Planes, Trains or Automobiles: How to Beat Holiday Travel Boredom

Holiday travel, girl sleeping in the airport

‘Tis holiday travel season. For many of us that can mean road trips, visits to see family long overdue, or it is winter break and the family has decided to vacay in California. If you are like me and you cannot sleep on long road trips or airplanes, then time seems to pass by very slowly if you have brought nothing to occupy your attention. I fly quite often and am shocked to see how many passengers simply sitting in their seat staring straight ahead the whole flight (gasp!). Oh yes, I assure you this is no lie. I’m here to help you be prepared this holiday travel season and escape the clutches of boredom!

Music to your ears, coloring or… homework?

First and foremost, a popular activity that speeds up time is listening to music. I like to keep busy with my hands, so I need to be doing something else while music plays in my ears. So, I bought an adult coloring book. I pack some markers and colored pencils in a zip lock bag and that is all you need to have an hour or two of coloring fun. No, you are never too old to color, and it is not expected that you have to stay in the lines. This is more of an airplane ride activity, since car rides can be bumpy.

Be prepared the next time you go on a long trip and escape the clutches of boredom!

Ugh, so you have homework? Don’t make up the excuse that you can’t do it on car rides because there is no hard surface to act as a desk. I know, we all like to procrastinate, but it needs to be completed, and it passes time. Solution: buy a portable lap desk. Even better, get one with a lamp, so you can work when it gets dark out.

Got Wifi? Get a movie

Our generation is proud to boast its tech savviness. Most people have at least a smart phone. Download a few games before a flight or car ride. If you have an Apple device and are going on an American airplane, I urge you to download the app gogoinflight. Once you are in the air, turn on the free gogo wifi . Go on the app and it will redirect you to Safari, where you can choose amongst a huge selection of free movies. Oh ya, I said the “f” word- FREE! Who doesn’t love a freebie?

The best part is that these movies are not old or obscure. I flew to Chicago for Thanksgiving break and watched Me Before you and Bad Moms. I 10/10 recommend Me Before You. I cried five times and had to ask a flight attendant for extra napkins. So you might want to add tissues to the list of things to bring.

holiday travel

Photos & Reading

I am an avid reader and luckily don’t get car sick, so I always bring a couple books with me. Time ceases to exist when I get engrossed in a good plot and the next time I look at the clock, a good hour or two has passed. You can find some great suggestions here. Magazines are also fun to read. Got Wifi? Metiza has you covered! See what I did there?

My name is Jorey Cohen and I admit to being a photo hoarder. If you are anything like me, a lot of these pictures are unnecessary. Go through the images and keep the ones that matter the most. With thousands of pictures on your phone, this can take a while. But think of the satisfaction of all that storage space cleared!

holiday travel reading on plane

And, don’t forget to stretch!

While being lazy sure is fun, it is unpleasant to be stuck in a seat for hours on end. If you are on a car ride, stop often and stretch your legs. Airplane flights have little open space, but you can still walk up and down the aisle to go to the bathroom and do a little stretch along the way. Relish the long line, as it gives you an excuse to stand.

Here are some other must-have Holiday travel items:

Hand sanitizer – I am a germophobe, but please, if you touch the seat tray on an airplane, sanitize your hands before touching you face or food! Airplanes are quite germy.

Gum –This helps with popped ears.

Chapstick –We can all agree that dry lips are no fun.

Neck pillow – You might as well get comfy.

A headphone splitter –You and a travel buddy can watch a movie on one device at the same time.

Snacks –We have all heard the bad jokes that airplane food can be quite gross. While the airlines have upped the nutrition value on their snacks and meals, the food selection is still not ideal. Plus, talk about expensive! Gas stations are cheap, but it is difficult to find healthy options. A common weakness amongst the human race is a whole store filled with chips, candy, and soda. Been there, done that. So, bring your own snacks. Carrots and peanut butter, cuties, and nuts are just a few options.

Never be bored again the next time you hop on an airplane or get in a car for a road trip. The journey to your destination is as fun as you make it!

Also published on Medium.