Dreaded by everyone, long flights are truly of one of the most painful experiences in travel . But being inevitable for many (after all everyone is on one side of the world trying to get to the other) there can be various ways to overcome the idea of being stuck for 10 hours plus in the middle of the air simply doing nothing. Here are 7 of them:
#1 Write a song/poem/article: Some undistributed time alone can do a lot to imagination and creativity. An idea, something you feel strongly about, an interest you are passionate about, anything really; get some writing material and let those words flow. And who knows by the end of the flight you might have something to share with the world (this piece you are reading right now is living proof!)
#2 Watch 3 Oscar nominated movies in a row and make your own nominations: A friend of mine has this great habit every year right before the Oscars. She watches all movies nominated and makes up her own list of winners. And I always wonder where she gets the time to do it. Getting on a long flight can give you that kind of free time. So instead of watching a random set of movies you can spice it up a little, download a set of 2-3 movies on your laptop (or look for some on the in-flight entertainment) and start making your own list of nominees. Just don’t forget to compare your own list with the actual winners and see how close you are!
#3 Write up your recipes: This one is for the cooks out there (especially cooking mums). After some years of ongoing cooking, many people may know the recipes of their usual dishes by heart without writing them down somewhere. Using the spare time on board you can start writing up your own recipes book (you can go traditional and do it in a notebook or do it electronic on your tablet) and it may come in handy sharing it with friends, family or passing it on to your kids (wouldn’t it make such a unique wedding gift to someone special?)
#4 Bring some work along: I know I know, this one in particular is not much fun. But sometimes 10 hours or more of complete non- interruption (no phones/no distracting emails!) is way too valuable to miss especially if you’re working towards an important project or pressing deadline.
#5 Start learning a new language or technical skill: Get yourself introduced to basics of a new language or a new technical skill (e.g. a design software such Photoshop). You can find many self learning books to do that, get one or download one before your flight and start building some skill!
#6 Re-arrange your house virtually: “I need to do some de-cluttering” “We have a few things that need to be fixed” “This place can get some re-arrangement” How many times have you heard yourself say that? And how many times have you wished you had some time to just sit down and get these ideas put into action? A long flight can you get you going on that. Take each room/space in your house at a time and make detailed lists of what needs to be done, put a high level budget if needed and a deadline to get it done. And most importantly start implementing when you get off that flight!
#7 Sleep it off: This can be seen as the easiest most straightforward option but it’s a tricky one. An overnight flight would be perfect for that and also bringing along an inflatable pillow can help a lot. But if you are taking a morning flight you may have some difficulty (unless you skip sleeping the previous night) or if it’s a packed flight you may not get enough room for a good stretch. Just make sure you have a plan B in case sleeping does not turn out to be your best choice.