Long flights pose a challenge for millions of travelers. Although not everyone experiences high-altitude anxiety, the majority can relate to inflight boredom, especially when counting down long, aimless hours to your anticipated destination. Growing up in Brazil and various foreign countries, I know a thing or two about preparing for extensive flights. Before mastering the art of surviving red-eyed trips, I always found myself impatiently staring at the clock on the TV screen or struggling to keep myself entertained despite endlessly binging on movies. While crowded aisles and barely-there seat cushions may not be the best vibe, lengthy airplane rides can actually be enjoyable and serve as an excellent opportunity to reflect, re-center and embark on activities you never had the chance to earlier.
Here are four insights, from an international student, on how to stay distracted & beat boredom on your next tedious airborne adventure.
Download Movies On Your Personal Device Beforehand.
Airlines typically offer a subpar selection of screenings, so downloading your fave movies and TV shows ahead of time on your phone, computer, or iPad can make your flight less dreadful. Plus, your headphones’ sound quality is almost guaranteed to be better than what’s provided on the plane. Take some time before flying to search for a new series or string of flicks that will get you excited. Imagine finally binging that show you’ve been dying to watch all year – that’s already a few hours down! Awesome and easy: just hit the “download” tab on streaming platforms and save all the episodes to watch later, no Wi-Fi necessary.
Go Through Years Of Photos & Videos.
Personally, this is my go-to distraction. I’ll open up my camera roll and scroll from beginning to end. These hours are the perfect opportunity to free up storage for upcoming vacation pics and TikTok videos by deleting unnecessary images. Looking back at old pics also lets you reminisce poignant memories and laugh at once-hilarious screenshots all over again. You might be swayed afterwards to check up on old friends and family members you haven’t really kept in touch with. This hack is honestly even more fun when flying with a loved one and reliving good times together.
Don’t Be Scared To Get Up & Move.
Planting yourself in a tiny seat for indefinite hours can be seriously draining, not to mention unhealthy. Every hour or so, I’ll walk through the aisle’s more spacious areas and stretch out. Moving your body to get that blood flowing is crucial during long flights, especially if you want to land feeling awake and re-energized. There’s no shame in walking up and down a few times or trying a couple squats if you’re feeling it. When some passengers are about to lose their minds, I’ve seen them walk lunges down the entire aisle! That’s a bit extra, but a simple stretch and quick walk will do. It’s vital to keep your body healthy and connected – and hey, it also kills time!
Just Relax & Take Time For Yourself.
Spending a few hours in a quiet space is rare these days, so take advantage of personal time while you can. We all live hectic lives with packed schedules and little time to reconnect with ourselves, so blast your favorite songs and just chill out. If music alone is not enough to stop your brain from running a million miles an hour, you can open your Notes app and create a “Flights” folder, where you’ll jot down any thoughts you have mid-air with zero judgment whatsoever – only you will ever read them! Reflect on your past few weeks or express your enthusiasm for something special coming up.
Remind yourself that flights are not nearly as bad as lots of people make them out to be. Use these sacred hours to relieve yourself and savor quality time with your travel companions.
words_beatriz sadala photo_frank vessia on unsplash