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17/04/2008 - Long Haul Flight Sanity : Music To Sooth The Mind
It is amazing how much something as simple as music can make your journey more peaceful and relaxing. In this day and age you can travel with all the music you could ever want for a long trip in a 2.75" x 2" (6.9cm x 5cm), 1.7oz (49 gram) iPod Nano, and these devices are sure to get somewhat smaller and grow in data capacity.
While I am a big movie watcher while traveling I could never go anywhere without my iPod. My iPod is like heaven when I am trying to sleep. Click on some soft music, close my eyes and try and sleep. I have endured long-haul flights (14+ hours) with no on-board movies available and only 30 minutes of battery life left on my laptop. Sure I could sleep, but this flight departed at 10:50am, so I was wide-awake for the first six hours (and last four hours) of the flight. My salvation while on this flight was my iPod. An endless stream of music allowed me to stay entertained and relaxed while reading the same two magazines over and over again.
Using my iPod with noise canceling headsets (see 13/04/2008 - Long Haul Flight Sanity : Noise Canceling Headphones) is the best way to block out the world when not only on the flight but also while in transit. my iPod with noise canceling headsets have been fantastic for keeping me calm and focused when check in for a flight during the most hectic travel times of the year, people all around me are yelling and shoving and I can just listen to my music and pay attention to what I need to pay attention to.
I have a funny way of setting up my music. I have different genres of music for different period of travel. If I am driving to the airport at 5:00am I am listening to Megadeth or Van Halen to wake up; every single flight begins with Van Halen's "Top of the World" as the engines rev-up and we start down the runway; during the flight I listen to relaxing music such as James Taylor, Indigo Girls or Glenn Miller to calm down or maybe sleep; in transit on the train or walking I often have on fast paced instrumental music like Joe Satriani; and when heading home or staying up late to catch a flight I listen to "louder" music like Iron Maiden or Twisted Sister. Without an iPod carrying all these types of music would be space prohibitive.
More than any other type of "Long Haul Flight Sanity" options, music is by far the easiest, most compact and versatile.
............as an added Bonus, you can even load movies and TV shows onto your iPod! The current iPod Nano has a 24-hour battery life for music and up to 5 hours of battery life for movies, so you can take your music and movies with you on the road (although I personally use my iPod Video for music only).