How to Stay Entertained on a Long-Haul Flight

Air Canada economy class section

Photo by Frankie Roberto, License CC BY 2.0

There’s nothing I love more than jumping on a plane to fly to some far-flung, exotic destination. Being a travel blogger, I’m eternally grateful for the opportunities I get to travel to faraway destinations like India and Jamaica. However, travelling long distances can sometimes be a pain. There’s only so many movies I can watch before I begin to glaze over, and I never realise how much I rely on my phone for entertainment until I’m 35,000 feet up in the air.

In my previous post, ‘How to Have an Amazing Travel Experience,’ I shared some tips about how to make the most of your travel experiences, and now, I’m sharing my advice on how to stay entertained on a long-haul flight.

Brain food


Julie Freeman on stage at a TED talk - a potential way to stay entertained on a long-haul flight

Photo by Juliana Rotich on Flickr, License CC BY 2.0

Before you fly, as well as packing all the essential items for a long-haul flight, make sure you download some engaging content to your tablet or smartphone. I tend to head straight for my favourite TV programmes, but there are some great podcasts out there that can be just as entertaining.

I can often be found watching TED Talks when flying long-haul.  There are so many fascinating topics; from arts and culture, to sociology and psychology, the list is endless. The TED Talks app can be downloaded on iPhone and Android.

Fun games

Apps on an iPhone screen - playing games is a great way to stay entertained on a long-haul flight

Photo by Daniel Go, License CC BY 2.0

It never ceases to amaze me how many different kinds of games are available on iPhone and Android today, from the traditional to the futuristic. Although I’m not much of a gamer, I am partial to a game of Trivia Burst (think Trivial Pursuit, just more compact and digital). You can often find modernised versions of old favourites, including bingo and various card games. If you’re looking for something a bit more thrilling to help you stay entertained on a long-haul flight, and you’re lucky enough to be flying on a plane that has Wi-Fi, check out 

Sound and vision


Close-up view of an Amazon Kindle reader

Photo by James Cridland, CC 2.0 

Going on a long-haul flight is the perfect time to catch up on your favourite books or albums, especially with the technology available on smartphones and e-readers. If luggage space is at a premium, load up your device with some fun, light novels or the latest non-fiction best-seller, since paper versions will take up valuable space in your bag. If digital reading isn’t your thing, then apps like Audible, which has thousands of best-selling audio books available, offer free trials on single books that are the perfect length to digest on a long-distance journey.

Don’t forget about apps like Spotify and Pandora either, which often feature full-length albums and enable you to curate a personalised travel playlist. Be sure to download a few playlists before you fly – don’t make the mistake I usually do, and end up with Destiny’s Child on repeat for hours on end!

So, there you have it – my advice on how to stay entertained on a long-haul flight. Do you have any tips on how to keep sane during a long journey? Let me know in the comments below!

This is a collaborative post.

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