When I’m on a flight for several hours, my normal routine of peacefully looking out the window and listening to music doesn’t pass the time quickly enough. I get uncomfortable and restless and need a change in scenery after a few hours. Here’re a few ways I keep myself occupied and fresh on flights:
Don’t open your own book until you’re already in the air. During taxi until about 10 minutes into the flight when approved electronics are allowed, I just listen to music and read the airline magazine. Sometimes I’ll chat a bit with the person who will be sitting 6 inches away from me for the next five hours, look out the window, or just familiarize myself with the people who are sitting around me. Until the captain comes on, I won’t reach under the seat to grab my book.
Rotate through activities to keep your mind fresh. Instead of trying to read and sleep through the whole flight, I always bring a couple things to look at. I’ll read 50 pages of my book, nap with my music in the middle of the flight, then pull out a magazine or something more aesthetically pleasing to thumb through like LIFE or National Geographic. I might pull my book again until we begin our descent, journal, or just look out the window with my music until landing. Regardless, I spend time on each activity, but rotate through several.
You wouldn’t sit for five hours at home, so don’t here either. Get up and walk to the lavatory. If you’re in the back, walk to the first class curtain, then back to lavatory. Especially if you’re on an international flight, it’s extremely important to get moving so your blood doesn’t clot in your legs. Just make sure you go to the lavatory before the pilot begins the descent.
Dress appropriately. Airplanes are cold, especially at the feet where the A/C is flowing and keep a comfortable body temperature on a flight is essential to comfort. I decided I would rather be warm in the airport than cold in the air, so I always keep my ankles covered on a plane. Unless it’s summer and I actually want my air vent blowing on me, I hardly ever end up rolling my jeans up or taking my tall socks off.