure to be ready – turn your movie off, close your book and stop anything you are doing at the time. Eating a meal is just another time consumer – so make sure to use it wisely. Eat slowly. Do not multitask. Think about last time you had a god meal and how you felt. You can compare it to airplane meal in you blog or diary.
Talk to a neighbor
I know this is not for everyone. I’m not a kind of person who would speak to a neighbor. But sometimes you can meet really cool people and chat with them for hours. So if you feel like the person sitting next to you is worth talking to, give it a shot. They might be just as bored as you are and appreciate the company.
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