How to Avoid Boredom on Long Flights

woman killing her time while on travel

Flying can be a pain. Whether it’s the never-ending security lines, the hordes of screaming children, or the fact that you’re stuck in a metal tube hurtling through the air at hundreds of miles per hour, there’s a lot about flying that isn’t fun. And one of the worst parts about flying is the inevitable boredom that sets in during long flights.

If you’ve ever been on a long flight, you know how tedious it can be. Sitting in a small space for hours can drive even the most patient insane. And sometimes, no matter how much you prepare for a long flight, boredom can still set in.

But don’t worry, there are ways to fight off the boredom and make the time pass more quickly. Here are some activities that will help you stay occupied during a long flight:

Get Lost in a Good Book (or Three)

There’s nothing like an excellent book to help pass the time on a long flight. Now is the perfect time to start if you’re not an avid reader. Don’t worry about picking something too heavy—a page-turner is vital when trying to beat boredom on a plane. Check out this list of buzz-worthy books for some inspiration. And if you finish one book before landing, no problem! You can always start on the next one mid-flight.

Finish a crossword puzzle

Did you know that finishing a crossword puzzle can help improve your memory and concentration? Not to mention, it’s a great way to pass the time on a long flight. What’s more, there are several crossword puzzle magazine subscription options you can choose from depending on your interests and difficulty level. Bring at least two with you on your flight, just in case you finish one mid-flight.

Play Some Games

Remember those old-fashioned travel games like Mad Libs and 20 Questions? They’re still fun! And there are tons of other games you can play by yourself or with your seatmate to stay entertained during a long flight. Whip a deck of cards and play solitaire or go old-school with Hangman. Or break out your phone and download some popular mobile games like Words with Friends or Candy Crush (be sure to put it on airplane mode!).

Get Ahead on Work (or Personal Projects)

Flying can be the perfect opportunity to finally get started on that side project you’ve been meaning to work on for months (or years). Or, if you’re looking to make better use of your time, use those hours in the air to catch up on work emails or prepare for upcoming meetings and presentations. But if working on a laptop isn’t really your thing, take this time to plan out your dream vacation or brainstorm ideas for your next big home improvement project instead.

Meet Your Seatmate (or Go exploring!)

One of the best ways to avoid boredom during a long flight is simply by talking to the person sitting next to you. After all, they’re in the same boat as you (literally!). If you start a conversation with your seatmate, you might make a new friend…or at least pass the time more pleasantly than if you spent the whole flight silently staring at the back of their headrest. If striking up conversations with strangers isn’t your thing, take this opportunity to explore every inch of the plane—who knows what hidden treasures (like secret compartments and first-class bathrooms) you might find!

Catch Up on Your Favorite Shows

man in an airplane watching a movie

If you’re a TV junkie, there’s no better way to beat boredom on a long flight than by catching up on your favorite shows. Thanks to streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, you can now download entire seasons of TV shows onto your phone or tablet before your flight takes off. So whether you’re looking for some light entertainment or want to get sucked into a gripping drama, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from during your next long-haul flight.

Get up and move around

This is probably the most important tip on this list. Getting up and moving around every once in a while will help keep your blood flowing and avoid those dreaded “frozen” feelings. Take a walk up and down the aisle every hour or so, and do some simple stretches in your seat when you start to feel stiff. Trust us; your body will thank you later!

Final thoughts

Long flights don’t have to be torture; with a little advance planning, they can actually be enjoyable! By bringing along some books, magazines, games, or movies—or all of the above—you can beat the boredom and arrive at your destination feeling refreshed and relaxed. So next time you’re faced with a long flight, remember these tips and make the most of it!

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