If you’re anything like my husband, being entertained on flights is an absolute MUST. I’m constantly reminding him to buy books and magazines and to pack all his charging cords for the iPad and phone because he doesn’t like to sit for long stretches doing nothing. And who does really? This got me thinking that maybe I could help map out an entertainment strategy for your next flight so it will pass by in a whirl of enjoyment instead of crushing boredom.
The first thing we all need to do is to stop looking at sitting on a flight as a necessary evil. Yes – we have to do it to get to our destination, BUT how often in your day-to-day life do you have uninterrupted hours to read magazines, or visit with a friend without feeling like you should be doing something else, or watch a guilty pleasure movie without someone jockeying for position with the remote? This is a gift my friends, and I have a few suggestions to help you make the most of it.
- Get yourself a great pair of headphones. One great way to take advantage of your enforced free time is catching up on the movies or tv shows you’ve missed. Of course, you all know you have to have a pair of headphones to do that. I used to grab any old pair I could find at the house to take with me. Then one day I sat next to this fellow who pulled out this very small, flat case from his backpack and extracted a full-sized pair of Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones. He was so kind and let me try them out for a few minutes. They were amazingly comfortable, and the sound of course was fabulous (they are Bose after all), but the best part is it drowns out the engine noise from the airplane. (FYI – that engine noise is one of the main reasons you feel exhausted when you get off an airplane.) Sure, they cost more than regular headphones, but I absolutely will NOT fly without them now. Not a Bose fan? No worries. Just find a noise cancelling pair you like on Amazon and put them in your travel bag. Definitely worth the splurge.
- Enjoy your screen time. Now that you have a great pair of headphones, you can binge watch to your hearts content. These days you can use the screen built in to the back of the seat in front of you, your iPad, your computer or your phone to take in all the multi-media options in flight. If you plan to watch the built-in screen, my recommendation is to bring a back-up option. I can’t tell you how many flights I’ve been on where the airplane screen wasn’t working properly. These days you can access in-flight entertainment through your own device by connecting to the WIFI onboard for FREE. However, if you really want to be sure you can watch your favorite shows to pass the time, download them to your phone or hard drive before you leave, and there’ll be nothing to stop you this time (Darth Vader is breathing heavily somewhere)!
- Maybe screen time isn’t your thing. If you’re an avid reader, maybe movies aren’t your first entertainment choice. I LOVE to read and there’s something simply delicious about sinking into a fantastic book knowing you have hours to read it without interruption. No chores, no phones no emails – nothing to attend to. Just you and the literary masterpiece (or paperback trash), winging off into the wild blue yonder on your way to a new adventure. If you use an e-reader like Kindle, be sure to stock up on a few titles at home in case you finish your current book in flight, because you won’t be able to download new ones through the WIFI onboard without paying for the privilege.
- Cut down on the recycling at home. So how many of you have magazine subscriptions that you can never make yourself cancel? You know – People or Archeology Digest or Men’s Fitness or Southern Living that you never actually have time to read, but you’re sure that someday you’ll get around to catching up on? Well, your next flight is the time and place to make it happen. Stuff your carry on with all your back issues and peruse to your heart’s content. The best part is that when you’re finished, you can just leave them neatly in the seat pocket in front of you and help out the next unprepared traveler who would have been stuck reading the SkyMall magazine repeatedly. A fate worse than boredom for sure.
- Wait a minute… TALK?? It’s a lost art these days, there’s no doubt about it. Talking is just not cool anymore – EXCEPT when you’re on an airplane. What else do you have to do – right? I’ve had some of the most interesting conversations of my life with the person sitting next to me. (I’m positive they thought it was very interesting too – even after they moved to another seat. HA!) In all seriousness, it’s a time to slow down and enjoy communicating with your fellow man. You never know, it just might change your life. Now wouldn’t that be entertaining!