As I’ve alluded to in the past, after years of traveling I’ve become one of those creepy people who actually enjoys spending time in airports and on flights. I enjoy people watching enough to be entertained in airports and I’m just small enough to get comfortable on the flight, so I kind of have it made. In this transition from normal human to comfortable airport wanderer the thing that’s been the hardest to adjust to is spending a whole day without the ability to communicate with the outside world (no phone, no wifi, no life). In honor of everyone who has ever taken a 14 hour flight on a non-wifi-enabled plane, here are some ways to keep entertained in airplane mode:
Read a book, or two or three. Books are pretty cool and it’s extraordinarily satisfying to finish a whole book over the course of a flight. If you’re not confident in your speed reading abilities, I suggest starting with an epic page-turner or saving the newest book in a beloved series (true story: Indelible CoFounder Sandra Alves read the entire 7th Harry Potter book on her way back from studying abroad in Seville).
Read 18 magazines. A 12-hour flight is the perfect excuse to read every single American magazine you won’t have access to abroad. Added bonus: there’s no judgment on airplanes so go ahead and throw a Men’s Health, Cosmo, or US Weekly in with your Economists and National Geographics without any fear of ridicule.
Knit a scarf. Knitting can be cool sometimes, if you’re into it.
Eat. My general rule is to avoid plane food like the plague (unless I’m in Asia, and then, it’s really not so bad). But avoiding plane food doesn’t mean I fast on flights. I rarely take a long flight without a goody bag and I never get on a flight of any length without a bar of chocolate. Remember, there’s no judgment on flights!
Write letters. People love letters! Use your flight to power through a bunch of handwritten post cards and letters to your family.
Sleep. If your study abroad experience is anything like mine were, you won’t be getting much sleep for the next month or so. Sleep as much as you can on the flight to store up some reserves.
Make a plane friend. To be completely honest, I hate plane friends (just one of the many things me and that dude from Fight Club have in common) but not everyone does. If you end up with someone interesting or cute near you and you’re in the mood to make new friends, I say go for it! Although, if you ever find yourself sitting next to me on a flight, prepare to be shunned.
Watch embarrassing TV shows and movies. Remember, there’s no judgment on a plane. You’re allowed to read whatever trashy magazine you want, and maybe even more excitingly, you can watch whatever ridiculous excuse for entertainment you want. Things I’ve watched on airplanes include: The Jersey Shore, Martha Stewart Live, Hitch…I could keep going.