As an avid traveler, I have a list of things to do on a long flight that help me survive the extended trip. More time than not, I fly solo thanks to my packed business trip schedule. This means I’ve had to figure out a way to entertain myself while remaining as comfortable as possible.
Things To Do On A Long Flight To Survive The Trip
A lot of people you speak to will tell people to just SLEEP on long flights, but that isn’t always possible or the best thing to do. The one thing I refuse to do on a flight is WORK. I spend so much time on the ground giving 100% to my business that I refuse to work some more while in the air. During that time – it’s MY TIME.
So this post is dedicated to things to do on a long flight if you don’t want to sleep the whole way or if you don’t want to work.
This post contains affiliate links.
Noise Canceling Headphones
With travel, there will always be that chance that you get placed next to two chatty best friends, a crying baby, or a really loud snorer. To prepare for those situations, I always bring on a pair of noise canceling headphones with me when I fly.
When I travel, I like to consider it personal time. I become very introverted and try to get through all the things I’ve been meaning to during the week. If that means two movies and a face mask… then so be it! But I don’t want to talk to people during a flight – that’s just me. I have enough friends – is that rude? Noise canceling headphones end the chance of “getting to know” your seat partner.
Ask For An Aisle Seat Or A Window Seat
When you are booking your airplane seat ticket, make sure you take the time to book your seat preference. Personally, on long hauls, I like the window seat because then I can try to sleep for a bit.
Shorter flights, I usually opt for the aisle seat because then I can stretch out and not feel so confined. This means that the time spent in the air truly determines which type of seat I opt for while booking.
Are you due for a comfort upgrade? Some airlines will allow you to request that they don’t upgrade you to the middle seat and I ALWAYS check that option! I rather stay in “Preferred” than get bumped up to comfort but have to be wedged between two people for 8 hours. No, thank you!
Bring A Travel Pillow
You might not like lugging a travel pillow around the airport while waiting for your flight to board, but you will thank me later once you are resting your neck on that puppy for 10 hours straight.
This is a MUST when it comes to things to do on a long flight. REST! But rest comfortably. Click here to check out some great options.
Download TV Shows And Your Favorite Movies
When I went to China a few years ago, I downloaded the entire season of Empire. I thought that would put me in a great place as far as TIME was concerned. I LOVED IT – got through every show and was flipping out in my seat – gasping, clapping, and cheering.
Then, it was all over and I asked the flight attendant how much time we had left on our flight and she said 6 hours and I almost died. Right there on Delta. I only downloaded ONE SHOW onto my iPad. Why didn’t I think about figuring out the TIME the season would get me through? UGH!
So, use this as a lesson learned – download TV shows and movies… but ENOUGH to get you through. I was platinum that year and had seen every single movie that Delta was offering. There was nothing new for me to watch. Depression sunk in!
Things to do on a long haul is not get STUCK with repeat TV. That is the WORST.
Adult Coloring Books – Hear Me Out
You might not really be into adult coloring books but they really pass the time. I promise you. You don’t have to board with your Crayola 64 and make it into a big thing.
Maybe you just use a pen and a pencil and play with shading. OR maybe you just get a coloring pencil case and bring on 10 colors to really make a go out of it. Either way, it is a soothing and time-passing activity for travelers on long hauls. AND PS – they have small options to consider. You don’t need worry about a HUGE book on your lap.
Learn A Language
If you have 15 hours ahead of you, why not make the best of it and try to learn a language – one that you’ve always wanted to learn!! I mean, how fun would that be? Maybe you’re heading to Italy this summer? Download a language program and brush up on Italian with your hours in the air.
If you’ve ever been curious about software that will help you learn a new language – click here to check out your options. This is always on top of my list for things to do during a long haul flight.
Wear Comfortable Clothing
I know people want to look cute at the airport. I’m not saying for you to show up in your pajamas. Although, I wouldn’t blame you if you have 10+ hours in the air ahead of you. All I am saying is think about what you are wearing and whether or not it would work for a long haul.
My number one recommendation for things to do on a long flight is be comfortable and rest.
What does a great airport outfit look like?
The point is that you need to think about layering. You might get really cold or really hot and if you aren’t in a cardigan that you can take off, it’s an issue. I also like to bring an over-sized scarf that I just keep in my bag JUST IN CASE I need to wrap myself up even further. I have an autoimmune disease and I tend to get colder than most. This is why I am always layered up and prepared.
Take Your Own Snacks
I know that airlines offer up several services of food and drinks throughout a long flight, but sometimes I just want what I want. If I have a huge trip ahead of me, I absolutely make sure that I pack a few of my favorite goodies for the ride.
People might not like what I am about to say, and I respect them for that, but eating passes the time and breaks up the DEAD SPACE. If I feel like I am about to lose my mind, I just grab my Tic Tacs and eat a few because THAT GIVES ME SOMETHING TO DO.
This isn’t the best strategy to keep in your general life. I am not suggesting you eat when you are bored at home because that will leads to issues, but when you are FLYING – do what you have to do and I NEED TO DO THIS. So, use this tip as part of your “things to do on a long flight” strategy only.
Things To Do On A Long Flight – Play Some Games
Listen, I am a gamer. I play games every single day of my life. I have apps on top of apps on top of apps. I also have two sons that live on the PS4 and you better believe that I join in on the fun.
So, when I travel, I always spend some time to download new games that don’t require WIFI because I want to make sure I can play the entire time through if need be.
Maybe you aren’t a gamer. Maybe you think it’s a waste of time. I promise you this… hour 8 of a flight will have you GRABBING for Candy Crush. I promise! Just download 4 or 5 games and see what you think. You might be converted!
How Do You Avoid Jetlag?
Besides passing the time, you also want to make sure that you are doing what you can to avoid jetlag. There are a few things you can do to address this.
First of all, stay hydrated! That is the most important thing to do because our bodies aren’t meant to be that high. for so long. We have to do what we can to maintain balance.
Secondly, figure out the new time of your future destination and adjust to it immediately. This means, if you know that when you land – it’s 11PM … then you should NOT sleep on the flight. It will be HARD but you have to do this! It will set up your trip on the right foot.
If you are landing at 8AM, then you better sleep that entire flight! If you are landing at 9PM, then do everything you can to stay awake!! As soon as you land, you should lean right into the new timezone and that plane ride can help give you a jump start.
What Helps You Sleep On A Plane?
The last tip that I’d like to offer revolves around sleep. I am the WORST sleeper … like period. I cannot sleep. I have one of those brains that just won’t shut off. So, when I am on a plane… it’s just SO MUCH WORSE.
So, while I’m not the best person to offer advise, I will say that melatonin, an eye mask, and a great pillow can go a long way. I can’t have any light coming into my eyes – so an eye mask is a must.
If I’m going to be really honest with you – remember that scarf I brought up earlier? Well, I usually use it to hide some of my face from the rest of the airline passengers. I lean on the window and then I cover the exposed part of my face that isn’t against the window. I just want to be left alone. I might look insane, but it is the only way I can actually get some ZZZZZs
Things To Do On A Long Flight – Hope These Travel Tips Help!
Well, I hope that these travel tips for things to do on a long flight HELP you in some way. While I’ve never reached DIAMOND status, I have been Platinum – 5 years in a row. I travel quite a bit for work and all of this has become second nature to me.
Hope you have a fantastic adventure ahead of you! Do you have any things to do on a long flight that work for you that I didn’t mention?