6 ways to stay entertained during a long flight

In flight entertainment isn't all it's cracked up to be

Flying seems exciting when you enter the airport and go through security. But after you've boarded your plane (if everything is going right), the flight is actually really really boring. Especially if you're going to be on it for more than four or five hours. Short of taking a nap, here are some of your best options to say entertained while in the air.

1. Find the best airline for on-board entertainment.

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Of course, you can use the on-board entertainment system. But those options can be plentiful or lacking, depending on the airline. An international or overseas flight will usually have at least one movie to watch while on board, free of charge. United Airlines has doubled down on personal screens for passengers featuring on-demand content. But others like American Airlines have eliminated all screens on board, given that most passengers will be bringing their own. Most, if not all, airlines offer some kind of wifi service so you can access all of your streaming content at 30,000 feet.

2. Bring your own movies or shows to save money.

While most airlines will have some kind of on board entertainment system, using it is not free. Sometimes, the airline will offer vouchers or coupons for new passengers or new members. But most of the time, you'll have to pay to watch a movie through their system. Additionally, you'll be limited to what they have on hand. So if there's a movie you're dying to watch that isn't available, you're out of luck.

Instead, consider downloading movies or TV shows to your personal computer or tablet to watch during the flight. Buying a two-day movie rental through iTunes is probably cheaper than the fee you'll have on the plane. And by downloading in advance, you can avoid paying for in flight wifi.

3. Pay for wifi access to get some work done.

If you really need internet access, the wifi is the only way to go. Comparing the cost of wifi access across airlines might be a necessary step in your trip planning. The cheapest way to gain wifi access is to buy a day pass in advance of your flight. The price will go up once you're on board. Some airlines also offer just a one-hour pass for a lower price. This can work if you only need to be online for a limited amount of time.

Pro tip: you can still draft email replies while offline. Gmail offers a function that will save your replies and send them automatically when you're connected again.

4. Use your time to tackle things you always put off.

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Don't view your time in the air as boring or useless. You have hours of free time. Put it to good use. Meaning to finish that book? Bring it on board. Want to start a novel? Finally write on the plane. Bring anything with you that you've been constantly putting off. As long as it's portable and can get through security, you're set for a few hours.

5. Have multiple options at hand.

Some people can focus on one thing for multiple hours at a time and not get tired of it. Others just can't. If you're easily distracted, having multiple options is a must. This is also true if you're going to be on an exceedingly long flight. Pack your carry on bag with enough to keep you entertained. Have some music, movies or TV, a book, sudoku, etc. Whatever keeps you happy.

6. Start socializing with your neighbors, if they're up for it.

If you're ever totally stuck, you can always try chatting up your seat mates. Not too many people like to talk on a plane though so be wary of who you try to talk to. The last thing you want is to piss off the person you're about to be stuck with for the next several hours. But if it goes well, you could have a nice casual conversation buddy for the duration of the flight.

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Finally, we are done with 2020! Between all the highs and lows, it felt like 5 years packed into one, so I'm excited to start fresh in 2021. I'm taking my New Year's resolutions to the next level: cook more, read more, and get back to things I truly love like arts & crafts and morning runs (okay, most likely walks).

Honestly, I could go on forever about the new year, new me thing but actually getting started is my biggest hurdle. I realized that my motivation comes from my mood which directly relates to my environment … and for the past year, my house has been my habitat. So, it's not looking too great after all the wear and tear. The dirt and the mess have accumulated right under my nose.

It's not that I'm bad at it, I just feel so overwhelmed. When my house is clean, I feel much more in control and motivated, and right now it's far from it. When I was venting about my cleaning woes the other day, my friend recommended Handy.

Handy allows you to book local professional cleaners and sign up for monthly, bi-weekly, or weekly plans. Plus, you can schedule appointments at a time that works for you with availability 7 days a week from 7am-11pm. So to get me in the right headspace to tackle my goals, I'm going to be signing up for Handy. I'm looking forward to letting the experts take over.

Although having people in your home may sound a bit strange right now, Handy has rolled out the Handy Safety Standard to help promote the health and safety of the customers and professionals who use their platform. Some of these measures include requiring Pros to wear face coverings during bookings and mandatory daily in-app check-ups to verify they are in good health before claiming a booking. They even have a section on their site dedicated to keeping customers and professionals updated on the latest CDC health and safety guidance.

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Once my house is in order, the fresh feeling will have a domino effect on so many other areas of my life:

✔ Read More

Lying on my cozy couch without inhaling all the dust I'd chosen to ignore, despite my clear uptick in sneezing the last few months. My reading list is chock-full of thrillers and fantasy. And with my new clean slate, I've even added some books about organization.

