I don’t fly a whole lot, like not nearly as much as a business person might, but living in one country and going to school in a country across an ocean means that travel by plane is a necessary evil in my life. Because I’m not taking a boat. I don’t want to be closer to the things in the water that want to eat me. No thanks. And it’s not like there’s emergency roadside assistance if anything goes wrong. I’ve accepted that I need to fly to get places, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t do everything I can to make sure that I’m as comfortable as possible during these necessary trips. Here’s a bunch of stuff that I find makes my plane rides much more tolerable.

The key for me is to try to distract myself from the fact that I am actually on a plane. So to do that, I usually bring something that is totally absorbing, so probably an iPad with a few movies on it. That’s what I’ll start into right away, so just immerse myself in something other than the goings on around me in the plane. Of course, you’re made to take out your headphones during take-off (for whatever reason), buy you can pop them right back in when you’re in the air.

While I’m watching the movie or tv show or whatever, I like to munch on a comfort food. Maybe gummies or chocolate or something, just to add another level of distraction. Once the movie is finished, I’ve usually calmed down about the fact that I am on a plane, and can turn to an activity that is not as all-encompasingly distracting. Usually, this is a book. And I’m not saying that a book can’t be as exciting as a movie (because of course it can), rather that when you’re watching a movie, you’re also wearing headphones and engaging more senses.

That said, you can always throw on music, or, if you have trouble reading with music on, as I sometimes do, try downloading the RainyMood app. It’s good to have for planes, because you can access it without the Internet once you’ve downloaded it. It’s just the sound of a rainstorm, and it’s very calming, and it drowns out the noises the plane is making, which I never really like to listen to. I also really like to have some sort of puzzle book with me, be it a crossword or Sudoku or something like that. I find that time goes by more quickly when you’re thinking.

Finally, I must highly recommend layering your clothing, because even though it may be 30 degrees on the ground, you know it’ll be colder when you hit your max altitude. Oh, and bring a blanket, if you can fit in into you carry on. Even just a little one. It’s cozy, it’s comforting, and it can even double as a pillow if need be. The key is to make yourself feel at home up there. The snugglier, the better. Also, check out this video for more advice!