Boredom. Most of us have to deal with it in some form or another when it comes to traveling, especially during those planned getaways during the summer. Whether it’s long hours stuck in a car of an elongated road trip, stuck waiting on a plane or in an airport during inhuman layover times, or stuck on a train or bus that’s going nowhere as fast as you’d like it to, in today’s age everyone will most likely have a phone, iPod, iPad or laptop with tons of downloaded content and hours of Internet-surfing capabilities to keep them occupied.
However, there can be circumstances when the technological world takes a backseat to inconvenience. Perhaps you forgot to charge your device, or you need to save those batteries until an outlet is available. What about the time at the beginning of a flight when all electronics are forbidden, just to make sure the frequency of your cell phone or your handheld gaming system won’t accidentally send the plane’s system spiraling into the merciless ground below? What if there’s no cell phone or WiFi service? What then?
Well, fear not! Despite popular belief, there are things you can do that don’t have to involve electronic devices with 5G Internet speed. This is a list of at least five things you can do to entertain yourself in times of these extreme and dire circumstances.
Bring a deck of cards with you. The name of the game is Solitaire, and it’s a great way for you and a deck of cards to pass the time you may have cruelly been given away from your tablet. If you happen to be a social individual, games like Go Fish, Speed, 24 and plenty of others are a great way to get those traveling with you engaged in something to keep their minds off their electronic deprivation as well. Or you could be old-school and enjoy a good game of cards. A deck of Uno cards can be a life-saver as well.
Read an actual book. That’s right, you get to take a trip down Nostalgia Lane. Books came way before Nooks, Kindles, iPads and any electronic text readers. The printed pages were held right in your hands, and the paper had that new-book smell when you opened it for the first time, and you’d read even in the poorest light or inopportune conditions just to find out what happens after the cliffhanger at the end of the chapter. You don’t have to worry about charging a paperback novel, and, best of all, it won’t interfere with the safety of your flight during those first crucial hours of takeoff.
Start a conversation. Actually speaking face to face with someone may seem like another ancient form of communication, but when Facebook, Twitter and texting aren’t available, sometimes you just have to retro. If you’re traveling with family or friends, take the time to get deep in their minds about where you guys are going and why you’re excited to go there. Sometimes it can just take an hour-long conversation with someone you’re stuck in a car with to really get to know them. Traveling by yourself? Well, if that person next to you on the train or plane isn’t too questionable by your standards, strike up a conversation. It beats sitting in silence for several hours, and it may help you to feel better about traveling by yourself if someone is in the same boat you are.
Have a notebook on hand. I personally don’t know where I would be without the notebook I carry around with me on a daily basis, because when story or poetry ideas hit, it’s great to have a way to start working on the idea right away when it strikes. Doodling is a classic pastime, too, even if you’re not a prodigy Picasso. And sometimes it’s just great to have paper on hand for things like Hangman . . . or does anyone still know what that is?
Daydream. If all else fails, sometimes there’s nothing more entertaining than the depths of your own mind. Create a story in your head, think about your future destination, perhaps even ponder the meaning of life. Usually paired with music, daydreaming becomes an easy escape aside from the world of instant electronics. Sometimes that daydreaming can turn into actual dreaming, and before you know it, you’ll be waking up with five minutes left before you reach your destination. Just make sure you don’t sleep straight through those important stops.