During my first professional year in the skies, I used airplanes as my home office. After all, I did live out of a suitcase 24/7 which meant no plush leather chair, no wide screen TV mounted on the wall opposite my work station, no picture frame beside my nonexistent desktop with an overpriced paperweight holding down seemingly important documents to peruse through. My version of a home office was in 27B with a seat pitch of 29 inches and a power outlet under my legs on a good day. Pretzels or peanuts, ice or no ice, safety videos and landing procedures were the kind of distractions I was used to. Don’t even get me started on Skymall.
That was then, this is now, and Skymall no longer exists so there’s that. If you’re a frequent traveler like myself (and even if you aren’t), try these remedies to make a long flight worthwhile.
These days, I look for a plan that takes up as much time as possible in-flight, and I’m not talking about work. Cue in-flight entertainment. Yep, I’m talking unlimited movies, series, playlists and flight trackers. On a recent business trip from Charlotte to Vegas, I partnered with Delta whose new free In-Flight Entertainment saved the day! I finally got a much needed break from the writing, editing and planning by downloading the GoGo Entertainment app before departure. I used my computer battery first with movie after movie and saved the iPhone battery for series after series. Anyone seen Me Before You? Swooooon. If not, I won’t ruin it for you, but it’ll pull at your heart strings.
2. Manage Your Jet Lag
It doesn’t matter if you’re flying from west to east coast or halfway around the world – this one is easier said than done. Jet lag is rough on the mind and body, and there are few ways around it. The best thing to do is to treat your body well before flight. Exercising, hydrating, sleeping lots will help. Same with steering clear of copious amounts of alcohol before and during flight.
3. Take Care of Your Health
You know when the nice Flight Attendant asks what you’d like to drink? Go with water, always. If you’re older (and thus wiser), deep vein thrombosis is a real threat. May I suggest an aisle seat? Get up and get moving at various times throughout the flight. Stretch out if no one is sitting next to you. Maybe by 2050 there will be tracks around the plane, but until then, walk up and down the aisle a few times. I’ve also seen various people donning compression socks on longer flights. Whatever works!
4. Bring Your Go-To Items
Headphones? Check. Hand sanitizer? Check. Phone charger? Check. Scarf? Check. I don’t travel without these items as they are crucial for my health, entertainment and comfort. If it’s a long-haul flight, I typically break out the eye mask, ear plugs and small pillow since you can’t put a price on comfort. I also make sure that these items are in my purse under the seat in front of me. I hate being that person who asks the aisle guy to move so I can grab something out of the overhead bin.
5. Make A Friend
Have you ever had the talker sit next to you? I mean the person who starts a conversation before they even buckle their seatbelt? The woman who will chat about anything from the weather to the cute looking Captain in the front? Same. Upon landing, however, I noticed how incredibly fast the flight went by. Chatty McChatterson actually made those hours more enjoyable. Plus, you never know where a new relationship could take you.
6. Don’t Be Late
Oh, how I’ve been here so many times. Too many times, actually. Let me tell you from experience that sleeping in a mere 30 minutes more doesn’t do your beauty rest any good when you’re stressed out in an Uber, telling the driver to book it. Being on time, or better yet early, for a flight makes for smooth sailing. Even if there is a plane delay, at least you’re well-fed, stress-free with work emails completed…ready for some free Delta In-Flight Entertainment. Coming from someone who is constantly on an airplane, I’m grateful that instead of treating an airplane like an office, now it can double as a cozy living room 🙂
This post was made in partnership with Delta, however, my opinions remain my own.