Long Flight

15 Fun Things To Do On A Long Flight

Struggling to stay entertained on long-haul flights? I have a variety of solutions for you! Check out our guide on the best things to do on a long flight GUARANTEED to keep you entertained throughout.

The dreaded long flights. taking up hours and hours of your time you must have some sort of plan of things to do else you’ll be sat like a vegetable for 10+ hours.

Now I have had my fair share of long flights, it’s fair to say I consider myself a bit of an expert when discussing what the best things to do on a long flight are. 

Once I’m fully packed and the stress of the pre-flight is dealt with, I move on to prepping for the long flight ahead. There are sooooo many options when deciding on the activities you want to partake in and this list will help you to decide what suits you best if you’re struggling with suggestions.

Let’s begin your guide to the BEST things to do on a long flight.

Long Flights Hand Luggage Packing List

If you missed my article on the Southeast Asia essential packing list, be sure to check it out as it can be related to almost any continent. 

In your hand luggage you should include:

  • Mobile Phone
  • Passport and any other essential documents like Visas
  • Cash/Bank Cards (Check out my article on Revolut vs Monzo for the best options when travelling)
  • Kindle if you want to read books. Make sure to get Kindle Unlimited for ALL options.
  • Laptop if you work
  • Pack of cards
  • Headphones/Air Pods
  • Paracetamol
  • Toothpaste/Toothbrush
  • Any Medication you require
  • Snacks
  • Hand Sanitiser/Disposable Gloves

15 Fun Things To Do On A Long Flight

There’s nothing worse than turning up for a long-haul flight underprepared. Boarding a plane and realising you have no music downloaded, no films downloaded and so on. Let this guide act as a reminder so that you don’t make the same mistake many MANY people have before you.

1. Sleep

Now if you have made the rookie mistake of no pre-flight preparation then you can always catch up on some sleep.

If the flight isn’t full and you see a free row next to you, move over and make it a bed!

Usually, you’ll be flying into different time zones so you can be strategic with your sleep. Trying to adjust my sleeping schedule to fit the new time zone is something that really helped me on my travels.

I know it’s not easy for some people to sleep on flights but with the right eye mask and ear plugs or air pods getting a good night’s rest can be achieved.

2. Watch Movies

On a long flight, usually, you’ll watch a few movies. Make sure you download the films on the relevant apps, such as Netflix, Disney Plus and Amazon Prime, as with no WIFI in the skies as soon as you take off there’ll be no chance to stream it.

On some airlines, you can buy data but I see this as a waste of resources.

Alternatively, some airlines will have their own in-flight entertainment. With my Emirates flights the flight attendants handed out headphones so that you could watch one of the films they offered to you on the touchscreens.

Accompanied by fresh drinks and snacks you’re going to be in your seat for hours on end so I can’t think of a better time to watch a movie or three.

3. Watch A TV Series

A bit like the movies, watching a TV series is a great way to pass the time on a long flight.

Just like before, you’ll need to download each episode else you won’t be able to access the content.

I found the choices on the aeroplane to be pretty poor, make sure you download substantial content before departure.

On my trip from London to Dubai and Dubai to Bangkok, I rewatched many of the Prison Break episodes. One of my favourite TV series of all time! The good thing about re-watching a series you’ve seen before is if you fall asleep it’s not the end of the world and you won’t have to rewind it!

Watching a series throughout your flight is a great way to pass the time during a long flight.

4. Listen to Podcasts or Audiobooks

If you prefer some content that you just listen to maybe a podcast or audiobook is suitable for you.

Audiobooks are perfect for people who find reading books the most boring thing in the world. You can consume all the valuable content through your ears and relax rather than having to focus on continuously reading.

Over the last few years, podcasts have exploded. You can find thousands of podcasts on all sorts of topics. Whether you want to listen to people in your line of work or purely on an entertainment basis there is a podcast for everyone.

The best apps to get your podcasts and audiobooks are:

  1. Apple Podcasts 
  2. Spotify 
  3. Audible 

5. Listen To Music

I always find the start of flights a bit hectic, you’re not allowed to have the tray down, people are moving in and out of seats placing baggage above your head. It’s all a bit of a mess. Trying to watch any visual content is nearly impossible.

That’s why, at the start of the flight, I listen to music to help pass the time.

Don’t forget each airline will have its own music options so plug in your headphones and have a listen but, in my opinion, I’m not a fan. You’re better off downloading various music options on your devices pre-departure. By doing this there is no way you’ll be left disappointed by the lack of airline options.

The best apps for music are:

  1. Apple Music 
  2. Spotify 

6. Play Games

On the aircraft, they usually have some games available to play on the interactive screens in front of you. Whether you want to play single or multi-player the choice is yours. 

You can play with a friend or a fellow passenger, I found the multi-player games really fun, turns out Rob had no chances at chess!

