I love to travel. In case you didn’t know that already.
There is nothing more exciting, satisfying or stimulating than being in a new place that I can explore and experience. Now, although I do love arriving at the airport, grabbing a coffee and waiting in anticipation for my flight to an exotic land, I would gladly skip the 10-hour plane ride to get there if I could.
Now, listen carefully because I have a confession to make…
I am afraid of flying.
Yes. Me, Kristen Sarah, world traveller is afraid of flying.
Most people laugh at me when I tell them because I have spent a ridiculous amount of hours in the air. It’s weird because I remember being afraid of flying before I actually went on a plane and then slowly got really excited by it the more flights I took. Yet, over the past couple of years, I have been afraid, yet again, during every flight I take. Oh, and if there is turbulence, you can forget it…I will cry on your shoulder whether I know you or not.
Until teleportation becomes available to all at a reasonable price, I will continue to fly because flying allows me to see the world. So, how do I distract myself during a long ass flight? With these 15 activities:
15. Dance in the Aisles
It’s important to get up and move around during a long flight. This gets your circulation flowing and prevents blood clots from forming. While you could just walk up and down the aisles a couple of times, dancing is much more fun. It will also make your fellow passengers smile. So, bust out your best moves every couple of hours.
14. Watch Movies
As long as I have my own personal television screen mounted to the back of the seat in front of me, I’m a happy gal. Flights over the 5-hour mark tend to have these personal entertainment systems where you can choose from a variety of movies rather than be forced to enjoy the movie chosen by the airline. Thank goodness airlines frequently update the new releases section because this is actually the time when I catch up on all of the movies everyone has been talking about. Whatever mood you may be feeling, there will be a movie or two to fulfill you. You can also watch an episode or two of some of the best television shows.
WARNING: If you choose to watch 50 Shades of Grey, be prepared for several “looks” from other passengers.
If you have work to do, this is the time to get it done. I usually get a lot of my video editing done during a flight. I also am able to write well during a flight so I try and get at least one blog post finished before I land. There’s something extremely satisfying about landing in a new place and having caught up on all of my work. It means that I don’t have to worry about falling behind and can go out and explore right away.
It’s very difficult for me to not board a plane with a big delicious chocolate bar. However, I have been changing my diet over the past little while and now bring my own snacks from home to keep my tastebuds happy while up in the air. Lately, I’ve been digging Sahale Snacks. The company sent me a box of their snacks to try out, and I can’t stop eating them. Not only are they delicious and healthy (non GMO, gluten-free, dry roasted, steam pasteurized, ulsulfured, no artificial colours or flavours, no preservatives and kosher) but the company only purchases fair trade, sustainable ingredients from around the world. Sahale Snacks also supports local charities around the world from where they source their ingredients.
11. Listen to Music
All of the in-flight entertainment systems I’ve used have included a music playlist. They usually offer quite a selection of different genres of music and artists. Whatever mood you are in, there should be some music to get you grooving in your seat. You can of course always bring your own along with a pair of headphones. If you do forget headphones, the airlines offer them almost always free of charge for long flights.
If you want to catch up on some reading, even if that is diving into the recent gossip magazine, this is the best time to do it! Even if I haven’t read in weeks, I end up diving into a book every flight. I especially love reading books about the places I’m travelling to. It gets me excited for the story I am about to write myself.
9. Go Online
If you’re lucky, your flight may over in-flight WiFi. I’ve even been on a couple of flights where the WiFi was free of charge. Most of the time, it does cost to go online. The fee ranges anywhere from $5-$15 USD depending on how long you’d like to use it for. If you fly often, you can also purchase an unlimited package which is good for every flight that uses the same internet provider.
8. Make New Friends
You may not know the person you’re sitting next to at the beginning of your flight, but you could be the best of buddies by the time you land. Chances are the person beside you is in a good mood. At least I would hope so if you’re flying to somewhere awesome. Why not introduce yourself and strike up a conversation. Some questions to break the ice may be:
- You smell great. Did you freshen up in Duty Free?
- Would you like a piece of gum? Not because your breath stinks but because I care about the wellbeing of your ears.
- Do you mind if I hold your hand during take off. Flying scares me.
If you have a window seat, watch the passing clouds and daydream about all of life’s endless possibilities. Since there are so many of them, that should keep you occupied for quite some time.
Nothing passes the time quicker than a good, long nap! I would highly recommend taking into consideration what time of day it will be when you arrive at your destination when deciding to sleep during your flight. If you arrive at your destination and it’s night time there, then it will take you much longer to reset your internal clock for your trip. If you are arriving in your destination and it will be morning, then sleeping as much as you can on your flight is a great idea.
Why not start journalling about your trip right from departure. Write about whatever interests you. Perhaps you want to express your excitement of the trip ahead or your reasons for taking the trip in the first place. Your journal is your blank canvas where you can spill all your guts if you wish.
4. Play Games
Games are always fun and another great way to pass the time. Download a couple of games onto your phone or tablet before your flight or bringing a good ol’ pair of playing card. If your travelling solo, challenge your seat buddy to a game of go fish. Most likely they will bite.
3. Join the Mile High Club
I dare you.
If you think colouring books are only for kids, think again. There are these really cool new colouring books for adults that look like a lot of fun. Bring a colouring book with you and try and stay within the lines. It’s harder than it looks.
1. Play Flip Cup
Theres no better way to make friends with your row buddies then to play a fine game of Flip Cup. I must admit that I have no tried this yet, but 10 bonus points to those of you who have or do. Seriously, if you have, you are my new best friend.
How do you stay occupied during a long flight?
Discloser: I’m sharing #beyondordinary in my life as part of a Sahale Snacks® sponsored series for Socialstars™ As always, all content and opinions are my own.
Kristen Sarah is a full-time traveller, tiny home owner and adventure junkie. She has one of the leading YouTube travel channels and is the head honcha of award-winning travel and lifestyle website, Hopscotch the Globe.