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10 Things To Do On a Long Flight

A long flight may feel daunting, but that extended period of time can be a great opportunity to catch up on reading or work, take a much-needed nap, or finally watch that movie sitting in your digital library.

Here are a few suggestions to beat airplane monotony and make good use of your time.

1. Start a travel journal. Find a beautiful new notebook and get in the habit of journaling while traveling. It can be a very rewarding part of any travel adventure, and will help you recall special parts of your trip, even years into the future.

2. Review your travel plans—including the itinerary, transfers, or any special programs or excursions you will experience.

3. Read up on your destination(s). Guidebooks, both printed and downloadable, can help you plan daily activities if traveling independently, or can also help educate you about locations/highlights you will be seeing with your group.

4. Read! It’s amazing how fast the hours can pass when you get comfortable with a good book, a beverage and no distractions.

5. Watch a movie. Or three.

6. Sleep—if you can. Pack a great travel pillow and blanket, and an eye shade to help if you have trouble sleeping on airplanes. Selecting a window seat gives you a little extra room and less disturbances from your seatmates during the flight. And remember to buckle your seat belt and have it visible for the flight attendant (above a blanket or sweater), so they do not need to wake you if the seat belt sign illuminates.

7. Listen to music—either your favorite tunes, or discover the “local” artists native to the country or region you will be visiting.

8. Get to know your camera. Whether you use your iPhone, a point-and-shoot compact or a complicated DSLR, your photos will always be better if you understand all the capabilities (and limitations) of your equipment. Bring your owner’s manual along and take advantage of the extra time to focus on the instructions to see all that your camera can do.

9. Do in-seat exercises if positioned in a window seat. If possible, try and move about the cabin to stretch and get the blood flowing regularly on long flights.

10. Play brain games—whichever is your favorite—Sudoku, crossword, word-finds or others. They are a great way to keep your mind active and fend off boredom.