Alternatively, download some games before your flight that at sure to keep you entertained. 

My personal favourite has got to be Bloons Tower Defense, I can quite literally sit for hours on end playing this game it is SO addictive!

7. Play Cards

Simple but effective.

With so many card games out there if you learn one or two a pack of cards is well worth the hassle of packing in your hand luggage. 

Follow the link for some games to play on your long flight.

My mum used to play card games with me and my sister all the time when they took us away. The thing for kids is they just want to be entertained so we played all sorts of games from 21 (essentially blackjack without betting) to snap and fish.

Follow the link for some games you can play with kids.

8. Start To Learn A Language

I’m not saying you need to be fluent in a new language by the time you land but it’s the perfect opportunity to learn a few key phrases so you can interact with the local people.

Learning the phrase “less spice” in multiple languages has saved my tastebuds from exploding on many occasions lol. Think of what would help you.

With so many apps nowadays, there really is no excuse to enter a new country without some knowledge of phrases in the local language.

Apps like Duolingo and Memrise can assist you with this. Time to learn a new language and kill time in the process.

9. Track Your Flight

Life in the modern world has come a long way. Tracking the exact position of the aircraft in relation to the rest of the world can be done through the interactive touch screens in front of you.

Not only that, you can access the aircraft cameras and admire the beauty of the landscapes around you. this means if you’re not in the window seat you can still see what it’s like outside, I think that’s a nice touch.

When I’m on long-haul flights I constantly check the progress of the flight, even though it takes 5 minutes each time, I still consider it one of the most enjoyable things to do on a long flight.

Sit back and relax as you witness the aircraft coast over various continents.

10. Get Some Work Done

If you have an online business, I can’t think of a better way to spend your time than working on a plane.

For me being on a flight is the perfect time to catch up on editing videos/photos and writing new content for a variety of platforms.

What’s the perfect laptop for travelling? Check out my article on the Southeast Asia packing list to find out.

If you use the time wisely you can make the flight a beneficial experience as you’ll free up way more time for the productive things available to you in a new city.

With over 10 hours of flight time, you’ll be able to get a lot done. Don’t waste this opportunity to do A LOT of work.

11. Plan Your Trip

If you have a guidebook you’ve got the perfect opportunity to run your eyes over it so you’re not in the dark on arrival.

On the other hand, if you’re yet to decide what route you’re going to take it may be a good idea to look into how you will move around each country in a time-effective manner. This will allow you to maximise each day in the future and prevent any panic that could set in.

12. Have Some Food & Drink

The great thing about long-haul flights is the complimentary food and drinks!

It’s fair to say not every meal you get on the plane will be tasty but that’s why you make sure you bring suitable snacks with you beforehand! I must admit I’m not a fan of curry but Emirates did their best to change my mind!

If you want to drink alcohol onboard the plane, be careful, the alcohol has a more detrimental effect on your body at higher altitudes so make sure you have enough water to balance out the alcohol.

You could argue that if you’re a nervous flyer, after a few drinks you may calm down and get even more excited about the adventures ahead, win-win.

13. Chat With The Air Hostess

Now you’ve got a touch of Dutch courage why not chat with one of the Air hostesses?

Talking to women isn’t as scary as it looks, I believe in you 🤣.

If you’re on a quiet flight they’ll usually have time for a quick chat, I found out plenty about various destinations because of chats with air hostesses. What’s the worst they can say, sorry I’m busy.

14. Go For A Stretch

It’s advised during your long flight that you get out of your seat and go for walks to reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). This is a medical condition that occurs when a blood clot forms in a deep vein as a result of sitting too long without moving, such as during travel.

Sitting in the same seat for over 10 hours is not ideal so by the toilets on the aircraft, there tends to be a large space where you can walk and do some stretches. Not only will this feel good but also reduce the risk of DVT so you could argue, for a long journey, it’s pivotal.

15. Read A Book

The final activity you can do when on a long flight is to read a book.

Books can take up a fair chunk of space in your luggage and once you’ve read it, well, they’re no longer needed. That’s why if you’re a book enthusiast you should look into taking a Kindle.

A Kindle is the perfect solution for book lovers while taking up minimal room. By selecting Kindle Unlimited you have access to unlimited books, unlimited audiobooks and so on.

Reading a book is a great way to pass time and although it’s not one of my favourite things to do I can see why the Kindle is SO popular.

If you have a child consider a colouring book. Children get bored very easily and if they see you reading they’ll want to read too. By bringing a colouring book their mind will stay occupied so you can continue to read your Kindle.

Final Thoughts

So there we have it 15 fun things to do on a long flight.

When you’re travelling and you’re looking for something fun to do during your flight on your next trip, refer to this list and you’ll be sure to stay entertained throughout your journey.

Remember if you forget to download your content pre-flight, then you’ll have to rely on the onboard entertainment system to stay happy. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself watching the same movie all the time lol.