In a long-distance relationship, you soon learn to become an efficient traveler. You also soon learn that you need ways to pass the time as you travel long hours on the plane, train, or bus to reach your sweetheart. Here are a few travel tips from Long-Distance Life:
Make It Efficient
If your long-distance relationship is fairly new, and you haven’t traveled much in the past, there are a few things you should know to get through the airport faster.
- Avoid the lines. You can avoid a lot of stress at the airport if you plan a few things in advance, like printing out your boarding pass at home and using only carry-on luggage if at all possible.
- Be prepared. Take a moment to review TSA regulations while you pack so you know what to expect. If you wear slip-on shoes, have your laptop out, and have all your 3-oz toiletries sealed up in a quart-sized bag, the security process will be much smoother.
- Bring an empty water bottle and some snacks. Even though you can’t take liquids through the security checkpoint, you can take an empty bottle and fill it up at the water fountain. Bringing a little something to eat is a good idea, too. After all, it’s hard not to feel crabby when you have to fork over $4 for a bag of chips and $3 for water at the airport concession stand.
- Travel in comfort. Rare is the airline that will give you a blanket and pillow without a fee these days, so bring your own. Pick your seat online well before your travel date arrives. Wear comfortable clothing and keep your deodorant and facial cleanser accessible so you can freshen up at your arrival airport before you meet up with your partner–all these little things will help you feel refreshed and cheerful even after two long flights and a layover.
Make It Fun
Time never passes more slowly than when your only hours away from seeing your partner for the first time in months. To make that plane ride a little less agonizing, you’ll need a distraction or two.
- Download a movie. You can find relatively inexpensive movie rentals on iTunes or Amazon, and load them onto your iPod or laptop. It’s a great way to make two hours “fly” by.
- Check out an audiobook from the library. Or, of course, a regular book that you’ve been wanting to read.
- Write in your journal. If you and your long-distance partner are keeping a journal together, the plane is a great time to write about your anticipation for the upcoming visit–and to write about all the fun things you did together when you’re on your way back home. Or, doodle or jot down your thoughts in your personal journal.
- Fill out some postcards. Back when I was doing a lot of traveling for my long-distance relationship, I’d have layovers in a bunch of different places. I started picking up postcards when I passed through Phoenix, Denver, Dallas–to either fill them out as fun little snail-mail surprises, or just keep them as mementos of our travels.
- Play some games. You can find lots of “activity books” for adults at bookstores and pharmacies. Sudoku and crosswords aren’t just for old people–they’re a fun way to pass the time on the plane, and you can easily stick the little booklets in your carry-on bag. You can also find logic puzzles and word searches online, and just print a few off before you travel.
- Be productive. The plane can be a great place to dedicate a few hours to studying or working. If you’re taking time off your job while you visit your sweetheart, this can give you a chance to stay up-to-date on your projects.
- Pick up a magazine. Sometimes, trashy celebrity magazines are the best light reading for the plane, and you can always find these at the airport if you forgot to pack something else to do. Or, if you can’t bring yourself to pay $5 to find out why Angelina’s mad at Brad this week, try a newspaper–they usually give you the most bang for your buck at the newsstand.
As small and perhaps obvious as these tips might seem, they all go a long way in easing the stress of travel and helping the time pass smoothly and quickly as you count the minutes remaining until you can see your long-distance partner again.