10 Ways to Entertain Yourself on a Long Haul Flight

Jacob Valerio

Lyndsay tries to entertain herself on a 10-hour flight to Sweden.

Sitting in a cramped position for more than four hours is less than desirable. Sitting in a cramped position without any source of entertainment is a nightmare.

On my flights to Sweden (three flights totalling 10 hours in the air) my sister and I tried to entertain ourselves a variety of ways. Here are our favourites:

1. Colouring in an adult colouring book

Before the flight, my sister bought an adult colouring book and a box of pencil crayons. We coloured in intricate designs with bursts of bright colours.

Time used: 1 hour

2. Watching in-flight movies/television

Most airplanes have some sort of in-flight movie screen, either individually or positioned along the top of the airplane. The Jet Blue flight we were on had individual televisions on each headrest that allowed each passenger to watch live TV. It was nice to flip through the channels; I picked up some great recipe tips from The Food Network while my seatmate watched the news.

Time used: 3 hours

3. Using apps on a tablet or smartphone

A few days before your trip, download a few fun apps to your smartphone or tablet. Make sure they do not require Internet access to use. I downloaded a few puzzle-type games, which were entertaining.

Time used: 30 minutes

4. Listening to music

Listening to music is a great way to pass the time or even relax you, depending on the genre. Download your favourite songs before your flight or pop your headphones into the seat and listen to the stations the plane has to offer.

Time used: 2 hours consecutively

5. Reading books

I love reading to pass the time, however I hate bringing books with me on trips. They are usually heavy and I always seem to misplace them in hotels and airports. The solution? Ebooks. I downloaded an ebook app called “Overdrive,” which allows me to borrow ebooks from my local library.

Time used: 30 minutes

6. Playing cards

If you are traveling with a companion, cards are a great way to speed through time. We played a little bit of Go Fish while listening to music.
Time used: 15 minutes

7. Sleeping

Alright, so it’s not the most entertaining thing on this list, but sleeping eats up a great deal of time. Invest in a good neck pillow to prevent achy necks.

Time used: 2 hours

8. Watching out the window

Some of the most fascinating landscapes on earth can be seen out of an airplane window. On our journey we saw the skyline of Manhattan, icebergs bobbing in the ocean in Greenland, and deep fjords in Norway.

Time used: 15 minutes

9. Eating

I always like to snack on a plane, especially when the airline provides free snacks and drinks. If you pack your own snacks (which I highly advise) bring small food that are easy to eat with your hands. It’s no fun to be left with sticky fingers and nothing to wipe your hands with!

Time used: 15 minutes

10. Listening to podcasts

Podcasts are the new version of retro radio shows. Ranging from comedians to mystery storytelling, podcasts are a great way to pass the time. Just close your eyes and listen.

Time used: 1 hour

Total time used by something entertaining: 8 hours 45 minutes
Total time used staring at the seat in front of me wishing the flight would end: 1 hour 15 minutes

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Published in Study Abroad Blogs
Lyndsay Burginger

Lyndsay Burginger is an American student studying Mass Communication abroad in Jönköping, Sweden. She holds an AAS in Culinary Arts and plans on engulfing herself in Swedish food and culture. Follow Lyndsay's adventures in Sweden!

Website: www.cookandagoodbook.com

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