If you are frequently bitten by the travel bug, then you are also probably well-acquainted with the pest that is a long flight. Some people have no issue sitting still for hours on end on voyages that can sometimes take literal days. But most people risk dying of boredom long before they touch the ground. There are plenty of ways to help entertain yourself on long flights, however, as well as some rather unique and interesting ideas coming in the near future. Let’s take a closer look at some of them.
Have a snooze
It’s one of the oldest ways of passing the time and has become tried and tested travel tip that many will use in a heartbeat as soon as they get on the plane. However, for some, getting some sleep on an airplane is easier said than done. If you feel uncomfortable in planes or you simply have trouble shutting off the outside world, there are some helpful tools to ease your journey into dreamland. A travel pillow is a necessity, providing support for your neck, somewhere to rest your head, and a wrap-around pillow that stops you waking up with a real ache. Consider using noise cancelling earbuds and a relaxation app to create a more peaceful soundscape than the distractions of the plane, too. Finally, don’t forget the sleep mask to help you slip into a darker, deeper sleep.
Prepare for that trip
You’re only on the plane because you have a trip you want to enjoy, so why not take the time to ensure that you actually it? Some of the best travel apps have lots of tools for creating the perfect itinerary. They allow you to create a schedule, find out how long it takes to travel from one stop to the next, and can even help you fill in any spare hours by recommending local sights, restaurants, and stops. That way, the flight is going to be far from boring, it’s going to get more exciting the more you find out and the closer you get to your destination.
Your air mileage may vary with this one. Depending on who you’re sitting next to, conversation may be unwanted or like drawing blood from a stone. But the truth is that the people you’re flying with are likely to be just as bored as you. If you want to start a conversation, then finding an ice-breaker is easier than usual because the two of you share a lot in common. Start with something simple about the flight, the in-flight entertainment, or the destination you’re heading to. If they’re not receptive, then call it off and let them get through the flight in peace. It’s worth taking the chance of making some interesting company to make the trip at least feel a lot shorter, however.
Slip into another world
Now, we’re going to look at some of the weirder options that might not be widely available just yet, but are being developed for private and luxury flights. Virtual reality and aviation have a long history together, with some of the first applications of VR being used to train pilots in simulations. Now, however, there are signs that more airlines and private charters are starting to integrate VR as a way of entertaining guests on the plane. Want to relax on a beach that you’re still hundreds of miles away from? Go on an adventure in exotic and dangerous locales? You may be able to do just that relatively soon. VR isn’t just on the horizon, after all, there are plenty of working devices. We just have to wait for them to start popping up on planes.
Battle the other travelers
We’re not suggesting you start a brawl down the aisles. But in-flight entertainment is getting all the more sophisticated with more options for individuals and streaming services that allow everyone to have more choice than just whatever movie happens to be showing. Now, video games can be streamed at home, too, so combine the two and you may soon see a wide range of video games available right there on the plane. It isn’t too huge a leap to imagine that the streaming gaming systems will all be connected, so multiplayer deathmatches and co-operative adventure games with other passengers may be a reality very soon.
On the other hand, social media is already here, and some people have already found a way to use it on the plane that is, frankly, hilarious. Live-tweeting your flight can be an excellent way to spend the hours. The mundane can all of a sudden become much more interesting, you can discover and scope out the little interesting stories happening around you, and you might even have fun with a little bit of simple people-watching. Having an audience to join you in pointing out all the little oddities that can happen on a flight can make it a genuinely exciting experience.
Brush up those linguistic skills
If you have the time on your hands, why not put it towards learning another skill? If you’re a frequent flyer, there’s a good chance you spend a lot of your time in countries where the majority of people don’t speak your native tongue. There are plenty of great, free language learning apps that can help you get to grips with the very basics of where you’re currently heading. Or, if you have multiple long flights planned, you can put the time in to learn one language as best as possible. Just try not to practice your pronunciations too loudly, you don’t want to disturb the other passengers with the sometimes awful noises you will make as you falter your way to mastery.
The days that we can slip into virtual reality or set up two teams of gamers on the flight might be a long time away. However, in-flight entertainment is starting to get better and there are always ways to keep yourself occupied. The next time you face a long flight, prepare some of the distractions mentioned above.