Audio Books Offer Hours of Entertainment (Especially for Travelers)

August 30, 2010

Modern travel has become a huge hassle.  Of course, it’s nice that we don’t have to take a boat to cross the ocean or a horse and carriage to traverse the terra firma, but we have plenty of other problems to contend with that our ancestors never dreamed of.  Between skyrocketing ticket prices and all kinds of add-ons (not only do you have to pay for the pleasure of checking your baggage, you can’t even get free peanuts anymore), you practically have to mortgage your house just to set foot on a plane.

Then there are all the TSA regulations that keep us safe but limit our liquids to just three ounces and mandate shoe removal at the security check, effectively jamming up the works.  And don’t even start with the ridiculously long lines that they herd you through like cattle to get your tickets, go through security, and get on the plane (only to wait on the tarmac while some idiot tries to shove an oversized carry-on into the overhead bin like he’s stuffing a sausage).  You may start to wonder if a horse wouldn’t be faster.  And then, once you have actually made it onto the plane, you must contend with hour after hour of screaming babies and passengers who cough, snore, or insist on telling you their life story.  Don’t you wish there was a way to block it all out and relax for awhile?

Of course, you could always invest in some audio books.  You may be thinking to yourself, “Why not just get a regular book?”  Well, there are several reasons that audio books are superior for travel.  For starters, they’re far less bulky.  Simply slip CDs into sleeves and stick them in your bag or even better, get an MP3 version for your iPod.  That way you have all your entertainment in one small device.  In addition, audio books allow you to relax two levels.  You get to drown out the noise of the plane (even more so if you have noise-cancelling headphones) as you listen to soothing narration by your favorite celebrity (look for work by Jeremy Irons, James Earl Jones, or John Mayer) or one of many fine voice actors, and you don’t have to deal with dirty looks from the person next to you who would be drifting off to dreamland if not for the illumination needed to light the pages of your book.  And audio books come absolutely free of eye-strain.

But the benefits don’t end on the plane.  Rather than stowing away your book once you get in your rental car, you can continue to listen.  Or you can use it to ignore the cabbie and the sounds of furiously honking freeway traffic.  You can even keep your ear-buds in as you collapse onto your hotel bed to steal a few minutes of peace before you head to the office or out to meet friends and family.  Whatever hassles your travel arrangements entail, you can ease your stress and finally get to that best-seller you haven’t found time to read by taking along an audio book when you travel.

Sarah Danielson is a writer for Calgary Motels where you can find affordable hotels and great tourist attractions.

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