✔ Get Cooking

Nothing makes cooking more enjoyable than a sparkling kitchen. I'm inspired by a clean space and all the new recipes I'll be whipping up in 2021 already have me drooling.

✔ More Exercise (aka walking!)

I won't feel guilty getting out for a walk on-the-daily when I know I'm not neglecting any household chores thanks to Handy. And when I come home I'm not greeted by any reminders to clean.

You can specify exactly what you want to be cleaned before your Pro arrives and if you like them, you can request to have the same Pro come every time. I can already imagine how exciting it will be to walk into my spotless space.

I cannot wait to book my cleaning through Handy so I can get my 2021 resolutions rolling. My New Year is all about my wellness and my environment plays such a big part in it. I'm signing up for bi-weekly appointments. But their plans are super flexible and if I need, I can always change to a weekly or monthly cleaning plan — sometimes they even have bookings available as soon as the next day!

With Handy, I'm leaving that rough 2020 in the dust and jumping into 2021 feeling fresh and ready-to-go.

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This perfect low-key vacation is not your average camping experience.

Locations

Atlanta, Austin & San Antonio, Boston, Charlotte & Raleigh, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Pittsburgh & Cleveland, Portland, and Washington, DC.

Getaway's outposts are a maximum 2-hour drive from these major cities.

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Why Getaway?

It's an escape for the always on. Leave your work, technology and worries at home, and lean into an experience that allows you to reconnect and center yourself in nature.

Each cabin features 1 (or 2) queen-sized bed as well as a full indoor bathroom, both heat and a/c, and reliable electricity. The kitchen is stocked with food staples and cookware and there is a fire pit and outdoor seating. All cabins are family-friendly and dogs are permitted.

getaway essentials

Booking & Price

Book through the Getaway site. Cabins fit 1 - 4 guests and cost as low as $129 a night.

Safety

Cabins are already distanced (50-150' feet apart) from one another and go through a deep disinfection process between guest stays. Check-in is contactless, and each guest accesses their cabins through a personalized key code.

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UPDATE: Plan Your Winter Escape Today With Getaway! Take $20 Off Your Stay With Code Winter20!

Given the nature of the pandemic, it can be tough to find the best ways to spend the usual festivities that New Year's Eve brings.

Luckily, if you're comfortable enough to step outside for the occasion, there are great places still open and worth visiting. Although you should always keep COVID-19 safety precautions in mind, here are three of the most stunning places to spend Near Year's Eve in the U.S.

New York City (New York)

No guide to stunning places to spend New Year's Eve in the U.S. would be complete without the presence of New York City, New York. The Times Square ball drop is a must-see annual event, though this year it will be a bit different due to the pandemic. Thankfully, the city will still be throwing an event for all to enjoy that will keep social distancing in mind and focus on bringing people together virtually.

While there might be live events for some to enjoy, none have been officially announced just yet. Even if you're enjoying the festivities virtually, there are few better places to spend this special occasion than at the tip of the NYC skyline.

New York City New Years Eve New York City New Years EveForbes

Lake Travis (Texas)

Lake Travis is a brilliant body of water in Texas that provides a versatile collection of ways to enjoy its beauty. If you'd prefer to keep your party secluded due to the pandemic, you can enjoy the evening on a boat in the waters of this lake, which is home to the famous "Devil's Cove" party destination.

If you're comfortable spending the evening in a venue that practices COVID-19 safety precautions, consider relaxing on one of the three decks on display at The Oasis. Even if you don't stick around to ring in the New Year, viewing the sunset from The Oasis is an incredible experience in itself.

Lake Travs Lake Travislaketravis.com

Cape Cod (Massachusetts)

If you're looking for a quainter way to ring in the new year, consider visiting Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Aside from the cool weather and stunning scenery, when spending New Year's Eve in Cape Cod you can visit places such as the Belfry Inn & Bistro. This lovely location has a focus on good dining, stylish and comfortable living, and COVID-19 safety, all of which they put on display via their website.

If you'd prefer not to spend too much time in a restaurant or bar, you can indulge in the incredible appearance of areas like Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket. Simply wandering around the area and taking in the scenery before enjoying an intimate evening inside makes for an unforgettable adventure.

Cape Cod New Years Eve Cape Cod New Years Evebluegreenvacations.com

Due to the ever-changing nature of certain venues during the pandemic, be sure to regularly check-up on any venues you wish to visit. That way, you can remain in the loop on their availability, activities, and safety precautions upon arrival.