I have this little system that makes every plane flight perfect. Or, nearly perfect…for as much of it as I can control.
I made it up a couple years ago when I had a lot of long international flights within a few months of each other.
Here’s what I realized: whenever I had an upcoming flight, I found myself dreading the time that I’d be stuck there, strapped to a seat, unable to move around for a few hours. But when I was at home, I was craving stillness and silence and rest.
..I mean, what?
I was literally being offered the very thing I wanted, but for some reason I wasn’t enjoying it. I think it has to do with the cultural language around a flight. You know…everyone complains about flying, airports, lines, security, and it’s just normal to feel some dread and to kind of hate it all.
But as soon as I reframed my thought and realized that a flight offers me the rest that I’ve been craving, I decided to start enjoying the heck out of them.
It just takes a couple little tweaks, but I have this system in place to enjoy every flight, no matter how long or short.
First of all...
I don’t fly first class. I think I’d like to start doing that some day, at least on certain flights. But for now, I typically get the most cost-efficient flight I can find (within reason…)
I mean, I don’t do layovers if I can help it and I always pay to select an aisle seat if the airline is threatening to put me in a middle seat, but my flights are pretty basic. So that’s what I’m starting with when I create a flight routine that makes me really really happy!
1. I always bring candy! Haha. This is the first thing I want to share with you? Yes! Yes yes yes. It just makes it feel so special and fun!
I grab one or two movie theater boxes of candy (usually one chocolate and one chewy, so a Reese Pieces + a Sour Patch Kids, or something like that) and put it on my carry on bag.
I don’t buy the candy at the airport. Here’s why: if I waited to buy it until I’m at the airport, I’d probably talk myself out of it and say something like, “I don’t actually need candy, and I just had lunch so I’m not feeling snacky, and it’s not really worth the $8 for a bag of skittles..” or whatever. I just know myself, and if I wait to buy it until I’m at the airport I won’t do it.
So I buy it ahead of time.
And it makes me so happy every time.
I have this system in place to enjoy every flight, no matter how long or short.
2. I download ALL of the things. Lots of things! I just want to make sure I have more fun stuff for the plane than I have time to do! I find a fun show to watch on Netflix and download a few episodes. I make sure I have at least 3 different podcasts ready to go (I typically make a playlist of podcasts and call it “NYC Trip” or “Sisters Trip” and then load up that playlist with whatever I want to listen to on the trip.” I find a movie I’ve been meaning to watch and make sure it’s ready to go on my phone. Basically, I don’t just wing it and listen to whatever is already downloaded…I download some stuff that makes me feel REALLY excited and happy and I save it for the flight.
3. I bring an easy-to-read book. Because again, I love having more activities for the flight than I even have time to enjoy…that way I never get bored or wish the time away. I love brining a really fun, lighthearted chick lit book on a flight. Typically, when I’m on a trip, I’m wanting some “vacation” book that doesn’t require a lot of brain power. Elin Hilderbrand or Taylor Jenkins Reid something like that.
4. A pre-flight drink, if I’m at the airport in the afternoon or evening. This is my favorite thing! Again, it just makes the entire experience so much fun. If I have an afternoon or evening flight, I love getting to the Austin airport a bit earlier and enjoying a craft beer or a glass of wine before I get on my flight.
And there you have it! It’s nothing groundbreaking, but adopting these tiny changes made a huge shift in my mental game of how I approach flying.
And now, I kid you not: every single time I have a kid-free trip coming up, I look forward to the flight. I get a few hours of completely uninterrupted time to snack, read, podcast, sleep…whatever I feel like!
And I love it all.