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How to kill time on a plane with the five senses

By Natasha Bazika on 26th August 2019

While we love to travel and discover new places, the journey itself can be frustrating with missed connections, flight delays, and most importantly long-haul flights. Let’s face it, no one likes to spend 14 hours stuck inside a cabin with 300 other passengers. Nonetheless, if you love traveling as much as we do, we have some tips to help pass the time that can all be done from the comfort of your seat.

Use Your Sense of Sight

The first sense is the most obvious—sight. Long-haul flights are great for catching up on your reading list or flipping through the in-flight magazine, which is a great place to find guides and tips on your destination. Now, while we all love to read, there are only so many hours you can do it for, so when you’re looking for a break from the words, turn to picture. Most long-haul flights are fitted with inflight media, which offers the latest movies, TV show seasons and even games. If you’re binge-watching a Netflix series, don’t forget to download it and take your phone, tablet or portable DVD player with you. Your sense of sight also works hand in hand with your sense of sound, especially when you plug in those earphones.

Long-haul flights are great for catching up on your reading list or flipping through the in-flight magazine, which is a great place to find guides and tips on your destination

Use Your Sense of Sound

Block out the white noise of a jet engine with the soothing sounds of music or. This is a great way to read your favorite book, without actually having to open one. You can download music to your phone so you can listen offline, and download a few audiobooks for the flight back. Trust us, time will fly by when you’re relaxed and occupied with sounds.

Use Your Sense of Taste

Studies show that munching on a snack makes us less conscious of time, which is perfect for long-haul flights, because who doesn’t love to eat. We suggest bringing snacks on the plane, rather than choosing from the inflight menu. Snacking is also a great conversation starter, especially if the person you’re sitting next to is as bored as you. Offer a pretzel as an ice breaker, and see it where it takes you. Who knows, you could end up friends by the end of it. However, if you are not much of a talker, perhaps it is better to use your sense of touch and focus on writing or doodling.

Sometimes just doing something helps pass the time

Use Your Sense of Touch

Sometimes just doing something helps pass the time. One of our all-time favorite activities is to write, and it’s great because all you need is a handy notebook and a pen. If you don’t have either, flight attendants tend to keep little packets of pens and notebooks on board, so ask for one. You can write a list of your goals, meal plans, an inventory of your clothes or start a bucket list. Sometimes, when you’re traveling inspiration strikes and it’s always handy to have a pen and paper nearby. It’s also a great way to play games with your seatmate. Channel your inner high school student for a game of tic-tac-toe or make up your own version of pictionary – the options are endless. If you have more than one piece of paper, why not practice your origami skills. Coloring books are also a therapeutic way to unwind and relieves stress and anxiety. In addition to paper and pen, handheld games such as a Nintendo Switch and several other electronic devices are great for passing the time. Besides, your sense of touch works together with your sense of sight to check and see all features of the game, thereby easing your boredom.

Use Your Common Sense

Let’s face it, no one wants to use their sense of smell on a plane, so instead, we decided to use our common sense to pass the time on a long-haul flight. You have 14 or more hours of free time, which is a luxury, so why not make the most of it. You can catch up on your schoolwork or office work that way when you get back from traveling, you won’t be too far behind. If you don’t have any work to do, bring along a traditional crossword puzzle to stimulate your brain.

Airplane in the cloudy sky Airliner aircraft
Don’t let long-haul flights put you off from traveling to the far corners of the earth because you never know what adventures you will go on and what treasures you could find

Wonder

If you’ve ever stood in the shower and contemplated life, don’t worry you’re not the only one. As avid travelers, some of our best thoughts and ideas come from in the air. You can stare out the window and see the world below while reflecting on your life decisions and align yourself with some goals you want to accomplish by a certain time. Visualize what you want to become in five or ten years’ time and envision where you will be or where your next travel destination is. After all, you’ve taken the first step to a better you by exploring the world.

Rest

Rest is vital, especially on long-haul flights and it’s the most popular way to pass the time. We understand sleeping while sitting is not ideal, but that’s why they invented travel pillows. If you plan on sleeping most of the flight, book a window seat so you can rest your head on the window. Don’t forget to ask the in-flight crew for a blanket. You will be more comfortable and cabins tend to run on the cooler side. Also, wear earplugs to drown out the jet noise and other people on the plane.

In the end, don’t let long-haul flights put you off from traveling to the far corners of the earth because you never know what adventures you will go on and what treasures you could find. Traveling also helps widen our knowledge of cultures, food, and history. If that’s not reason enough to explore the world, think of it as an investment in yourself. Traveling allows us to be more open-minded, which in turn opens us up to new opportunities we otherwise wouldn’t consider. A long-haul flight is just a part of the journey, and now that you know ways of killing time, go book that flight.