6 Ways to Keep Yourself Entertained on a Plane (That DON’T Involve Tapping Your Boyfriend on the Shoulder Asking “Are We There Yet?”)

I fucking love flying. Air travel makes me ridiculously happy. There’s some mix of “I’m going somewhere exciting or new or just somewhere ELSE” that makes it magical. And at the end of the trip it’s all: “I’m going to sleep in my own bed tonight!”

You can get almost anywhere in less than a day. At least anywhere I’ve been. Which is awesome. I’ve only flown on my own a few times, but Brian and I have been trying to travel somewhere twice a year for the last few years. Florida in the dead of winter and some place else in the summer or fall. It’s a good system. When we fly, I try to make it as easy to get on the plane as humanly possible. I used to try to bring an emergency set of everything in my carry on – toiletries, clean underwear, an outfit, etc. But now? I’m VERY selective as to what I bring on board. Of course, we almost always fly Southwest – where bags (two per person) fly free, so it’s pretty easy to check everything (including that empty suitcase to fill with seashells, wine, Christmas ornaments or other souvenir crap on the way back).

But even packing super light (did I ever tell you how much the TSA hates me? They MANHANDLED my cheese. Probably because of my letter to TSA.), I need to make sure that I have enough valid ways to entertain myself without bothering Brian TOO much. Because he does not love flying as much as I do. Something about people and lines and crowds or something.

Here are just a few ways that you can occupy your time on the flight.

6 Ways

How to entertain yourself on a plane full of people without being a jerk…mostly

Read

I mean…this one’s a given. But when you’re packing light, I highly recommend an e-reader. I was always against them until Brian insisted on buying me one. And I haven’t looked back. I can take FIFTY books on a plane with me…and my bag weighs less than it would with a single regular book. It’s fucking magical. Just be cautious, because the funnier the book, the more you’re likely to become a jerk and irritate all the people on the plane.

Watch a movie

In addition to the possibility of an in-flight movie…If you have some sort of tool that allows you to copy your DVDs to memory cards or tablets (I think that iTunes sells your favorite movies and TV shows too, but since I’m not really an Apple girl, I’ll have to assume maybe?), you can plan in advance and bring about a movie or two that you want to watch (I’ve watched Bridget Jones even though Helen Fielding is dead to me and some other beloved favorites). Just for the love of all things – WEAR EARBUDS.

Watch TV

Along the same lines as watching a movie, you can catch the newest released season on DVD of your favorite show (This last trip, Brian and I used an ear bud splitter to watch Person of Interest because we were binge watching to catch up to the current season). If you have Wi-Fi on the plane, you can Netflix Kimmy Schmidt or Grey’s Anatomy or Hulu Plus your current shows. Some flights even offer free (or paid) in-flight TV. Again, headphones are a necessity.

Play games

Whether you bring one of those fancy handheld gaming consoles (I haven’t had one since I got my Sega Game Gear in 1991), you carry on your travel version of Scrabble in order to whip your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife’s ass, or you pay for the Wi-Fi to play some games on an iPhone casino or other games on your phone (Hello Simpson’s Tapped Out, I’m looking at you…even though I’m currently pissed at you, I still freakin’ love you), you can keep yourself entertained and occupied while enjoying that competitive thing you’ve got going for you. Of course, if you have the sound on while you’re playing these games, someone is going jump across the seat and wring your neck or throw your device. I’m just saying. I’ve thought about it. Several times. Turn the notification sounds off. No one wants to hear you rocking out to the Candy Crush greatest hits.

Snack

I don’t know about you, but I love a good snack pack. Brian and I have an excellent flying/packing system. I carry…well…almost nothing in my purse (a few bandaids, necessary drugs like Midol, Dramamine, Gas-X, Zantac, Pepto, and Sudafed to help us survive the airport time and 2-5 hour plane ride, and my travel pillow). And Brian carries the power cords, backup batteries and snacks in his backpack. It’s a really good system. I recommend trying it. So snacking is a great way to kill time. If you travel during dinner time and bring a meal on board, that’s a good 10-20 minutes of snacking depending on how fast you eat and what you grabbed at the airport. You could also play with your food – you know get like some animal crackers and play with them Ben Affleck style. Just remember if you’re sitting next to strangers that you don’t need to share. Especially when it comes to your crumbs. Be kind, my friends. Be kind.

