Things To Do on a Long Flight – How to Pass the Time

Hi All! Louise here again with another post to provide you with 5 things to do on a long flight. My husband and I are getting ready to embark on a 27-hour trip to the Philippines tomorrow… so it’s about time that I start getting serious about what I’m going to do with myself while spending pretty much a whole day on a plane!

Some options provided here may require access to technology such as a smart phone, i-pad, or streaming websites, however, some options are also tried and true old-school things to do on a long flight. ALL of these options are ways you can access entertainment without needing to purchase an airline WiFi package. Enjoy!

Netflix on the Go.

How many of you have access to a Netflix account? Now, how many of you knew that you can actually download your favorite movies and/or TV shows to watch at a later time without access to WiFi? Amazing right? Never worry about whether you’re going to actually enjoy the provided in-flight entertainment again because netflix-logoyou were prepared and already have access to the movies and shows you love.

What you need to know: In order to access this feature from Netflix, you need to download the Netflix app onto a smartphone or tablet. Next, log into your account as usual. Locate your favorite movie or show. To download, click the downward arrow symbol. Allow enough time for the download to complete then… voila! You should be able to now access what you downloaded at anytime without needing access to WiFi.

What could go wrong: The only thing to beware of is the fact that you can’t download unlimited content, however, depending on what you’re downloading you should be able to get a fair amount. I’m pretty sure I was able to have access to approximately 8+ hours of Parks and Rec. on our trip to the UK.

Sweet, Sweet, Spotify.

I’m a music fiend. I’m not here to brag to you about what music streaming site you should subscribe to, but I am a bit biased. This tip is going to require you to be subscribed to Spotify’s Premium Membership. If you’re as avid of a music listener spotify-logoas I am, this is really a no brainer.

However, if music doesn’t get you going, maybe podcasts do? Maybe true. crime. podcasts. do? Either way, Spotify has all the above and if you subscribe to their premium membership you can literally download as much content as you want to be able to listen to at a later time when you don’t have access to WiFi.

What you need to know:

While you can technically access Spotify for free, if you are not a premium member you cannot access the ability to download content. If you are already a premium member, all you need to do is click on an album or playlist and at the top of the page you should see a little toggle switch titled “downloaded”. When the switch is green, you’re good to go. If not, go ahead and flip that little switch to keep the good times rolling long after you’ve lost your WiFi connection.

What could go wrong: The only thing that could really go wrong is if you forget to flip the “downloaded” switch to green before you have to turn your airplane mode on. You will see that once you have lost access to your WiFi or LTE when you open the app you will only have access to the content that you actually “downloaded”.

Also, don’t miss out on downloading my freebie SPOTIFY playlist “Sweet Dreams in the Clouds” full of my favorite ambient music and white noises to help you catch some Zzzz’s during your flight!

Audiobooks or a Good Old Paperback.

My husband and I got into the habit of purchasing two copies of the same book in preparation for our trips. Then we would be able to read the book simultaneously and discuss at the end. On our honeymoon we finally ventured into the realm of audio books. No matter which route you go, getting lost in an amazing book can make the time “fly” by.

What you need to know: If you decide to take the modern route and go with an audio book, a great place to access a variety of titles is through You can log in through your Amazon account (if you have one) and your first book is free!

Audible is a subscription program, but if you cancel before your month is up, you get to keep the free book and shouldn’t be charged. Typically, you have to download your book choice from a desktop and then you will be able to load it through the Audible app onto your phone or I-pad.

What could go wrong: My only issue with audio books is that sometimes I like to listen with my eyes closed… and if my eyes are closed I sometimes fall asleep. The problem with falling asleep is that your book doesn’t just stop unless you set a timer. More times than not I found myself having to scan backwards to find the last part that I remember listening to… which is sometimes annoying.

Books from Travelings Past:

  • The Giver by Lowis Lowry
  • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
  • The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
  • The Retreat by Mark Edwards
  • Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
  • Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
  • 14 by Peter Clines

Journaling or a Coloring Book.

Having a long stretch of time sitting in a chair is the perfect time to whip out a journal or coloring book. Jot some ideas down on a page about your plans for this upcoming adventure and then bring the journal along on your trip so you can write little entries about all your experiences. Or, if writing is not necessarily your cup of  tea, why not a coloring book? Coloring is not just for kids anymore!

What you need to know: Amazon or your local bookstore/Barnes and Noble are all great places to seek out fun journals and/or coloring books. I am personally obsessed with collecting new journals so even if I might not be writing in them consistently I have a hard time turning down the idea of a fresh journal. Also, it is amazing to see the range of adult coloring books that are now available. I’m sure there is most likely something out there for you.

What could go wrong: Nada!

Click here to see what journal I am currently using and here to see a coloring book that I enjoy. 🙂


Probably the number one tried and true way to pass a good chunk of time on a long flight is to take a nice long nap. I myself am a big get up early, take a nice nap, then stay up late kind of gal.

What you need to know: Taking a red eye flight is a good way to naturally have your body already be prepared to go to sleep. Slip an eye mask on, pop some noise canceling headphones in, and have a nice relaxing snooze.

What could go wrong: Sleeping while in the upright position is not really conducive for the best night’s rest ever, however, there are ways to try to ensure that you are as comfy as possible. Click here to read my previous post about the items I use to get comfy while sleeping on a flight.

What’s the longest flight you have ever been on? What are some fool proof ways you use to pass the time when you have to be glued to a seat? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

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