Now bored-ing: Tips on how to survive a long plane flight

Flight Jet Commercial Jet Aircraft Flying Airplane
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“Oh you’re going to *insert faraway country here*?! That’ll be so fun!”

Well, your friend isn’t wrong.

After sharing plans for your next faraway adventure, you already know this. You’ve been counting down the days since the flight was booked and no travel guide is safe from your ravenous mind. Yet there’s one aspect you’re not exactly elated about: the journey. No, we don’t mean that “Eat Pray Love” crap where you go to find yourself by eating bomb-ass food and lying on the beach. We’re talkin’ about the eternal flight that takes place before all of those perfect Instagram posts. So while all of your friends are already envious of your trip, you’re just trying to craft how not to go all Jack Nicholson on a 15-hour flight. Here are some ideas about how to keep yourself occupied on a plane — because no one would appreciate you screaming, “HERE’S JOHNNY!” when they open the bathroom door.

Listen to a new podcast

Podcasts are a fantastic way to pass the time, especially if you’re traveling alone. Before tuning into your favorite show, you’re just sitting alone. So sad. So isolated. But after clicking the play button, you’ll soon be gathered around that small plane tray table with a few of your closest friends having an educated conversation about how vomit phobia works (metaphorically speaking, of course). Plus, there are so many podcasts that just choosing one to listen to will take up a large chunk of flying time.

Take up a new hobby 

Classes often steal away any free moment we have, so why not use this opportunity to finally explore those obscure hobbies you’ve always wanted to try? Whether it be knitting or writing poems, the long plane ride is a great time to test out a new passion. Some of these may take planning though, as you may need certain tools to practice said hobby. Please though, no musical instruments. No one will appreciate your new explorations of violin-playing during the flight.

Make some new playlists

If you’re a music junkie like some of us at the Clog, making new playlists will pretty much save you from boredom. Check out your Discover Weekly on Spotify or finally give that one soundtrack you’ve been meaning to hear a listen. Plus, there are so many things to inspire your playlists: moods, destinations, seasons, people. You name it, there’s a song for it.

Plan your trip 

If you’re a procrastinator or a planner, this one’s for you. Traveling somewhere new can be daunting because there is so much to be explored. By using this flying time to plan out what you want to do when abroad, you can alleviate some post-flight stress as well as kill some time. We recommend packing a guidebook to help you track down some hot spots.

Pick some strategic entertainment 

While flights often offer a selection of movies and shows to watch, it’s always better to plan out what you’re going to watch. We all have that one show we’ve been meaning to binge for months. Now is your time! Save it on your laptop and even throw in a few other movies along the way, timing the trip out just right. There’s nothing better than completing an entire series right as your plane is about to land. Just disregard the newly discovered shame of watching television for more than 10 hours straight.

Bring along some books 

What are books? Do any of us even know anymore? Are we referring to a textbook? Nope. You may recall from simpler times those texts you would read for pleasure. They come in a variety of subjects and can be absorbed at your own pace. That’s right, folks, no “read 300 pages by yesterday afternoon” bullshit from your professors. Simply swing by your local library or bookstore and pick up whatever piques your interest. Or, better yet, grab a few! It never hurts to have too many books handy.

Prepare to sleep. A lot. 

None of these tickle your fancy? Not to worry! Good ol’ Mr. Sandman can help you get through the flight. Just make sure to prepare accordingly. If you have trouble sleeping on a plane, pack some soothing chamomile tea, comfy clothing and an obnoxious, yet oddly satisfying, pillow to lull you to sleep. If this doesn’t work, just start playing a recording from lecture. If you’ve knocked out to it before, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t work now.

Don’t look at the map 

For the love of all that’s sacred, don’t you dare look at the map on your screen. Glancing at the map every five minutes is “scientifically proven” (or at least we at the Clog think it’s got to have been scientifically proven somewhere) to make time go slower when flying (according to us at least). There’s a reason those children who continuously regurgitate, “Are we there yet?” every five minutes are never the favorite kid in the car.

Good luck flying, friends. And remember, you’ll soon be in bigger and better places than seat 37B!

Contact Kirsty Fowler at [email protected].