It is impossible to travel from one side of the world to another in a single trip and you may find yourself with multiple layovers to your final destination. While you can save money by booking a lengthier journey, be prepared for some exhaustion, frustration and hunger.
Personal Opinion: Really cheap flights, and really cheap bus tickets, with really long layovers, are NOT worth it.
Take our flight from Toronto to Sydney (you can read more about that here: YYZ-YVR-HNL-SYD)… The itinerary below suggests we have nearly 34 hours of travelling from our starting point to final destination.
This handy little image is a great way of keeping track of travel time, but it does not take into account the 1-hour drive to Pearson International airport, the 3-hour wait at the airport where we drop off bags, check-in and security before we depart Toronto, and the time it will take us to collect our bags, go through customs, use public transit and find our hostel in Sydney.
After calculating additional travel time on both sides, and all our delays, we endured a grand total of 42 hours of travel!
Below are 6 tips, suggestions and recommendations of how to pass the time during long journeys and flights. Whether its an hour long bus ride or 30+ hours of flying, its best to be prepared to pass the time!
- Sleep: The obvious first choice when travelling long journeys is to sleep. Unfortunately, you can really mess up your body clock by sleeping too much, or sleeping at the wrong time. Take into account the length of your journey and what the local time is when you arrive at your final destination (and your stopovers). My advice is to buy or make a small travel kit that includes a blanket, pillow, eye-mask and even earplugs. It can make a world of difference to your comfort during travel. I bought the comfort kit from Air Transat (pictured), as it came highly recommended by my mum. Now, I won’t go anywhere without it!
- TV/Film Entertainment: Some companies offer free “in-travel” entertainment (hurray!). They might have an app for your mobile/tablet, or you could find a screen fitted to the seat in front of yours, offering a range of films and tv shows. Make sure to check before you depart, as an app might not be available for download once you leave! Also, be wary that you could find a screen in front of your seat, but be charged to use it… Just to be on the safe side, I’m sure you have Netflix and have heard of Netflix “On The Go” by now. This new feature allows you to download tv shows and films directly to your device, and watch without an Internet connection!! It’s only available on the app, but you can find out how to download here. Remember to pack headphones, chargers/cables and even a travel adaptor in your carry-on!
- Chat With Fellow Travellers: Whether you are already on the move or waiting to depart in the bar across the street, travelling is an exciting experience and fellow passengers may want to share their stories with you! One of you might be able to offer the other advice and local spots to check out. Perhaps you’ve both visited the same place and will stroll down memory lane together. I would never recommend waking someone up, interrupting them when reading or talking through their music/films, but introduce yourself when you can. You never know what kind of connection you could make, or how you could influence each others travels.
- Write: While there is no internet connection, this is your chance to write uninterrupted! Use a notebook to jot down your thoughts or bring a laptop to start/finish that task you’ve been putting off. Personally, I use the time to write about our travel experiences for the blog, while its fresh in my mind.
- Read a Book: Books can be heavy, so don’t pack too many – you can always trade with fellow travellers along the way! I prefer a physical copy in my hands (especially a good secondhand book) but you could use a Kindle or iBooks too, to reduce the weight of your bag. Have you ever read a Clive Cussler novel? He is my favourite author, and comes highly recommended by my dad (a super fan). Cussler writes action/adventure stories that you will get swept up in so fast, you might even finish the book before you reach your final destination! Check out all his novels here, and start with a Dirk Pitt adventure.
- Games: A pack of cards, some dice, a notebook and pen will go a long way (think Go Fish, Yahtzee and Hangman, to name only a few)! Alternatively, there are millions of different game apps to choose from. I am obsessed with Bejeweled, whereas Matt likes trying to beat his best time on Solitaire. Games can be played independently or with a group of people, making it an ideal tool (that takes up very little space) when travelling.
Do you have any additional tips or tricks for travelling that you’d like to share? Comment below and let us know. We can always use more ways to pass the time on our long journeys.