I am honestly and truly pained when I get onto a plane for a transatlantic flight and see no personal tv screens on the back of the seats. Does this make me sound spoiled? Yes, a little. Gazing out the window at the beauty of earth and taking naps have their place. What you’ve got to realize, though, is there are only so many hours of a 9 hour flight that I can spend reading a book and window gazing. This is coming from a book lover and master gazer, no less. This is only one of the ways I’ve seen technology make traveling easier, more comfortable, and, likely, a better experience. Transatlantic flights make the desire for technology more obvious but long bus rides and shorter flights are no doubtedly improved, too.
My favorite tech items for travel have stayed fairly consistent throughout the years. One very important one is some way to listen to music. This has obviously evolved with the times from my kickass walkman to an iPod touch.
Complementing the music listening are the ever wonderful noise cancelling headphones. At first, the idea of putting more noise through my headphones (aka the white noise) in order to cancel out other noise flabbergasted me a bit. That being said, it does wonders for that low and deep rumble of airplane jets. That calm music you want to quietly listen to can stay quiet instead of having to blast it like you’re at a Metallica concert.
Tablets or ‘air’ laptops also seem to be popular among the crowd at the airport. Even though WiFi isn’t a possibility in the air, you can still shave an hour off your trip by losing yourself in Candy Crush. Or you could be productive by typing up a proposal or writing a school paper. I am always fascinated by these people that can fully commit to the latter. I often had grand plans of finishing a term paper on a solid 5 hour bus ride home in college. 5 hours with nothing to do but sit? Obviously, that’s the best time to bang it out. Except, no, it’s not. It’s called a challenge of how much you can procrastinate sitting down for 5 hours on a bus.
As mentioned before, personal TV screens are a must. You can watch 3 movies and be home. Hello, easier and more entertaining flight. My other favorite is a kindle or e-book. E-books are great because you lose the bulk of carrying a book and you gain the option of jumping in between different ones. It’s a quality break in between movies where you can give your ears a rest.
Technology allows for a variety of different activities with only one or two items. This variation is key for sanity during long trips. Spoken from a girl who once had a 8 hour flight without a personal screen, whose battery in her noise cancelling headphones died the first hour. You don’t realize what you’d miss until it’s gone.