Bobby in Brisbane


Want to know how to fly and travel with carry on only?

Planepack provides advice, tips, interviews and podcasts to fly and travel light.

Light and sound travels: headphones + audiobooks = comfort

Light and sound travels: headphones + audiobooks = comfort

Five movie flight

'How long is the flight?' Mr Petman asked.

'Five movies,' I answered. That was when I watched as many movies as I could to while away 14 hours on board a flight to the Middle East, en route to Europe from Australia. Yes, it's a long time!

Generally when I travel long haul, the trip is divided into three parts:

  1. boarding + settling in + first meal = three hours;
  2. trying to sleep = eight hours (that's usually when I watch at least three movies); and
  3. eating breakfast + getting excited about landing soon = the last three hours.

But I've changed my habits after discovering the pleasures of audio books. I wrote recently about how I cocoon myself - headphones, neck pillow, blanket and face mask - which might make me look weird, but I'm happy drifting in and out of the cabin distractions.

Last year I travelled with my BOSE wireless headphones. Their soft, over ear-pieces, elegant design and compact foldability were a bonus in restricted online seating. Although these headphones are wireless, I linked to my phone with the included cable (no broadband on board).

I love Apple products, but sadly their headphone earbuds fall out of my ears so I only use them in emergencies. 

You can buy a similar set of headphones from Amazon, but make sure that the supplier ships to your part of the world.

Armed with good headphones, I needed something to listen to. I decided to buy a couple of books from Audible.

Listen to a good book

A friend recommended Patrick Leigh Fermor's A time of gifts: on foot to Constantinople from the Hook of Holland to the Middle Danube. Fermor is an acclaimed travel writer, and this is a beautiful book. He writes about a Europe long gone, set before the Second World War, describing places and people lost forever. I though it the perfect travel companion for a long flight.

What I discovered was that I could close my eyes and drift off into another world. And it didn't matter if I dozed off: the book has no 'plot' as such, just lovely entertaining stories about people and places with whom Fermor engaged.

Resting my eyes, listening to a good book and dozing on and off meant that I was well rested during the flight. No more manic watching of movies (with bad sound quality) or clicking through videos, news broadcasts and music channels. I was chilled and calm. A perfect way to start my holiday.

I have an Audible membership to access many more titles. These days I also listen to books when I drive medium distances: forget the traffic; tune into a good book.

And remember, download audiobooks before you board your flight.

[Podcast: Episode 7] Pack and travel like a man

[Podcast: Episode 7] Pack and travel like a man

Pack like a professional; arrive like a celebrity.

Pack like a professional; arrive like a celebrity.