50 Fun Things To Do To Keep You Busy on a Long Flight

December 2, 2015
50 Things To Keep You Busy on a Long Flight

We’ve become accustomed to a life of technology.  As a world traveler, one of the most common questions I hear, and sadly ask, is, “Do you have WiFi?”  When in-flight WiFi became a thing, everybody was tweeting and Facebooking a play-by-play of what it was like to be in a plane, as if none of us knew.  Just as we were getting accustomed to a life of luxury, some airlines (gasp) didn’t find it necessary, and left us staring at our useless hunks of metal in our hands.

“Now what? What am I supposed to do without WiFi? How will people know what I ate on the airplane?!?”  Here’s a list of 50 things to keep you busy on a long flight to the other side of the world instead of wasting 12 hours on Facebook or Instagram.

50 Things To Keep You Busy on a Long Flight

1. Read a book.

Or four. Get a Kindle, download some books and have a whole library in your hands.  Make sure you’ve charged it and turn off the WiFi when you’re not using it to save the battery.

2. Write a book.

Take this time to start writing about your adventures.  Where are you going?  Where have you been?  Someone somewhere will probably want to read it. Maybe. And it will keep you busy!

50 Fun Things To Do To Keep You Busy on a Long Flight

3.  Download a language app and learn a new language.

I have Babbel and Duolingo on my phone.

4. Do crossword puzzles.

I read somewhere that they keep your IQ up.  I don’t do them so I don’t remember where I read it.  But my great-grandma did them and she lived to age 96.  My boyfriend has the New York Times Crossword App and he’s wicked smahht.

5. Journal.

What a good time to catch up on your journalingWhat do you know to be true, unquestionably beyond doubt, with every cell of your being, completely and passionately? What would you be doing today if you only had 37 days to live? What’s your purpose for money? What happens when women find their voice?

What is the dumbest thing that you used to believe in? How do you define feminism? The things you like least about your life are…If you were living more in tune with your own heart and soul, it would feel like…The things you like best about your life are…I wish I could (list 50 things)…

6. Get a personal development book in paperback (they’re lighter) or download one on your Kindle and work on your badass self!

I like to have the actual book in front of me when I’m doing personal development work so I can underline in the book and make notes. I recommend The Desire MapFirestarter Sessions, Warrior Goddess Training, Refugee Recovery, and The Artist’s Way.  In fact, I basically just looked at all of the books on my desk, but get one that will work for you.  

Buy a notebook to go with your new book, take notes, and become a better person by the time your plane lands!

7. Sleep.

Take melatonin, Xanax, Klonopin, Valerian Root.  Whatever works for you. Eye mask. Ear plugs. Scarf. Neck Pillow. Fuzzy socks.  Be prepared for some serious sleep.  And a lot of drooling.  Hence the scarf.

8. Talk to your neighbors.

Where are they from?  Where are they going?  Do they live somewhere cool?  What’s their story?  I met a man on a solo flight from Rome to Prague once and he had a great life story.  He was also sober, after he watched his wife die from alcoholism.  It was so sad to hear, but really put life into perspective and gave us common ground.

He lived in a little beach town in Southern Italy and was traveling to Prague to lead a group of aeronautical engineers at a large conference. But, don’t be a dick. If they clearly don’t want to talk to you, stop talking.  And don’t ask if they’ve found Jesus.  That happened to me and that shit is annoying.

9. Sudoku.

I don’t do anything that involves numbers, so you’re on your own with this one, Smarty Pants.

10. Drink.

Shots.  Wine.  Whatever you drink.  Drink a lot of it and go to sleep.

11. Watch the in flight movie.

Watch a few of them.

12. Listen to music and daydream.

13. Plan your next vacation.

50 Things To Keep You Busy on a Long Flight

14. Plan out your current vacation.

Take out your travel book and map out what you want to do while you’re on your trip.

15. Write a letter to yourself to read in five years.

Where are you?  What are your likes and dislikes?  Who are you dating?  Who do you have a crush on?  What are your dreams?  Write all about your life and exactly what you’re thinking and what’s going on so you can see how much has changed in five years.

16. Get the book Your Best Year Yet.

Do some goal setting to map out your next year so you can kick some serious ass!

17. Walk around the plane and stretch your legs.

Deep vein thrombosis is a real thing and you should be stretching your legs every few hours anyway.

18. Find a spot on the plane and do some stretches.

Downward dog, forward fold, some twists, side bends or sit-ups, but please don’t lose that butt.  Wait…nevermind.

19. Download some podcasts.

Top Travel Podcasts. The Coach Marketing Podcast. Being Boss.  Break Into Travel Writing.  There are podcasts for everything.

20. Listen to books on tape.

Or audio books.  Whatever they have now.

21. Buy a pack of crayons or colored pencils and a coloring book.

This Mandala Coloring Book is for adults and is pretty badass.

