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I won’t ask you if you love flying as much as I do.
That’s kind of a stupid question. For most people, flying is a necessary evil that must be dealt with if you want to travel farther than a few hundred miles from your house. Sometimes, we don’t even have a choice as to whether we go on a trip or not. And being forced into it makes flying that much worse. Don’t worry, I get it.
The good news is that there are plenty of things you can do while you are flying to keep yourself comfortable, happy, and not feeling like your life is slipping away as you sit belted down in a speeding metal tube. This is my own personal comprehensive guide for everything I do on airplanes. I keep these activities and necessary items ready to go at a moment’s notice. Any time I need to fly, I have a selection of activities capable of filling much more time than I actually have. The flight is over in no time. (Too fast, sometimes.)
If you’ve ever wondered what you could possibly do to not feel so hopeless, or are just looking for some new inspiration, this list is for you!
EBOOKS // I am an avid reader and and avid light packer. That means packing physical books is basically out of the question; there’s no way I’m wasting precious space on something so easily digitized. I love reading fiction in the air because I spend so much time reading non-fiction on land, and fiction is my escape. It’s my kind of “movie,” essentially.
AUDIOBOOKS // For the most part, I enjoy reading with my eyeballs on airplanes because I’m not doing anything else anyway. But audiobooks are awesome for when I am trying to fall asleep. It doesn’t matter how much I am into the book I’m listening to, there’s just something about the hum of the engines and narrator’s even tone that helps me doze right off.
Pro-tip: If you don’t already have one, definitely sign up for a library card from your local public library! Then download the Libby App onto your phone and sign in with your library card account. I almost never purchase eBooks or audiobooks anymore because I can borrow them for free through my library.
DIGITAL MAGAZINES // The same goes for magazines! For one thing, I don’t want to carry physical chunks of paper in my bag. And of course, who wants to pay for something they can get for free? I use the RBdigital App to access thousands of magazines instantly. Just sign in with your library card account and read magazines to your heart’s content!
catch up on movies & tv
HAVEN’T HAD TIME? I rarely watch TV or movies at home because I am way too prone to binging. Flying is the perfect time to binge on your guilty pleasure shows and movies because, hey, you’re multitasking, you’re getting where you need to go!
UPLOAD MEDIA TO CLOUD STORAGE because you never know exactly what you’ll want to watch, and you want to make the most of your multitasking time *wink*. I fill up my Google Drive with as much media as I can fit in there. Right before my flight boards, I’ll download a couple of picks to my device so I can watch offline. I’ll delete what I’ve already watched to clear up space, and download different shows and movies ahead of my next flight.
APPLE MUSIC has been a game changer for me. I don’t know how I lived without it. I can search for basically any song that pops into my head, and download music to my device for offline listening.
QUALITY HEADPHONES make life so much better. And even more so on a plane. I switch between AirPods and Sony Noise Canceling Headphones. I like using my AirPods for casual listening in the airport and at the beginning and end of the flight since they aren’t noise canceling and keep me alert to my surroundings. During the middle of the flight, I’ll switch to my noise canceling headphones to immerse myself in my entertainment.
stretch your body
TAKE A WALK to the lavatory at least once per hour. This does wonders for keeping stiffness at bay so you don’t walk off the plane feeling like the Tin Man from Wizard of Oz.
YOGA AT YOUR SEAT sounds crazy, yes. But yoga doesn’t just mean wild, full-body poses. Yoga With Adriene has a video about simple “yoga” you can do at your seat that won’t have everybody staring.
TRY A GUIDED MEDITATION in moments when you are feeling stressed, antsy, or just grumpy about being stuffed into your seat. There are many apps for this, but I enjoy Adriene’s guided meditations on her Find What Feels Good app.
stretch your mind
SKILLSHARE is a great option for using your time productively and learning on the go. Sure, you can learn things from YouTube videos. But wouldn’t you rather learn from an instructor who you know knows what they are talking about? Plus, Skillshare courses are curated so that you get the full picture of whatever it is you are studying, instead of trying to piece together a comprehensive lesson out of random YouTube videos.
PODCASTS // Yes, I’ve been known to listen to some good and nostalgic Another Bite of Twilight on flights. (Can you tell I’m a true Twilight fan?) Aside from the entertainment, podcasts are an awesome way to get some learning into your life. Bossed Up by Emilie Aries is one of my favorites, ATM.
BRAIN TEASER GAMES // I’m talking Sudoku, Words With Friends, memory games, or any other game that gets your thinking mind going. Personally, I always come back to Unblock Me because it reminds me of a game I had as a child.
DOODLE DRAWINGS & POETRY // If you aren’t the type to get creative at home, then perhaps being up the sky will inspire you. I carry a small notebook and a few pens so I can jot down any brilliant ideas that come to mind.
GRATITUDE JOURNAL // If random doodling isn’t your thing and you need a goal, then I suggest journaling about a few things you are grateful for in your life. You can start with the fact that you are able to be on the airplane in the first place. Many people will never get that experience, so I never take it lightly.
PLAN FOR WHERE YOU ARE GOING // If you don’t already have detailed plans, I think planning what you will do once you land is so fun!
REFLECT ON WHERE YOU’VE BEEN // When I’m on my way home, I love free-writing about all my wonderful experiences before the memories fade.
MEAL PLAN // This may not sound like the most fun activity ever, but this isn’t your everyday meal planning. Chances are you will be eating out (a lot) while you are on your trip. I think about all the things I really want to eat and write them down so I don’t forget anything!
busy your hands
ADULT COLORING BOOKS // Because coloring isn’t just for kids anymore. This Irreverent Adult Coloring Book is super fun. Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like.
WORD SEARCHES // Brainless and fun. Perfect for when you are listening to an audiobook.
RUBIX CUBE, STRESS BALL, ETC. // Solve the Rubix Cube or not, doesn’t matter. Sometimes just fiddling with something while you watch a movie is enough to take the edge off the urge to throw a tantrum over your squished seat.
hydrate + be healthy
SET REMINDERS TO DRINK WATER // I use the My Water Balance app, and I set up reminders on my phone and on my Apple Watch. I have no excuses for not drinking adequate fluids to counteract the dryness of airplane air.
TAKE YOUR VITAMINS // You body needs all the help it can get when it is trapped in close proximity with all the germs. I keep an Emergen-C packet within easy reach. I simply pour the mix into a bottle of water and sip it slowly as I settle in with my entertainment.
MOISTURIZE YOUR SKIN // Doing a full-on sheet mask in public is not my thing, but it is still super important to keep your skin hydrated and protected. I use Maracuja oil before and during the flight to keep moisture in and contaminants out. Apply to your face, hands, and anywhere else that is exposed to the dry and germy air.
EAT A HEALTHY SNACK // Not a Snickers bar, Nilla wafers, or sour cream & onion potato chips. We all knows what “healthy snacks” are. Fruits, Almonds or other nuts, or even beef or fish jerky for protein. My favorite airplane snack is dried Aku that I purchase at my local farmer’s market.
MAKE YOURSELF COMFORTABLE // We lead busy lives and sometimes all you want to do on a plane is catch up on your sleep. I love a good inflatable neck pillow because dealing with a foam neck pillow in addition to your carry-ons is just annoying.
DOWNLOAD A SLEEP TRACKER if you are curious about how you are doing with your airplane sleeping endeavors. I am still looking for a good one for my Apple Watch, so if you know of any good ones, please share!
That’s all for today!
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Till next time ♥︎
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