Social Media/Blog/Internet Time Suck

You can live blog about the crazy lady on the plane or the kid that keeps kicking you…or continuously share on Facebook pictures of your kid’s first flight or humblebrag on Instagram how you can’t wait to be somewhere warm. People eat that shit up. You’ll have fun and so will I. Get lost down the internet rabbit hole and you’ll be at your destination in no time. Just you know…don’t BE the crazy lady or the mom that doesn’t tell her kid to stop kicking (you totally get full points for trying. I won’t judge. I was kicked on a plane once. They mom tried to keep the little guy at bay, but he fell asleep and apparently kicks in his sleep. She apologized several times and kept trying to move him. The effort was acknowledged and I was fine…albeit a little bruised.)

Okay blog friends, your turn. What do YOU do to occupy yourself when you travel? Even if you don’t fly – how do you keep yourself entertained on the train or in the car?

This post has been written in accordance with my disclosure policy

Disclosure

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Meanwhile, a Little Awkwardness in the Ladies’ Room…

Holy crap, you guys. Brian and I are safely in California, checked into hotel number one of three for the first leg of our trip, and I already have 27 thousand things to tell you.

The Pros and Cons of Midol

I pack VERY light when it comes to my carry-on luggage, if I can help it. Not so much with the checked luggage, though…I check everything, thanks to Southwest’s Bags Fly Free policy.

image

Yes, my suitcases are that big...and that girly.

So when I realized my sinus infection headache was not going away after Allegra, Sudafed, and an antibiotic, I also realized I had packed the Advil in my suitcase. I ran to the shop for a quick headache relief solution, only to be appalled by the gouging prices of everything…except Midol.

I hadn’t used Midol since college, before I started the pill to help dull the effects of my period. But a dude-friend of mine swore by it in college, for obviously non-feminine reasons.

I swear to God, you guys, it was a magic little half-priced pill. I started feeling it break up my headache within minutes. Within an hour, it was gone.

Of course, three hours into our flight, I had to pee…in the teeny tiny bathroom. Insert expletives about the size of my hips here.

I can’t claim that this is 100% correlation so much as coincidence, but I’m telling you…Midol brought my monthly curse right there on the plane. And also a weird dream about my lady eggs. Fucking Midol.

My Whoops Moment in the Airport Bathroom

After our hour plus delay at Midway Airport in Chicago, we arrived safely at SFO. Having only used that sorry excuse for a bathroom on the plane once in a 4 hour trip, I had to pee immediately.

I went into the ladies’ room where there was a crowd of women and just one older woman with a little guy in front of me. She was checking a door to see if someone was in there, but it didn’t open, so she told the little boy, “Nope. Someone is in there.” I noticed that the first stall was empty by peering into the little door hole, and instead of taking it for myself, I pulled it wide open for the little boy and his mom or grandma (not sure which), while I stood behind the door, proudly being helpful. She looked at me, horrified. “Nope. Someone is in there.”

I slowly closed the door, and looked around, nervously. A sweet teenage girl tried to reassure me that it was probably no big deal, but I considered running out of the bathroom faster than I had ever run in my entire life. But thrn my overwhelming urge to pee won, and I stared at every stall waiting for one to open.

The toilet flushed in the stall I had opened. It was now a race between 7 other stalls and this lady. I just needed one to open so I could quickly duck inside. Her stall was about to open, when another miraculously became available. I dashed in, just as the woman was about to walk out. I saw a flash of color from her skirt before I was safely in my own stall.

When I walked out to wash my hands, I’m pretty sure she was still there, taller and scarier than I hoped…she could totally beat the crap out of me…but I walked (or slinked…one of those) to the sink next to her with my head down, avoiding all eye contact with anyone. I washed my hands and raced out of there, paper towels still in hand. I gave Brian the look that says OMG let’s go go go.

“Awkwardness in the bathroom?”
“Yup.”
“OK then.”

And we moved on to baggage claim.

What are your thoughts on Midol? Have you ever accidentally opened a bathroom stall? Have you been walked in on?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

In Which I Annoyed the Crap Out of 138 Souls, 6 Flight Attendants, a Pilot, Plus 4 Lap Children on a Small-ish Aircraft

I remember the day that The Bloggess starting following me on Twitter like it was yesterday. I was stoked. I mean, she’s the freakin’ BLOGGESS! And she’s funny. And her blog makes me laugh. But it took me a while to read her book. In the end, I couldn’t put it down. I finally finished.

Flight to Florida

Last week, Brian and I made our way back to Florida for another fun-filled vacation of joy in which I did a whole lot of awesome things when Brian wanted to be sleeping. But this post isn’t about our trip. This post is about airplanes. And The Bloggess (Jenny Lawson). And her book, Let’s Pretend this Never Happened.

