10 Things to Do on an Airplane

10 Things to Do on an Airplane

Chances are if you’re packing for a flight, you’re not only thinking about what to put in your suitcase but also what to pack for in-flight entertainment. Regardless of the flight time, it can seem endless if you don’t have something to do while on the plane. Whether you’re looking to extend your leisure time or productivity, these 10 ideas will help make the most of your time.

We recently returned from a trip to the Dominican Republic. In preparation for a 10+ hour travel day, I thought a lot about how to pass the time. I fly a decent amount between work and fun, and my in-flight activities are often determined by which type of trip I’m on or how long my flights are.

1| Reading – this is my #1 go to regardless of what type of trip I’m on. Sometimes traveling is the only time I seem to have to read, so I always make sure to have at least a couple books downloaded on my Kindle or my iPad. Before e-readers, I used to leave books I had read in my hotel room so that I could have room to buy a new book on the way home. (Any book recommendations out there? I’m always looking for new ones to have in my queue.)

10 Things to Do on an Airplane - reading


2 | Watching Movies or TV – For my recent trip, I used the new Netflix download feature to start watching the series House of Cards (so good!). Amazon Video also offers a similar feature. Another reason to love my Prime membership! Our International flight on United had free in-flight entertainment too. Tip: Sign up for the frequent flier program on airlines. You can often use your points for inflight wifi and entertainment purchases. Even if you don’t fly often, these are low point “purchases”.

10 Things to do on an Airplane - watching movies or tv

3 | Sleep –
Oh how I wish I could sleep on a plane! If you can, I’m eternally jealous. My husband is one of those people.

10 Things to Do on an Airplane - sleep

4 | Crafting –
  Depending on how long your flight is, you can make some real progress on your latest knitting or crochet project. You can bring knitting needles and crochet hooks, check out this is what TSA says on it. “In general, you may place your knitting needles and needlepoint tools in carry-on or checked baggage. Circular thread cutters or any other cutter or needlepoint tools that contain blades must be placed in checked baggage. You are permitted to keep scissors smaller than 4 inches in your carry-on baggage.”

10 Things to Do on an Airplane - knitting

5 | Work
– If my flight is long enough on a work trip, I often pay for wifi to make the most of my travel time and keep caught up while away from work. Even if I don’t use wifi, there are usually presentations, planning, industry reading or other things I can do while offline. If your inbox needs a clean out, this is a good time to do it.

6 | Photo Editing and Organizing – I often use my flight time to transfer photos from my phone to my computer or a USB drive for storage. While doing that, I get rid of photos I don’t really want and edit them. If you don’t have a computer with you, you can also just delete and edit straight on your phone.

7 | Playing Cards
– if you’re traveling with someone else, you can play cards. On my recent flight a couple sitting ahead of me had some sort of game going on.

10 Things to Do on an Airplane - playing cards

8 | Coloring –
if flying is stressful for you, coloring may be the perfect activity to help you relax. I like these Crayola Twistable colored pencils so you don’t have to have a sharpener with you.

10 Things to Do on an Airplane - Coloring

9 | Games – there are so many games you can play on your phone or tablet. I’m partial to Candy Crush  or Bejeweled Blitz. Someone sitting next to me was playing Angry Birds. What ever your thing is, there’s an app for it! Don’t forget non-digital options like cross words, word finds or Sodoku.

10 | Shopping –  you can “window” shop through the Sky Mall magazine or hop online to make some actual purchases. My boss was flying on Cyber Monday last year and her goal was to get all her Christmas shopping done during her flight. Genius!

P.S. I didn’t list talking to your seat mate as an option. Even if this is your thing, you may not be seated next to someone who reciprocates.

What’s your favorite way to pass the time on a flight?


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