With the trend for airlines reducing amenities while charging us more for less, it’s becoming a necessity to be prepared and consider DIY options to help make the often dreaded long-haul flight more tolerable.
Geoffrey Morrison, self-proclaimed inveterate traveler and tech writer for Forbes, suggests the following tech tools and tips for long-haul flights so you can land with your sanity intact.
Reduce the Noise
The drone of the airplane’s engines is a sound that can eventually drain the energy out of even the most chipper passenger over the course of a long flight. Investing in a quality set of noise-cancelling headphones is a great way to eliminate this.
Bring Your Own Power
We’ve all been there: frantically packing your carry-on in advance of a flight and telling yourself, “I’ll just recharge my phone on the airplane.” Don’t count on it. With more people carrying multiple mobile devices these days, and limited outlets (and limited charging capacity) available at your seat, plan ahead and bring our own portable charging device.
Keep Your Phone Within Selfie Reach
While we don’t recommend using a selfie stick or aggravating your seatmate by taking egregious selfies, once your phone is all charged up, don’t put it too far out of reach. You never know when you might fly over a spectacular mountain range, or see a sunset that you’ll wish you had immortalized in pixels (or uploaded to Instagram).
Bring Your Own Entertainment
With streamlined service offerings, you can no longer count on in-flight entertainment, in-seat TV screens, and so on being available on every plane. To make sure you have something to do during those long hours of travel, consider downloading your favorite movies or TV shows to your tablet or phone.
Make sure you get a variety of content—binge watching Season 2 of Game of Thrones might sound like a good idea pre-flight, but even the saga of Westeros may not keep your attention after the first 5 hours or so.
Bring Your Own Paperback Book
Believe it or not, books are still printed on paper. While not exactly a tech tool, the simplicity and utility of a printed book makes it one of the best inventions ever devised. You’ll appreciate the ease of opening and reading a hard copy of your favorite novel or non-fiction interest, especially when the person next to you has claimed all the seat power outlets and your USB charger has given up the ghost after the 3rd hour of GoT.
There’s an App for That
When booking your flight, find out if your air carrier has its own app. If so, download and test it prior to your flight.
Whether it’s updated flight, weather, or destination information, or additional in-app entertainment options, native flight-based apps can go a long way to making your long-haul flight more tolerable, and dare we say it, enjoyable.