On our flight down, I was reading a book that I was less than impressed with (and will not name) because I wanted to finish it before getting back to laughing hysterically at the one and only Jenny Lawson. I was stuck in the middle seat next to a larger older lady who took up her seat, half of my seat and some of the aisle. Needless to say I was not pleasantly seated for the 3 hour flight.

Not only did Bitchy McBitch feel the need to take up half of my seat, she also glared at me. Like I was spewing poison from my left cheek or something. Sure I was sitting up, leaning on my tray, but that was only because I needed somewhere to rest my arthritic, carpal tunneled wrist and she was in my way.

I feel that it’s important to say here that people who are stuck in the middle seat should be granted BOTH fucking arm rests. Also, people who recline their seats on airplanes are ass hats.

But we landed safely.

On our flight back, on the other hand, I had an excellent seat. I went in with a plan. My seating on Southwest was about 60 people before Brian, so I got on, and made my way to the very back of the plane, where the flight attendants informed me that there were 175 seats and 139 purchased. (I also overheard them say that there were 4 lap children. I’m not making shit up, people.) I sat down, and reserved the two other seats in our row.

When Brian arrived, I took the aisle, and he took the window. No one was going to come all the way to the back to sit in a middle seat. It was a brilliant plan. Once we were in the air, I scooted over and snuggled up against a sleeping Brian. Then I started to read.

Let's Pretend this Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Book Review

When I told the world that I was going to read this book, the world responded with a resounding “OMFG this book is amazing!”

I’m not going to lie, though. It took me a few chapters to get into it. I totally get that the strange happenings in Lawson’s life made her the brilliant and funny writer that she is, I just couldn’t really get into the Wall, Texas thing. I didn’t totally relate. I had heard there was laugh out loud humor…but I longed for a little Chelsea Handler…until…

Jenny Lawson grew up (sort of). And found Victor. And started making me laugh so hard I almost peed my pants. Twice.

Once the Bloggess grew up, I found that I wanted her to be my new best friend (Don’t worry Katie–you’re irreplaceable). I would be reading in bed and Brian would tell me to quiet down, for fear of waking our neighbors (like seriously, not jokingly.)

So there we were on the plane with 142 other souls ( I think it’s entertaining to say souls instead of people. Does anyone know why they did/do that? Please enlighten me!) and I was reading. And laughing. And reading. And laughing more. And every time I laughed, I looked at Brian and if he was awake, I made him read the paragraph that made me laugh. Or I would wake him up to tell him. Or I would just look to see if my laughter woke him up. And then I looked around to see if anyone was silently judging me. Which they were. But I didn’t care because Jenny Lawson is hilarious.

She talks about being weird and kind of an outsider (which I can TOTALLY relate to). She talks about being a writer and a blogger and a daughter and a woman in a relationship with her person and a mom. Minus the mom part, I totally get it. And I feel like she’s one of my people.

I love that she interjects with comments about her editor. I love the randomness that the book is created out of. I love it all. And I bet if I went back and read that first part, I would love that too.

And the whole time, Brian would wake up and comment that I needed to be quiet because the captain at the front of the plane could hear me laughing.

Jenny Lawson, welcome to my hero club. You have 142 “souls” to apologize to, because I was all up in their business during that 3 hour flight with my echoing laughter. They really should just read your book, and then they would totally get it.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

A Series of Unfortunate Events…Err…Just One, But It’s a Doozy

For those of you who don’t know, I spent a beautiful week in the happiest place on Earth. Walt Disney and I go way back (My first Disney magic, my love of Mousercise, and a grown-up trip to Disney World). Of course, I have a ridiculously long list of Disney memories; those are just a few of them. Tomorrow, I’ll tell you a little bit about our fantastic and magical trip to Disney, but today…Today I’d like to tell you about our pre-Disney “misfortune.”

Our plan was to leave last Wednesday afternoon for Florida. We were ridic busy up until our departure (Brian was working LATE nights to make up for his upcoming absence from the tech-y world, I’ve been trying to find us a place to live, prepare for my new job–that I’m starting TODAY, and a million other little details.) So I told him that he needed to get together what he wanted to bring, and I would pack it.

My OCD tendencies are pretty heavy in the packing department. I hate when the luggage is top heavy and falls down. I roll everything meticulously. I also feel the need to write everything that I pack on a list (this is different than my packing checklist), so that I know what is where and more importantly what would/could be missing upon our arrival.

