10 Ways To Pass Time On A Plane

No matter what I’ve tried, I’ve never been able to fall asleep on a flight. When I’m not at 30,000 feet, I can lose myself in a good book and breeze through the hours, but there’s something about the minimal leg and butt room, dry air, and the uncomfortable proximity to a cabin full of strangers that prevents me from falling headlong into a good book. Having endured my share of flights without in-flight entertainment or with boring entertainment, I try to come armed with plenty to do. Here’s a list of ways I keep myself busy.

  1. Bring a couple good books. Don’t try and tackle some stuffy literary great or the latest best seller if you’re not sure it will keep you entertained. Instead, bring something that may be a guilty treat. Whether you have a weak spot for poorly written romance or superman comic books, bring a couple of those instead. You’re not trying to impress anyone, you’re trying to make it through a flight without going crazy.
  2. Put games on your phone or tablet. Just make sure you can play the game while offline. Also, try not to completely drain your device’s battery; some airports are now requiring you power on electronical devices when you go through customs.
  3. Bring a craft. Obviously this needs to be something small that doesn’t require things like paint, glue, glitter etc. I usually bring a cross stitch and a colouring book. If neither of those sound fun to you, you could always bring some crochet or knitting (check your airline’s regulations). You could also bring some yarn or string and make bracelets or pick up a book on origami. The thing to remember when doing a craft on a plane is to keep it contained, keep it quiet, and make sure it doesn’t generate smells.
  4. Do a crossword. Anywhere that sells magazines usually sells some sort of crossword books. You could also bring a sudoku book, or other puzzle book. If you don’t feel like buying a book, you could look for free crossword and sudoku online and print them off.
  5. Write a letter. I know this sounds corny. However, time away from your normal daily distractions provides the perfect opportunity to write to someone dear. You could also purchase birthday / anniversary/ Christmas cards and get ahead on your cards. Just remember to mail them out at the appropriate time.
  6. Sort through the pictures of your trip. If you’re anything like me, you probably take way too many pictures when you visit somewhere new and exciting. Let’s face it, uploading all twenty-six of the Buckingham Palace pictures you took to Facebook might come across as a bit obsessive. Your time feeling like a sardine in a tin can is the perfect opportunity to reflect and decide which picture is better than the other.
  7. Edit Your Pictures. Since you’ve just finished sorting through them to find the best ones, why not get creative with them? You can download various free editing apps to your phone and keep yourself entertained by deciding if the rosy filter you used really helps cheer up The Tower of London’s gruesome past.
  8. Journal. I collect postcards. When I travel somewhere new or interesting, I usually pick up a postcard or two for my collection. When I have a moment, I usually write a memory from my trip on the back of each post card. I find the best time to do this is when I’m travelling home. Whether it’s while sat on a plane, on a train, or waiting to board a bus, I find that filling the slow moments of travel with reflection helps me to truly appreciate the experiences I had. If you’re one to keep a diary or journal, these quiet moments are the perfect time to write.
  9. Play a hand held electronic game. Whether you don’t have a smart phone or tablet, or don’t want to worry about draining the battery on your device, a hand held electronic game is another light weight and portable way to keep yourself entertained. You can find anything from Tetris to Yahtzee. These games can usually be found in the toy/ game section at stores like Walmart, Target and Walgreens.
  10. Listen to an audiobook or podcast. My parents always played audiobooks when we travelled long distances. I found it relaxing to lay back with my eyes closed and get lost in a story. Now that I’m an adult, this is something I continue to do when I travel. I usually download a couple different audio books and a couple of my favourite podcasts. I like being able to close my travel weary eyes and enjoy a good story.
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