Flying is like painting your nails. As soon as you realize that you can’t use your hands for 30 minutes, your desire to wash the dishes becomes unbearable (and this is also the only time you EVER want to wash the dishes). Being stuck on a plane might make you want to run a marathon, but you might need to stick with one of the following:
1. Watch movies / TV-Series
An oldie but a goodie – few things pass time as quickly as a few episodes of Suits or a cheesy rom-com (preferably with Ryan Gosling). Don’t forget to charge your computer / iPad beforehand (if you’re not using the inflight system), and for God’s sake – don’t leave your headphones at home!
2. Work your way through glossy magazines
Plane rides are one of the few situations in which I spoil myself with a tower of Vogue, Elle and Cosmopolitan glossies. Perfect for those annoying 15 minutes in the beginning and end of your trip when electronics are banned.
3. Listen to audio books
Times of forced immobility are ideal for burying your ears in the sweet words of J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter will always be on top of my list). If you’re in the mood for something more educational and inspiring, check out “Losing my Virginity” by hotshot entrepreneur Richard Branson (the founder of Virgin Atlantic), or “Pitch Anything” by Oren Klaff.
I’m bored – I eat. It might not be the most weight-conscious way to pour away those minutes, but time moves faster while snacking. That’s a scientific fact.
5. Catch up on work / school
It might seem impossible without an internet connection, but writing e-mails in advance is completely worth it. As soon as you’re on firm ground again, connect to the nearest Wifi and send away.
Talking about catching up on things you’re behind on, if you can, sleep is a great way to consume those extra hours, and as cherry on top, you might be able to balance that jetlag. Don’t grab seats in the last row, or the row in front of an emergency exit though – you won’t be able to recline your seat or sleep in peace and quiet as people walk past you all flight long. Trust me, it sucks.
7. Stare out of the window and philosophize
A custom-made playlist based on your mood and one gazing look out of the window, and you’re set. I’ve done everything from “Depressed girl who’s left her dream city and possibly the future love of her life”-ballad marathons to “I will kick this project’s ass”-house parties and “I’m so happy, I’m pooping rainbows”-pop moments. Spending time with yourself and your thoughts is totally underrated.
8. Write lists
I’m quite sure I’m not the only list addict out there. Some ideas: Things you would buy if you won a million dollars, things you need to do before you die (aka “Bucket list”), list of names you would consider naming your future children, and what celebrities you would want to look like. All eligible and fun options.
9. Play Candy Crush
Incredibly addictive and most definitely a great time-waster. This will make even a trans-Atlantic flight pass like a breeze.
10. Talk to your neighbor
A personal highlight: my three hour chitchat with a business coach who used to run one of the biggest divisions of Siemens, and who’s now personally coaching CEO’s at Harrod’s and McKinsey. LinkedIn-buddies? Of course. Although you can’t hit the jackpot every time, you will definitely be many experiences richer.