Over the years, I have written a lot about various travel tips, such as how to get along with friends while traveling, common travel mistakes, how to avoid the travel bug, how to swiftly get over jet-lag, and more. I have realized that there is one thing that has revolutionized how I travel, and that is occupying my downtime with my iPad.
A few years ago, I received a hand-me-down iPad from my friend. Honestly, I didn’t use it much for the first year, but then came our tour of India. On most tours of India, there is going to be a bit of driving, because it is a big country and the best sites may be a few hours from each other. I have been to India several times and am familiar with the scenery, so I was thinking about what I would do to pass the time on some of our drives especially since it wasn’t all new to me. Then I remembered my iPad.
Once I uncovered it from its hiding place, I began downloading a whole season of Project Runway. If you are not familiar with Project Runway, it is the best thing on TV, and that is even including House of Cards. I could listen to Heidi Klum say, “you are either in, or out” in her sexy German accent for days. Anyway, armed with my fashionista programming, I boarded my flight for one of my favorite countries in the world.
It wasn’t long before my iPad came in handy. Actually, I hadn’t even left O’hare. My flight was delayed and instead of cursing the gods, I just cracked open my portable movie device (still talking about my iPad), popped on a headset and began watching. Here’s the thing, I am pretty busy both back home as well as on trips, so I do not watch a lot of TV or even movies. I forgot how much fun it is! I was soon so engrossed in my show, that I was almost disturbed when it was time to board my flight--but I got over it.
Once in India, my electronic companion (yep, still referring to my iPad) came in handy constantly.
Now, full disclosure: I was traveling with my Zoom Vacations group, so our tour bus was faaaaaancy, with huge plush leather seats, tons of legroom, and large windows. My point is, it definitely added to my mini-cinematic experience through India.
During our first long drive, I watched several episodes. One of the finalists was from India, and her designs were always very colorful and the other designers didn't understand her style, but for me, traveling through India and seeing the beautiful saris that enliven every visage, I got it. Don't get me wrong, she was super annoying so I couldn't wait for her to be "out" but still, I understood where she got her inspiration.
The next "long" drive, I couldn't believe it, that I was actually looking forward to the drive. I was loving my show, my fellow travelers were a hoot, and our vehicle was damn comfortable. My dream screen (uh-huh) was making all the difference.
Throughout that trip, travel delays didn't matter. If a flight was delayed a half hour, I would pop open my little friend, and become instantly transported to a land where judges are beautiful, and entire outfits can be designed and sewn in a day. Words cannot express how much this tamed my stress level.
I have used "captain sugar-screen" (aka, my iPad) as a movie portal on every big trip since then, even when there aren't long transfers involved. Here's the thing, tablets are handy in a number of situations, such as when you have a flight delay or any other kind of travel delay. Suddenly, you're not feeling anxiety and stress about the delay, because you're excited to watch whatever you've got stored on your tablet. And by the way, when do you ever get to do just chill and watch a guilty pleasure back home?
This brings me to my final point, to occupy your downtime, just download your favorite guilty-pleasure TV shows or movies onto your tablet, turn your brain off, and relax. Who knows, you may find that it is the most relaxing part of your vacation.