The prospect of sitting on a plane for over ten hours is often a deterrent for many when considering the ultimate travel destination. However, I’ve come to realize that with proper preparation—much like crafting an itinerary for your journey—you can plan your flight time, making it pass by much more swiftly.
The key is to have a variety of options to choose from so that boredom doesn’t set in. Here are some suggestions to make your flight more enjoyable:
1. Tidy Up Your Phone
Cleaning and organizing your smartphone is like giving it a breath of fresh digital air, and a long-haul flight is the perfect time to do it. With a little effort, you can streamline your digital life and free up some memory. Here’s how:
Delete Apps: Let go of apps you haven’t used in a while. Uninstall them to reclaim valuable phone space.
Organize Apps: Create folders for your apps (e.g., Photography, Social Media, Travel, Health) and categorize similar apps into these folders.
Sort Photos/Videos: Take a moment to browse and delete blurry, duplicate, and those awkward selfie photos.
Contact Cleanup: Bid farewell to outdated or forgotten contacts.
Clean Phone Case: Remove your phone case and give it (and your phone) a good clean.
2. Binge-Watch an Entire TV Series
That show you’ve been promising yourself—whether it’s “Game of Thrones” or “Downton Abbey”—now is the perfect time. Long-haul flights are an excellent excuse for a TV series marathon.
Download a few seasons you’ve been wanting to catch up on or revisit some old classics. If you need inspiration, check out our top TV show recommendations. With so much time to spare, you can immerse yourself fully in the world of your favorite characters. Just make sure to bring headphones to avoid disturbing fellow passengers.
3. Organize Carry-On Items
By the end of the trip, my carry-on is usually a mess. It collects shopping receipts, boarding passes, foreign currency, and old peanut bags. Flying back home is the opportune moment to declutter your bag, separate trash from keepsakes, and organize all the scattered papers and tech gadgets.
For easy organization, it’s best to use different zippered pouches—I personally like the Bagail Ultralight Zipper Pouch Travel Packing Bags.
4. Play Mobile Games
When the in-flight movie selection doesn’t quite capture your interest, take matters into your own hands. There are countless mobile games to choose from, turning your journey into a pixelated adventure. Navigate mazes at 30,000 feet, defeat virtual dragons, or build a kingdom—all at your fingertips. Who needs a window seat when your pocket is filled with entertainment?
Pro Tip: Plan ahead and download games when you have internet service or WiFi. If the plane lacks outlets, you might want to bring a spare charger to ensure you stay victorious throughout.
5. Read News/Magazines
Just because you’re on a plane doesn’t mean you can’t catch up on your favorite news websites or blogs. There are plenty of ways to access them offline. Using Safari or Chrome browsers on your iPhone, you can easily open an article and add it to your offline reading list.
Another simple way to read articles in the air is to open a few tabs with articles you want to read before boarding. You won’t be able to access any links, but you’ll be able to see all the content on each tab’s page. I often use this method, especially when I’m drafting an article.
6. Offline Email Replies
Did you know that you can reply to emails even when you’re not connected to the internet? Yes. While disconnecting from the digital world might seem counterintuitive, it’s a perfect opportunity to clean up your inbox and restore a balance between work and life. Many email programs allow you to respond to emails offline, enabling you to draft and send all your replies in one go once connected to WiFi.
7. Read a Book
Whether it’s a gripping novel, a thrilling murder mystery or suspenseful fiction, or an inspiring non-fiction story, a long-haul flight is the perfect time for deep reading. Who knows, you might rediscover a classic or find a new treasure that forever changes your perspective.
8. Enjoy In-Flight Entertainment
Most airlines offer an array of in-flight entertainment options, and that’s why you should make the most of these services and relish screen time. Whether you want to watch classic movies, listen to newly released songs, or simply play a game, you’re sure to find suitable content. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, why not try a new genre or language?
Long flights don’t have to be endured; they can be enjoyed. With a bit of planning and a diverse selection of activities, you’ll find that time flies—literally and figuratively—making your journey as memorable as the destination.