I tend to arrive at the airport well before my flight. That means in addition to the flight duration, I end up with a couple of hours on my hands. What do I do? Well, typically I bring loads of things to do stashed in my hand carry just in case the flight gets delayed, I don’t have a personal screen on the plane, I can’t sleep during the flight, and I feel like doing a variety of things. I pack two unread books, several metro newspapers, a couple of old magazines, and a newspaper crossword puzzle. Bringing a book you haven’t started is dangerous because what if you don’t like it? That’s why I bring two. At least one of them must be in English, my native language.
After checking in and going through security, I usually sit near the gate and eat my snacks and observe people. I’ll walk around and stretch in anticipation of sitting down for seven to eight hours. I’ll maybe browse a magazine while standing in line to board. On the plane, I’ll make a list of people I want to see or food I want to eat that I’ve been missing. I’ll read one of my books. On my last flight from France to the States, I mostly just thought. My brain can be a great entertainer. I also listened to music, read part of a French novel, drafted an email to a group of friends, and made a list of people to contact for the holidays.
Aka: I don’t use most of the items I religiously pack.
At this point, there are a couple of magazines and books that have made several trips between France and the States because I haven’t touched them. I’ll bring them again this time.
I was never a Boy Scout, but I guess my motto when it comes to traveling is “Be prepared.” Let’s not even get into all the snacks I bring that stay nestled next to those reading materials for the whole trip. On the plus side, if we travel together don’t worry if the pretzels haven’t come yet, I’ve got you covered. Do you want some dark chocolate, crackers, or a banana? Or maybe you’d prefer some chopped cucumber and tomato? You can eat it with this plastic fork I brought. I also have this water bottle that I filled up after we went through security. Save room for the pain au chocolat, there are eight pieces in my bag next to that travel magazine from October 2012.
What do you do while in transit? Are you one of those fancy-free travelers who buys a book at the airport bookstore and a coffee by the gate?