How to Make Time Fly While Traveling (Without a Flux Capacitor)

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It’s that time of year again. Spring is here, summer is coming, and vacation is right around the corner. But that vacation destination is often at the end of a very long journey. But here’s the good news – there are some ways to make the time fly faster than you can say “Flux Capacitor.” So, yeah, I’m showing you how to turn that silver metal tube into a time machine.

Ok, so I’m no Doc Brown—hell, I’m not even Marty McFly--there isn’t much we can do about the length of the trip ahead of us. But there is something we can do to make it seem shorter-- utilize the time.


Jumping into a book is the easiest way to transcend space and time, no plutonium required. Yet I find that it’s hard to fit reading into my schedule during the week. I have countless books in my queue and dozens of articles archived to read, but getting around to them in the midst of a work week is no walk in the park.

Enter the airplane. No matter how long the flight ahead of you is, there is ample time to get some reading done. I mean, honestly, how often do you have an hour (or six and a half) of uninterrupted reading time? Crack open that book you’ve been trying to finish, or pop open that article you’ve been wanting to read, and get down to it.

The best part about reading? You can do it without electronic devices, meaning you won’t have to stow it at any part of the flight! (It’s the little things in life.)

Pro Tip: The Pocket app allows you to archive any article to be read offline from your mobile device, which is also super helpful if you use public transit to get around.


Maybe you’re all caught up on your reading (congrats, by the way) and have been saying that you want to start a blog, or write a book, or journal. Whatever kind of writing you want to do, travel is the best time to get that ball rolling.

On a plane or a train? Crack open that laptop or, if you’re old fashioned, that notebook, and put words on the page. There is great white noise, very little environmental chatter, and nothing tugging at your attention. Channeling your creativity can make the hours tick by, while giving you a great sense of satisfaction upon your arrival.


People tend to be content with keeping to themselves while traveling and there is nothing wrong with that, but if you’re feeling friendly, turn to the person sitting next to you and strike up a conversation. In addition to the benefit of passing the time, you might make a new friend; you’ll definitely learn something new; and might open a whole new world of possibilities. Experts say that one of the habits of “lucky” people is they maximize their opportunities for chance encounters. Start getting lucky (not necessarily like that, but hey, that’s a possibility, too), and say hello to the passenger in 14B.


I don’t think there is much explanation needed for this one. Nothing passes the time easier on a long trip than sleeping. Simple as that. To optimize your chances of getting some shut-eye, try this:
Stay off the caffeine: Seems easy, until you realize that also includes the habitual morning coffee that is so crucial when flying out early; as well as many of the options included in the beverage service. Opt for water, seltzer, juice, bloody mary mix, or Sprite.

Pack a travel pillow: If you don’t like those half-eaten-donut-shaped things they sell at the airport, REI sells a variety of inflatable pillows that stow easily and are surprisingly comfortable.

Window seat: Get one if you can. If you miss your… err… window, fear not! Savvy fliers check both the night before and a few hours before the flight to snag prime seats whose former occupants were lucky enough to get an upgrade. Most airlines also allow you to upgrade after booking – it might be worth $50 to catch some Z’s.

Have ONE drink: Sure, Bloody Mary Mix is caffeine-free, but when you add booze, you also add a depressant, which can have the effect of sleepiness.

So, while you’re flying, make time fly as well, McFly.

Until next time – Travel safely.

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When Arye isn't helping optimize your time, he is doing his part to ensure life is full of shenanigans.