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How to Stay Entertained on Long-Haul Flights

By June 15, 2023Trips

Seasoned travelers can attest, journeys of significant length—whether they’re long-haul flights, cross-country train rides, or a lucky catch of an ’empty leg flight’ on a private jet—can present unique challenges, especially when it comes to keeping one’s self and family entertained.

However, with the right activities (some of which we’re about to discuss), these extended periods of confinement can be transformed into opportunities for enjoyment, relaxation, or productivity.

Here are five creative solutions to transform the way you approach long flights, whether you’re a solo traveler, a business person or a family with young children.

EntertainmentEngrossing Books and Audiobooks

Nothing immerses us in other worlds quite like a good book. For those who appreciate the written word, a long flight presents a golden opportunity to dive into a thrilling collection of your favorite genre.

With the right book, you can traverse time and space, delve into different cultures, or learn something new.

From enthralling fantasy novels, inspiring biographies, to educational non-fiction, the options are limitless.

Audiobooks are also a superb alternative for those who prefer to rest their eyes or gaze out the window.

With quality headphones, you can lose yourself in riveting narratives or learn something new from an array of educational content.

Notably, this option is a great way to engage children, keeping their minds stimulated with exciting stories.

Portable Games and Puzzles

Games aren’t just for kids; they can be an engaging way to pass the time for adults as well. Handheld gaming consoles offer a vast array of game genres, from action-packed adventures to puzzle games that sharpen your mind.

Board games, too, come in travel-friendly editions, offering hours of fun if you’re traveling with a partner or family.

For children, travel-sized games, coloring books, or activity kits can keep them engaged. Digital platforms also host a myriad of educational games that merge fun with learning, ensuring your little ones stay entertained while reinforcing their cognitive abilities.

In-Flight Movies and TV Shows

In-flight entertainment systems have come a long way, often offering an extensive library of movies and TV shows. From the latest blockbusters to classic films and binge-worthy series, your options are never limited. Download the airline company app ahead of your flight. 

While preparing for your flight, remember to carry a comfortable pair of noise-canceling headphones for the best experience.

Don’t forget to download your favorite shows, movies and music onto your tablet or laptop before boarding the flight.

Streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime allow for offline viewing.
This approach guarantees access to your preferred content, regardless of the airline’s offerings.

Crafts and Creativity

For the creative souls, long flights can be the perfect time to engage in portable crafts. Sketching, journaling, knitting, or crocheting are just a few options.

These activities not only help pass the time but also allow for productive relaxation, something especially beneficial for those traveling for business.

Children too can join the creative bandwagon with travel-friendly craft kits. From origami to sticker books, these activities can stimulate their creativity while keeping them occupied.

Music and Podcasts

A fantastic playlist or an engaging podcast can be a wonderful companion on a long flight. Music has a transformative power that can help you relax, energize, or even sleep.

Create a few playlists to cater to different moods you might experience on the flight.

For those who enjoy learning or being entertained aurally, podcasts offer a wide range of genres to choose from, be it crime mysteries, comedy, history, or personal growth. You have quite the options to keep your ears preoccupied and your mind engaged while on a long flight.

Podcasts are also a great way to keep your children entertained, with kid-friendly options available, so you may want to give them a try.

Learning a New Skill

Believe it or not, your long-haul flight could be the perfect opportunity to start learning a new skill. Language learning apps, online courses, or educational podcasts can turn your travel time into a productive session.

Who knows, you might even pick up a few phrases in a new language before you land at your destination!

As for your kids, interactive educational apps can also be incredibly useful. They combine entertainment with learning, helping your children pick up new skills in a fun and engaging manner.

Meditation and Relaxation Techniques

Lastly, consider using the flight as an opportunity to practice mindfulness. There are several meditation apps that offer guided sessions, which can be particularly helpful in alleviating flight anxiety.

For a more immersive experience, combine your meditation session with noise-canceling headphones and relaxing music.

These techniques not only help pass the time but also ensure you arrive at your destination feeling refreshed and relaxed.

Wrapping Up

Adding any of these ideas to your in-flight entertainment repertoire will undoubtedly enhance your travel experience.

Don’t be afraid to mix and match these suggestions or even come up with your own unique ways to stay entertained. After all, it’s your trip, and you’d know best how to keep yourself and your family entertained!


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Canadian Feature Film Actress & International Model. Qualifications include live television, feature film, radio experience, TV Host, event production, & PR. Theresa flexes her knowledge of brand development and marketing while pursing a career in the arts industry in the heart of downtown Toronto. Skilled as a strategic marketing & planning expert, Theresa Longo travels nationally and internationally as a Corporate Brand Ambassador and loves to write and record original music.