My Magazines are Stale

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?


11 thoughts on “My Magazines are Stale

  1. Well, since I sometimes have motion sickness I try not to read. I’ll read while I’m waiting for the plane to take off, but once the plane is in the air, I generally can’t read anything. Ususally I travel with my husband so I put my head on his lap and try to sleep. That’s what I do for short flights. For longer flights I try and watch the movies. If I feel well enough I’ll try and read a bit, but usually I alternate between trying to rest and watching the films.

    • Motion sickness is not fun. I used to experience that when I was a kid too. Watching shows and movies is definitely a top choice, but sometimes I take budget airlines that don’t provide you with individual screens. I suppose I could watch something on my own device. That’s nice that you have a pillow in the form of a lap beside you.

  2. I have an e-reader I carry everywhere with me and I love it. Because like you said, you don’t want to b stuck with a novel you don’t like! I love reading magazines but I’m cheap and I “need” at least 2 or 3 so I rarely buy any… I read them if someone leave them behind. Free newspapers, I always take a copy of each. I don’t listen to music or podcast as much as I used to but that’s an option too.

    • An e-reader is a smart choice. I have one, but for some reason I prefer to lug around books I will never read. Free newspapers are a good idea. I will have to look out for them on my upcoming trip.

  3. Oh girl. I do pretty much exactly what you do. On my flight last night I had three magazines (two bought at the airport and the CDG free one) AND my book (The Luminaries, by Eleanor Catton — it’s about the size of two bricks) cradled in my arms when I checked in. (EasyJet of course won’t let me bring a purse, so I had to carry them like my children…)

    But I just daydreamed on the plane. I’ll read them today.


  4. That is so me! But now I have to fill my bag with kid-friendly items, too. With you on the snacks, though never dared to bring veggies!

    • It always made sense to me to save the money you would spend on overpriced airport/airline food for good food at your destination, whether you’re on vacation or going home. Yes, I imagine that with a family you must have a variety of goodies!

  5. It’s been a long time since I’ve been on (the longest of) long-haul flights. Now I have an ipad I generally just have that, but it’s good to have a magazine for when they make you switch it off for take-off and landing!

    • Having taken long-haul flights makes anything shorter seem easy, doesn’t it? U.S. –> France seems like a breeze compared to my flights from East Coast –> Asia.

  6. Pingback: A Short Flight but a Long Journey to Wales | I Say Oui

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