If you’re ever lucky enough to find yourself traveling halfway round the world to some exotic location for what will hopefully be the vacation of a lifetime, then you need to realize that the flight is the calm before the storm. It’s not easy to be confined to your home for a solid half day, and it’s even harder to be confined to a small seat next to strangers for that amount of time. Here are seven ways to kick back and pass time without counting the seconds.
True, not everyone likes to read, but given the situation, this would be as good a time as any to start. I recommend taking a magazine and a book. Light and heavy reading will help to break up the monotony without totally burning you out on print. Mystery novels are my favorites because they tend to have short chapters that always end in cliff hangers to keep those pages turning, and more importantly, to keep your attention.
6. Play Angry Birds
If you have an iPhone, I’ll bet you play Angry Birds. It’s easily the most addictive game app out there, and with the bazillion or so levels, it will burn plenty of those seemingly endless airline hours. Want to turn it up to eleven? Download the holiday edition and search for the golden eggs. Here’s the best part, it’s only $1. Good luck finding a cheaper time waster.
5. Make Friends
I know what you’re thinking, and hear me out. It won’t be that bad. We’ve all heard standup comedians make fun of “that guy” on the plane that just won’t shut up, but I’m not suggesting that you turn into that freak. All I’m saying is that as long as you’re stuck next to these people you could always burn a few of those minutes talking about travels or family, and who knows, maybe that person will turn out to be cool and you can add one more to potential hangout crew at your final destination. Just saying…
4. Take Advantage of the Complimentary Drink Menu
This is the one on my list that is great for you, but potentially terrible for everyone else in your area. On long flights like this everything is usually complementary and there’s no reason you shouldn’t take at least some advantage of this. The drinks available are plenty, so just take your pick and enjoy!
3. Listen to Music
Eleven hours is a long time to fill with music, but if you set yourself up with the right playlist, it could be a good opportunity to do some relaxing before the craziness begins after landing. Pick something that will let you fall asleep just enough to get to that weird half-awake, half-asleep limbo place, and the sand will practically evaporate out of the hour glass. Jack Johnson or Feist does the job for me, but I’m sure you’ll find something.
2. Watch Movies
You can’t go wrong here. Bring along some DVD’s or load your iPhone up with some movies you haven’t been able to find time to watch, and kiss a good four to six hour chunk of time goodbye. The great thing about long flights like this is most airlines build screens into the seatback in front of you with hours of T.V. and movies for your viewing pleasure. The best part is that most of their selection is so new that it’s still on at the theaters. BONUS!!!
1. Tylenol PM
This is by far my top choice on this list. I realize that some folks don’t like to take Tylenol and that you’re also not supposed to take this just to sleep, but it just works so well. When I take a flight like this I pop two as soon as I fasten my seatbelt and before I know it I’m out for six to eight hours. It’s like pressing the fast forward button on life, which normally I would be against, but when you have a long flight and you need your rest for the upcoming vacation, or business trip, rest while you have the chance!
Choosing only one of these options wouldn’t be enough for most people so feel free to mix and match to your heart’s content. What would you add that I’ve left off?
Top Photo Credit: TommyOshima