One of the best parts of the FIELD Global Immersion (FGI) experience is the opportunity it provides HBS students to travel around the world. While this is an overwhelmingly positive thing, there is one drawback – the dreaded long plane ride. Although the exact length will vary for each and every one of you, below are my top five tips (in no particular order) to keep yourself entertained:


There is nothing I like doing more on a long international flight than catching up on the latest movies and TV shows. Whether you download select titles in advance or watch whatever is on the screen in front of you, it’s a guaranteed, entertaining way to pass the time. Personally, I am a fan of trashy comedies or iconic classics that you can watch over and over again (think, Remember the Titans).


While at HBS we are always reading, it almost exclusively takes the form of cases rather than a book. At the same time, each of us has what is often a growing list of novels that we want to read. Plane rides (and trips in general) provide a great opportunity to make your way through that list and read something just for fun. You can do it!


Sometimes you just need to zone out, and what better way than to listen to music or to your favorite podcast. Put your headphones on and just relax. I myself am still exploring the world of podcasts – it took me awhile to convert – but I highly recommend Revisionist History (Malcolm Gladwell) or, if you’re a sports fan, The BS Report (Bill Simmons).


While it probably isn’t first on your list of things to do, the plane ride to your host country does provide you with ample time to do some work. On my way to Brazil last year, I made sure to carve out some time to review some of the HBS provided resources (e.g., “Doing Business in…”) and to do some last-minute preparations for my FGI project. Once you land, things get going quickly, so any additional prep you can do on the plane will help you in the long run.


Last, and maybe most important, sleep! For most of you, the plane ride will provide the first bit of down time that you have probably had in quite some time. On the plane you are able to escape the pressures of academics and social life at HBS and simply rest up. Make sure to catch some ZZZ’s on the flight to help you adjust to your new time zone and prepare for a long (but incredible) week ahead in your host country.