22. Knit.

Or learn how to knit.  Knit grandma some socks and show her how it feels to get socks for Christmas.

23. Go to the bathroom and quietly masturbate.

Or loudly.  Your choice.

24. Meditate.

Or read a book on meditation.  Or just close your eyes.

25. Write a letter to your mom/dad/brother/sister/someone.

Maybe write a letter to that shitty ex telling him all of the shitty things he did and how you’re a better person now and thank you so much, you did me a favor, and I feel sorry for your new girlfriend, and joke’s on you.  And tell him how you’re totally over it.  Then quietly cry in your seat.  *Refer to idea #10.

26. List every Michael Jackson song you can think of.

Or Lionel Richie.  Justin Beiber.  Whomever is in your age group.

27. Write a poem.

28. Write a haiku.

5-7-5.  (Five syllables, seven syllables, five syllables.)

29. Write down all of the words you can rhyme with purple.

Or month.  Or orange.

30. Write a pro/con list of items you want to buy from the SkyMall magazine.

31. Play video games.


32. Play actual solitaire, with real cards.

33. Find a little kid on the flight to play with.

Or torment.  Your choice.

34. Madlibs.

35. Take pictures of the clouds, of the sunset, of your sleeping neighbor.

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36. Buy some beads, wire, clasps, and pliers, and make some jewelry.

37. Organize the pictures on your laptop.

Everybody has pictures they need to go through on their laptops.  What a perfect time to go through them, edit them, and delete the endless amount of selfies from traveling alone.  You badass solo traveler!

38. Bring your own teas and have a tea party for one.

Or invite your neighbor.

39. Bring some water colors and an art book and paint!

I mean, how hard can it be?

40. Learn how to do origami.

Buy books and paper and hand out your artwork.  Everyone will be so proud of you!

41. Learn how to do magic tricks.

42. Make a flip book by drawing stick figures doing stuff on a stack of sticky notes.

43. Write a budget so you can get to your next travel destination faster.

I recommend referring to this article, “How to Budget When You’re Broke.

44. Download “Goals Wizard” and start goal setting like a boss!

45. Catch up on work stuff.


46. Design your dream career.

What would you be doing? Where would you be doing it?  What would your day look like?  Reading The Pathfinder: How to Choose or Change Your Career for a Lifetime of Satisfaction and Success is a good start. Figure out how to create your own badass job so you can do more flying and traveling and less sitting at a desk and crying.

47. Design your perfect day.

What would you be doing? Where would you be?  What would you be wearing?  How would you ‘show up’ in the world?  What feelings would you have during the day?  Plan it out and then when you return to your daily routine, see how close to a perfect day you can get.  If you’re miles away from it, how can you get a little closer?

48. Think about what you want your life to look like in six months.  In a year.  In two years.

How will you get there? What’s keeping you from getting there now? What are you committed to creating in your life?  What’s in the way of having those things?  If fear wasn’t an issue, if money wasn’t an issue (the top reasons why people don’t follow their dreams), what would be possible for you?  If there were someone who could help expedite this process, and help you get closer to your dreams faster, how much would that be worth to you? *Nudge, nudge on hiring a life coach*  Oh, wait.  That’s what I do!  How convenient!

49. Write a vision letter to yourself six months from today.

Where are you?  What’s happened in the last six months? What have you learned? How do you feel?  What are the three biggest changes that have taken place in the last six months?  Then, write what actions you need to take to make sure you create this future.  What do you need to shift or change?  What is possible for you?

50. Read a magazine and chill the hell out.

You’re on a flight, hopefully going from where you live to somewhere more fun and interesting.  Or you’re on your way home from the trip of a lifetime.

Take this time away from WiFi to remember that one time there weren’t even airplanes and you would have had to take a damn boat to get where you were going, but only if you were filthy rich, and even then you probably would have died.  So relax, take your Xanax, recline your seat the inch and a half that it will go back and stop asking everyone what to do since there’s no WiFi.  You’re smart(ish).  You’ll figure something out.

50 Things To Keep You Busy on a Long Flight

Do you have tips for traveling on a long flight? Comment below to share your advice with the Pink Pangea community!

Photo credits by Unsplash. 

About Shannon Whaley

Shannon is a Travel & Life Coach residing in the Cayman Islands. Shannon’s passion is helping women find and create more adventure in their lives. In 2013, while having some drinks with a friend in Seattle, she turned her upcoming 2 week vacation to Grand Cayman into a plan to move to an island that she had never even been to. She actually didn’t even know where Grand Cayman was. She provides a unique and funny perspective on traveling and shares her stories and travel tips at Traveling Wild Woman

10 thoughts on “50 Fun Things To Do To Keep You Busy on a Long Flight

  1. lainey
    June 13, 2023

    your hilarious. i love you.

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