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  • 8 Ways to Pass the Time on a Long Flight

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Flying is a perfect opportunity to take advantage of some downtime. We all know flying isn’t the most fun thing to do (especially coming back from a vacation) but rather than complain and be miserable, there are some great ways to keep distracted.

Sometimes flights offer movies and games (and even trivia to win prizes … try flying Air Asia), but they don’t always have em and they don’t always work!

Whether you are flying for an hour or 12, it’s always nice to keep yourself entertained. I mean, you could sleep, but let’s try to maximize this down time with some entertaining and fun ideas.

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Here are a few ways to occupy yourself for hours on your next flight!

1. Reading is the best way to fill time on a flight:

Reading is the best to fill the time on a flight. You are away from technology and wifi (unless you are on a Kindle, but still you are reading) so it makes it the perfect time to catch up on all those books you have been meaning to read. Trust me, I have a long queue of books I have been meaning to get to and my plane (and beach) time are prime to flip through pages.

Just because you are traveling, doesn’t mean it has to be a travel-themed book! You can always keep learning, keep dreaming, and most of all, enjoy your flight!

– First-time traveler? The Rough Guide to First Time Around the World by Rough Guides

– Wanderlusting on destinations? Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (or even any Lonely Planet book ever).

– On a budget? The Best Things in Life are Free by Lonely Planet or How to Travel the World on $50 a Day by Matt Kepnes

– Trying to find yourself? Travel as a Transformation by Gregory Diehl

– Hoping to have a gap year? The Beach by Alex Garland

– Care too much about what people think? (and one of my personal favorites): The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F$*k by Mark Manson

– What about a bit of Romance? Romance is My Day Job by Patience Bloom

– Want to find out why people succeed? Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

You might not be a big reader, I am sure once you open up a book of interest on that long flight you will end up on page 45 without even knowing it.

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2. Coloring books are totally a thing:

Adult coloring books are like my favorite way to keep myself occupied. I feel like the modern day Picasso coloring within the lines and all! Coloring could be a hobby, but it is so therapeutic and fun, especially on a long haul.

They can be travel themed, or self motivation ones, or vulgar doodlies, or even badass breakup coloring books. They are so fun and I am so sure everyone would be super jealous of your artistic talent.

3. Podcasts are a great way to stay entertained and informed:

I personally love crime podcasts and Jack loves to learn about his industry (Digital Marketing, entrepreneurship…). Podcasts are great because they teach you something, they tell you stories, and it’s almost like they are talking to you (and with you!).

And we both get something different out of them – story telling and a new skill. They are great to kill some time while in transit and there is seriously a podcast for EVERYONE.

Travel? Try Extra Pack Of Peanuts or Travelogue.

Food? Try A Time and a Plate or Gastropod.

Finance? Try Freakonomics

Politics? Try NPR

Comedy? Try 2 Dope Queens

Crime? Try Criminal

Love & Sex? Try Dear Sugars

Just make sure you download enough for your flight while you are online so you can use them when you are offline!

Get Our Free Packing Checklist! Everything you need to make your next trip seamless!

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4. Phone game apps are always a great go-to:

I love playing games on my phone when I am flying. I prefer to play card games or like IQ/idiot test games (just because there are endless levels and it’s a great way to keep you occupied and proving how smart you are).

Sometimes, Jack and I try to play against each other in some games, which gives the flight a bit of a competitive spirit. Although, the addicting games like Candy Crush can definitely help pass the time.

Again, download the games before the flight and also make sure they are games that don’t require wifi (Like Words with Friends), otherwise, you can’t play and it’s just no fun.

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5. If you want to work your brain, game booklets are fun!

As much as I love playing on my phone, I usually try to conserve battery for when I arrive so I end up buying books that are full of word puzzles, games, and problem solving. I love logic problems, word searches and Sudoku (I’ve even conquered a 24×24!).

By the way, did you know playing one game of Sudoku per day helps your memory? Yep, might as well work on that noggin while you are on the plane!

6. Take on a new skill.

Flights are a great opportunity to learn something new. I like to learn a new program or read up on a skill, or even a new language (but we will get to that next). I try to brush up on my photoshop skills, or video editing.

It is something I would love to get better at so working on these things on a flight gives prime hours to practice these skills (without any wifi!).

As previously mentioned, podcasts are also a great tool to get some knowledge into that brain. Just find a podcast topic on something you would like to learn more about. Also, books! Of course, there are a tons of great books out there that can teach you a completely new skill within a few hours. (Ever heard of the Dummies series?)

You would be surprised with how much you can learn when you are in transit.

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7. Yep, you can even learn a new language while one a flight.

Heading to Spain and scared that you won’t understand the language? Why not brush up on some of the basics on your flight over? You can get a pocket phrase book or better yet, try using Rosetta Stone or Duolingo. Attempting to learn a few phrases in a different language shows the locals you care and that you are trying to accommodate. You don’t know how far a simple thank you can go.

You can now download them digitally! Bonjourno, new language!

8. If you just want to sit back and relax, listen to music.

As someone who is in the music industry, music is something that is pretty important to me. I love to make playlists that are feelers for my trips. So I have made roadtrip playlists, music festival playlists, Eurotrip playlists and more.

Music gets me in the mood (and super excited) for my destination. And since I travel so often, all my music playlists varies per places. Again, make sure you download your playlist on Spotify before you go on your adventure so you can listen to it offline!

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What are your favorite ways to entertain yourself on your flight?

One thought on “8 Ways to Pass the Time on a Long Flight

  1. Burcu Basar

    Great post. In terms of travel related books to read on a long flight – I also strongly recommend Vagabonding by Ralf Potts – one of the best books I read re long term traveling.

    Reply

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