To me there is something about being on the move that makes me feel perfectly content. I’m teased by many companion for my happy smile and infectious travel spirit and nowhere does this appear more than when I am nestled in an aeroplane seat, flying off to my next adventure.
My most frequent companion however, is not blessed with the same joyful carefree mood when they take flight for a faraway place. Anxious to the point of gripping the seat arms whenever there is a bump in the cloud and the need to drown out the sound of the engine at take-off mean that throughout our journeys together have been an assortment of good and…not so good. There has been a learning curve in terms of balancing nerves against excitement and finding a medium travel time buzz we can both enjoy. And so, drawing from the experiences of both myself and my lovely travel companions, for all you nervous flyers out there, here are my top 10 ways to distract yourself on a plane.
1. Read. The quiet lull that falls over the cabin after take-off make this is the perfect opportunity to catch up on that book you have been meaning to finish or to catch up with the latest in magazine gossip.
2. Make friends with your row mates. It’s true that not everyone might want to talk but a simple “Hello!” to your neighbour can open the door for conversation. Its one of the joys of travel and who knows who you’ll get talking to. Previous row mates of mine include a hotelier, model, company CEO, fireman and teachers.
3. Play eyespy. Admittedly it will only last two minutes but still, time spent…
4. Get the most from your mobile. Your steady stream of social media updates might be knocked out by flight mode, but there is still music, games and apps to fall back on for hours of amusement (as my nervous travel compadre well knows). On aeroplanes, your phone is your friend.
5. Sky meals. As more and more of us travel with budget airlines, we may find ourselves having to think of preparing our own food and drink options. Why not save some cash and still make a special deal of it by finding something yummy to take on board while having a drink from the cabin cart to make your own aeroplane picnic and keep those hydration levels up.
6. Daydream. It’s rare that we get to daydream nowadays and it is so easy to drift off into your own little world as you float above the clouds to your destination. Why not allow yourself a little dream times to be still and think. Thoughts of mine often to turn holidays past or the trip yet to come. Happy times.
7. Learn the lingo. No matter where I am going, I make it my business to have a base knowledge of the language and customs of the location I am travelling to. Grab a mini travel guidebook or use mobile apps to find out about nearby attractions. Favourite apps of mine include the Lonely Planet Guides and Duolingo for languages. Brush up on some simple phrases and you’ll be ready to go as soon as you step off the plane!
8. Get artistic. For bloggers and reviewers, plane time probably means catching up on article writing but I also write a journal. Notes for myself to remind me of experiences and pages of tickets or photographs I want to keep. Drawing as another interest of mine and is a great way to distract children on flights, along with colouring books (yes even the adult ones) which help to focus the mind on something other than the plane around you. My only suggestion would be to think about the type of pen you might take, i.e maybe not a fountain pen, colouring pencils are fine.
9. Sightsee out your window! Whether it is day or night, there is something to see outside of the window. You might be lucky enough to have pilots who will call out some information about your journey sights, but even if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking at it is still a unique view. Airborne selfies are a growing trend and with sights such as the Alps, Paris and the shores of the Italian Mediterranean to be seen in one short flight who could blame them.
10. Sleeeeeep! Power naps are proven to help reduce stress and elevate mood so make use of those free ear plugs and take an extra trip to the land of nod before waking refreshed for the next step of your journey. Just don’t forget the sunglasses before stepping into that sun!