I am always trying to find new ways to keep myself entertained on long flights. Most airplanes have movies and tv on international flights, but the smaller planes do not. I have an iPad that I have a few games stored on and I have some music on my phone (which is great to have when the plane is boarding so that I don’t get all fidgety).
I also usually pack a magazine or two to flip through. I like to look at the pictures and I can read small amounts. I also pack a journal to write in. However, whenever I have tried to read on a plane or train or bus I get an upset stomach because of the movement of the vehicle. So, packing books is just a waste of precious carry-on space.
On my last trip to China, I tried something new. Before the trip, I downloaded Amazon’s Audible app and purchased a membership. I downloaded two audio books: T is for Trespass by Sue Grafton and The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz. These are both series that I have enjoyed reading in the past. In the sky club at the airport, I started listening to the Sue Grafton murder mystery. It had been decades since I had listened to any type of book on tape. Remember when you were a kid and you could go the local libraries and check out the kid’s books on tape and read along to it? Ah…the ubiquitous memories of cassette tapes…
Anyways, Audible is a bit more advanced than cassette tapes. You just download the audiobooks to your phone or iPad. Then you can listen and bookmark them so that you don’t loose your place.
I have the noise-cancelling headphones, which are a ‘must’ for travelers. They drown out the noise of the plane and the other passengers. When I was on the plane I found listening to the book was far more delightful than watching any of the movies that were available. Also, when I would try to sleep, I didn’t have the glare of the screen to keep me awake. I would listen to the book, and then everyone once in a while click on ‘bookmark’ so that when I snoozed I could easily go back to where I stopped remembering what had happened in the story.
The best part was, you know how when you are flying and the plane lands and they cut off the show you are watching without notice? And then you get on another flight, but you don’t remember what movie you were watching so you spend forever searching to figure our what you missed? Well, I just kept listening to my story until disembarking the plane and was saved that bit of drama.
I also realized when driving in Seattle traffic, I could plug in my phone to my car and listen to the story as I am driving. It is far more relaxing than listening to the radio (since I constantly change stations trying to find different songs to listen to).
For my next trip, I just downloaded U is for Undertow by Sue Grafton. I am excited to find out what is next for her character Kinsey Milhone. Who will try to kill her this time? (Cue dramatic music)
If you are interested in trying out Audible, check it out on Amazon. I pay $14.95 a month for the Gold membership and get one free book per month (most books are in the $20 range for the audio edition). I have also found they offer free books occasionally, so I have yet to actually pay any additional money besides the membership fee.
Use this link and you can get 2 free audiobooks with a new membership.
If you don’t want to sign up for a membership, but still want to try an audiobook, you can use this link to access all audiobooks under $10 each.