For those of you who have traveled extensively, at some point or another you have to take that dreaded 10 to 15-hour flight. It’s not fun, but incredibly necessary when you’re trying to reach a destination that is basically inaccessible any other way (unless you want to go by train or ship, both of which would take a helluva longer time). We all have our different ways of doing with this flight. Some people pass the f*** out, some people can’t sleep so they binge watch airplane movies. But really, you just do whatever you have to do in order to get through hours of being in a flying metal death trap.
That’s hyperbolic because flying is actually the safest way to travel. More people are killed by cars each year than being on a plane (but also there are more cars and cars are cheaper so of course, statistically, more people are killed by cars and that doesn’t mean people don’t die on planes-BUT ANYWAY ON WITH THE POST).
So here is my list of ways of how to get through a 10 to 15-hour flight (I’m pretty sure no flight goes longer than that because the airplane would run out of fuel but don’t quote me). As a person who has traveled to and from Taiwan every other year in order to visit family—I am well versed in how to keep myself occupied (it’s a 11 to 13-hour flight depending on which way you’re coming from).
#1 Take a Melatonin and Pass the F*** Out (or just sleep w/o the Melatonin)
Depending on whether or not you have a tolerance to melatonin, you’ll want to start at the 3mg pill (just one). For people who use it often, maybe a 5 mg pill (again, just one—don’t be stupid and f***ing overdose yourself). This is the absolute best way to pass time. Your sleep can last anywhere between 8 to 10 hours—if you’re lucky (not necessarily undisturbed but close enough). Sleep is a wonderful way to let yourself rest and get ready for the crazy trip you have undoubtedly planned. Also pro-tip: keep yourself awake prior to your flight so that you’re actually tired and schedule (if you can) to land in the day time so that you can adjust for jet lag.
Here’s what melatonin looks like:
#2 Download a f*** ton of movies/ TV shows onto your laptop and/or iPad/Tablet
Pick out all the movies/ TV shows you want to watch/ binge. Have it all add up to around 10+ Hours (that’s like 4 to 5 movies or a few seasons of a show—but like mix and match because variety is the spice of life). Make sure to do the downloading at least a couple of days before because it can take a while and you don’t want to get excited about potentially watching a movie only to find out it didn’t finish downloading as you get on the plane. I highly suggest that you download E-Books just because it’s less space. Also charge your device because 100% battery is important (and bring that charger onto the plane, there’s usually an outlet and unless you completely passed out like I told you to in suggestion #1, you’re going to need to recharge at some point to stay functional). Airplanes don’t always have the programs you want to watch, nor are they always free. So rent from iTunes, download from Netflix—whatever you need to do… 😉
Here is a list of some of my go-to movies/ TV shows:
- Vanderpump Rules
- Schitt’s Creek
- Grey’s Anatomy
- Doctor Who
- The Office
- The Originals
- Barbie’s Life in the Dream House (this is actually so hilarious and a great way to have just random background noise that’s also semi-entertaining)
- No Tomorrow (it’s been cancelled after one season, but I honestly thought it was so good)
- Black Mirror
- Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
- Inglorious Basterds
- Breakfast at Tiffany’s
- Finding Nemo
- Forrest Gump
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- The Imitation Game
- August: Osage County
- The Devil Wears Prada
- The Wolf of Wall Street
- The Great Gatsby
#3 Grab a book…or 3?
So this is based on your preference. And how much you’d like to carry. Some people really like holding a physical book. Others are fine reading electronically. Either way determine how much you’re willing to carry or (once again) charge your device and bring the charger with you (honestly, we’re so electronically dependent now it’s kind of sad but awesome at the same time…?). There are a lot of great books out there, really. But you’re talking to a confirmed (not really) bibliophile, so I’m biased. Or if you would rather have pictures to be visually stimulated, grab some magazines from the travel pop-up shop in the terminal. There’s always like 10 everywhere you go.
Here are some of the books I’ve been reading/want to read (and find relatively interesting):
- Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling (I’ve actually read all of these already)
- All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
- The Circle by Dave Eggers
- His Dark Materials Series by Phillip Pullman (warning: a bit of a heavy read)
- Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (it’s better than the movie, in my personal opinion)
#4 If you’re a student, get work done.
This is actually the most unlikely suggestion that I will give. But I wanted to say it because, technically speaking, it is a good idea. No one does it though. It’s hard, to write a paper or do anything that requires research when you don’t have access to the internet (unless you paid for the WiFi, which, if you’re doing on a 10+ hour plane ride…WOW). But if you’re productive and a little OCD, have the research done already so all you have to do is write the paper. That’s under the assumption that you are doing a paper for a class, if you have a worksheet that’s so much easier because you don’t even have to take out your laptop/tablet.
I actually love podcasts. They’re great. I find it very entertaining to listen to people as if they are actually with me and talking to me without ever having to engage in the discussion because that’s mentally draining. It’s more like background noise you use while doing other stuff, like errands (in other situations). But I guess if you’re on the plane, you can just completely tune in. It’s not a bad idea, you might learn something (or not).
Here is a list of podcasts that I enjoy using as background noise (and occasionally listening to):
- Straight up with Stassi
- Heather Dubrow’s World
- Been Here for A While with Rachel O’Brien
- Anna Faris is Unqualified
- Myths and Legends
P.S. if you can’t tell by my choice of podcasts, I’m really into reality TV
If you have Spotify premium and can download music onto your phone, or if you actually still have an iPod and can download music, it is honestly the best way to have some background noise as you’re reading or just helping you fall asleep. Everyone has their own music preference; thus I’m not going to really suggest anything because I don’t know your music taste.
#7 Walk Around!
It’s honestly a good idea to walk around every now and then on the plane. You don’t want to stay seated for long periods of time, or else you’ll subject yourself to the possibility of blood clots (is really rare unless you’re old, but you never know). Plus, it’s a good way to stretch you legs and let your butt have a break from carrying most of your weight.
If it’s a long distance flight, there’s usually free snacks/drinks. You’ll really want to eat/hydrate on the plane and all you have to do is ask the flight attendants. Be polite. And that’s all I have to say on the subject.
Honestly, a person’s way of doing things whilst flying is pretty personal. Everyone has their own thing that they like to do. These are just some suggestions in order to ease the way for a particularly long journey. They’re all pretty self explanatory and I don’t think it would have taken you too long to figure it out. So really, just take my lists of favorites as movie/TV show/ book/ podcasts ideas to see if they’re something that could potentially entertain you for a few hours.
Have fun and have a safe flight (not that you can do much to control the safety of a flight)! 🙂