So on Sunday night around midnight, after a very long day, Brian got all of his clothes together for me. Monday came, and my plan was to pack everything as Tuesday was going to be a circus day of running around. So, one of my besties, Lily, stopped over to help (OK, she stopped over to go shopping with me but whatever. That’s what friends are for).

So upon our return from a shopping extravaganza, Lily watched me pack. Well, she watched about 2 hours of it before she left for her man of the moment. 2 hours later, I figured it was time for a break. Yes, I take a long time to properly pack things in just the right places. Don’t hate. I got up to work on a blog post and perhaps enjoy a quick meal. I had previously texted Brian “Don’t forget to eat!” but I was on the verge of forgetting to eat.

15 minutes into a blog post, I heard my roommate yell, “Dexter! No! No, no, no, nonononono.”

At this point, I knew something bad had happened, as I heard Anna shooing the pup back outside. “I think D got sprayed by a skunk.” My brain processes much faster than anything else…my thought process was something as follows:

Oh God. Oh God. What should I do? Remember the last time this happened? You smelled like skunk for a week. Your car smelled like skunk. Your clothes. Everything. Disney. The luggage! Oh God. Oh God. What do I do? Ummm…Do I leave? Do I stay? Oh God. Oh God. I can’t stay. Our clothes! Everything is going to smell like skunk. I need to go. Shit! Shit! Shit!

So I did what any girl would do…I circled the house, offered what assistance I could, and panicked. Then…I mopped the floor. I’m not entirely sure what I thought this might accomplish, but it helped my piece of mind. The stench was so unbelievably overpowering, I cannot begin to describe it to you. But I’ll try.

If you’ve ever smelled fresh garlic, or better yet, chopped fresh garlic, you’ll be able to get an idea. Imagine the smell of fresh cut garlic on your fingers: a strong, potent, stinging smell. Now imagine that you are walking through a HUGE heavy cloud of that smell. Then, multiply it by 5. That’s what we were dealing with here.

After the attempted floor wash, I decided I needed to get the hell out of dodge…I likely had some laundry to do. Let’s not even talk about how I had just completed 5 loads of laundry so we didn’t come home to a full hamper. So after ensuring that Anna and her incredibly helpful mom, who knew skunk de-smelling tricks, were okay, I threw my shit in the bags and loaded up the car.

I’m not going to lie, I felt like the world’s biggest asshole, leaving Anna and Little D all by themselves to handle the stench. Brian was meeting me at the train by my parents’ house, so I went and picked him up. He got in the car and could smell the skunk. I knew I had carried it with me. So, we got to my parents’ and my mom smelled it immediately. I really thought she was going to kill me. She was surprisingly wonderful about the whole thing–this might be because we left everything outside overnight and by morning the stench had dissipated from the air. Of course, our clothes and luggage were still pretty stinky.

After washing 2 suitcases full of clothes about 7 times, two bottles of Febreeze, a container of Clorax wipes, and a box of dryer sheets, our clothes almost smelled normal, if not a little over fragrant. The luggage still had hints of skunk, so I packed our clothes inside of garbage bags and filled it with dryer sheets.

I was basically running on a total of 9 hours of sleep between 2 days because of the laundry and the folding and the rolling and the obsessive packing…

As we were packing the bags up, I commented that they still smelled a little skunky and my dad looked at me, point blank and said: They’re going to think all that skunk is actually weed. They’re going to confiscate your luggage.

We were able to leave for and make it to the airport on time, and my pink princess luggage was still usable:

The traveling pink princess

As we were getting off the plane, and I saw out the window that my suitcase, which I had just purchased for this trip, was sitting out in the Orlando rain…all. by. itself. I freaked out a little bit….questioned the flight attendants, questioned the guy outside the plane…Apparently when you send your luggage through Disney’s Magical Express, they let it sit there until someone comes by to pick it up. Never. Again. I’m too OCD to let my luggage go without me. I learned my lesson.

Yep, that’s my bag, right there…Somewhere along the line, they also lost my sweet Yelp luggage tag 🙁

 

It started raining just after this picture was taken.

Sure enough, once I started unpacking the suitcase, I discovered that the assmonkeys at TSA searched through my bag (Come on, skunk smell, dryer sheets, and a garbage bag screams “our dog got skunked, give us a break!” right?) Guess what? All that hard work I spent packing? Down the toilet before it even hit the plane… My suitcase was a mess.

Have you ever had a problem RIGHT before leaving on a trip? What is your packing routine (if any)? Have you have been skunked?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!