One of the few things about traveling that many people hate is how long it can take to get certain places. Most travellers would have experienced one of these long haul flights at some point during their adventures. America to Australia. Ireland to Brazil. London to Thailand. New Zealand to Japan.
Like many things in life, these long flights are neither good nor bad, but your point of view makes it so. I, for one, absolutely love long flights. Especially, if it is at the beginning of a journey. The promise of an upcoming adventure automatically puts me in a good mood and I am much more likely to view things with a positive state of mind.
Follow some of these tips to make the most of your flight.
Travel with somebody. I know that this is not always possible, but it is by far the best way to enjoy any long journey. A travel buddy who you can talk to and laugh with will make that 14 hour plane ride go by in the blink of an eye.
Talk to people around you. If you aren’t traveling with somebody that you know, use this opportunity to make some new friends. Strike up a conversation with the people around you. Even if they turn out to be a little zany, it will definitely help pass the time as well as give you a few good stories.
Read. Given that you are going to be sitting down for a very long time, reading is a perfect way to make it whizz by. About a month before any long plane ride, I start my search for the perfect book. I go to the book store and flick through a large number of books until I find the perfect one.
Watch movies. Thankfully, most planes come equipped with a selection of movies and a little screen in the back of every seat. I tend to refrain from watching any new movie before I go on a long trip in the hope that it will be showing on the plane.
Puzzles/ Games. Even if you don’t like Sudoko or crosswords, you would be surprised just how addictive they become. The same can be said for any iPad or iPhone games.
Walk around. When I’m awake, I would normally get up and walk around every hour. If you’re sitting near me, it might seem that I have to pee a lot, but it is purely for a change of scenery. I will purposefully head for the toilet furthest from my seat just so I can check out the other passengers on the plane.
Sleep. Ah, the old standby. If in doubt, have a nap. Many people say that they can’t sleep on planes because they are sitting upright and its uncomfortable. This is true, but you need to readjust your expectations. It is very unlikely that you are going to be able to get a solid eight hours in a row. Think of it as a series of naps. Every good traveller should be able to nap.
Drink. If all else fails, start hitting the booze. I’m not talking about getting blind drunk on the plane. In fact, I highly discourage it. Going through immigration with a hangover is not a particularly pleasant experience. Just have a few drinks to calm yourself down and help you sleep.
How much you enjoy yourself on a long flight is all about your attitude. Think about the adventure that you are about to take.
All good stuff, and we try them all. But sleep is at the top of our list. If we know we have a long flight ahead, we will try to get on the plane extra tired so we can really crash (oops, bad choice of words!) on the flight.