If you’re reading this, it’s because you have a thirst for the world. You have a need to try the oddest looking foods, ravage the most dangerous cities, run from the scariest thieves, and see the most stunning sights. However, getting to these places costs a high price. And that price; besides giving up the security of a 9 to 5 job and a cushy salary and any semblance of a normal life, would be that you have to spend a lot of hours stuck in a boring airport, complete with recycled air and screaming babies and freeze-wrapped food.
Passing all of these hours in the airport isn’t easy. Finding things to entertain you takes real effort and it’s hard to give up so much time accomplishing nothing. However, I have some answers to your woes. Read below for ways to pass the time in productive ways at the airport and on the plane.
1. Pick up some books on tape before you go. Since I have the work commute from Hell, I have been spending a lot of time at the library scoring books on tape. Reading Steve Jobs may be a little boring to actually flip through, but listening to it in the relaxing voice of whoever got paid to read that is much easier to get through and enjoy while you zone out on the airplane and fall into another world. Some that I have been particularly enjoying recently are America by Jon Stewart, Tough Shit by Kevin Smith, and Dude, Where’s My Country? by Michael Moore.
2. Read your guidebook. Before you’re blindly wandering around your next destination wondering where you can find a bathroom, read through a guidebook beforehand so you have a grasp on the secrets of the city, the top destinations, and the top restaurants to hit. The airplane, a hole of a place where there isn’t much else to do anyway, is a perfect time and place to get this done.
3. Download some podcasts. In realm with grabbing your books on tape, downloading podcasts is a cool way to listen to some of your favorite radio stations, find some new material, and generally expand your horizons besides listening to the same albums over and over again.
4. Write down your thoughts. Especially if you are embarking on a true journey such as visiting a new continent for the first time, studying abroad, traveling with a new person, or maybe roaming alone for the first time, writing is a great way to get your thoughts down so that one day when you’re a worn traveler, you can look back and remember how you felt before it all even started. Plus, since you’re gonna be jammed on that plane for awhile, you have all the time in the world so you aren’t rushed to get it all down on paper without really feeling it through.
5. Get drunk. On European flights, wine is generally given out as lax (and free) as soda is, even it tastes like toilet water. However, beggars can’t be choosers when it comes to getting a little free buzz pre-adventure. Plus you’re gonna need a confidence boost before going to try to pick up that guy in the seat in front of you.