Flights that last 8, 10 or 15 hours are exhausting, and if you're not prepared for them boredom can creep up on you very easily. I don’t know about you but there is a limit to how many movies or tv shows I can watch back-to-back.
Also, laughing animatedly with my travel buddy or even diving deep into an engaging conversation with the passenger sandwiched next to me is not very appealing when everyone within a four-seat radius can hear what we’re saying. And, for most people, there are only so many book chapters that can be read in one sitting.
So what can you do to avoid pulling out your hair on those seemingly never-ending flights?
Try one of these suggestions:
1. Practice a new language
Research and practice key words and phrases in the language of the country you will be visiting. You can do it the old-fashioned way with a pocket dictionary and notepad. Or, you can learn the basics like “hello”, “where is the bathroom”, “how much does this cost”, and “I’d like to order [insert your favorite meals here] via an audio tutorial or with an app – if you have inflight Wi-Fi.
No idea which translation app to use? DuoLingo seems to be a popular option.
2. Fine-tune your itinerary
While it’s always good to leave room for spontaneity, I’ve found that some of my best vacations were the ones where I had a clear blueprint of what I wanted to see and do in the destination. Structured activity plans, with room for adjustment, are priceless gems.
Guidebooks, bookmarked blog posts, destination websites and TripAdvisor comments are good starting points. They’ll give you multiple ideas for ways to get the most out of your trip.
3. Complete a few puzzles or play a board game
Thankfully, we now have many types of puzzles and board games to choose from. There are sliding puzzles, word-search puzzles, anagrams, numerical puzzles and logic puzzles.
And my board game lovers, a quick search on Amazon will yield results showing more than 1 700 ways to playfully pass your time during a flight. Also, I just heard about the launch of a new math-based puzzle called Numbrcise that is laid out like a crossword but it doesn’t use words or phrases as clues. It’s 100% number driven. If you’re a math buff, their brain-teasers could keep you occupied for hours.
4. Organize your phone's photo gallery
Organize the photo gallery on your smartphone to get it ready for your sure-to-happen Instagram and Facebook trip snaps. Oh, and on the return flight I recommend editing and curating images for sharing with friends and family, or with your online community. My photo editing software of choice is Snapseed. It works for both iOS and Android phones.
5. Try airplane yoga
Until recently, I never even knew that such a thing as a Cat-cow pose at 30,000 feet existed. But apparently it does! There are several online articles about the subject and a variety of YouTube videos that show you what to do. For example stroll around. When the seat belt sign goes off, take a stroll around the cabin to shake and move your legs every few hours.
When all else fails, get some sleep!