things to do on airplanes
Illustration by Laura Browning, University of Colorado, Denver

5 Ways To Keep Yourself Occupied on Long-Haul Flights

Most of us know what it feels like to be bored on an airplane. Here are various ways to have fun and get some rest.

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things to do on airplanes
Illustration by Laura Browning, University of Colorado, Denver

Most of us know what it feels like to be bored on an airplane. Here are various ways to have fun and get some rest.

Traveling can be fun. Exploring new countries around the world and experiencing different cultures can be life-changing. However, if you’re traveling to a destination by plane, the flight can be exhausting and boring. Many Americans find the act of flying to be a burden because flying is stressful and unless you’re on a private jet, in first class or in business class, airplanes don’t have the most comfortable seats. But there are numerous activities an individual can do on a plane that can make the flight a positive experience.

1. Crossword Puzzles

For individuals who enjoy figuring out what a word is based on clues, crossword puzzles are a great way to pass the time on a long-haul flight. As with many puzzles, games and riddles, there’s usually a level of difficulty. There are easy crossword puzzles that are mainly for kids or beginners and there are also more challenging puzzles for adults. One well-known crossword puzzle is The New York Times crossword. This crossword is very big and is very time-consuming, which is perfect for someone who is sitting in an airplane for hours.

2. Word Searches

Another fun activity to do while you’re waiting to get to your destination is a word search. Word searches are great because as long as the individual knows how to read, they are capable of doing any word search. There are word search puzzles that have different themes and there are also number search puzzles. If you’re wondering where to find word search puzzles, Amazon, eBay and Barnes & Noble have plenty of word search books for sale. Furthermore, word searches are great because word search books can be very compact, and you can carry a word search book around in your bag. This way, whenever you’re bored and want some mental stimulation, the word search book is easily accessible and available.

3. Watching Movies and Television Shows

With the many streaming services we have at our fingertips, people can pretty much watch anything on their phones, tablets or laptops. Some airlines have free Wi-Fi, and most airlines have TV screens attached to the seat in front of you. Usually, airlines will provide a wide variety of movies, TV shows, podcasts and other things to watch and listen to. If you’re not satisfied with that, you can try accessing streaming services on your phone or laptop. If all else fails and you dislike the options that the airline has provided for you, you can download your favorite TV shows or movies prior to boarding the airplane.

4. Listening to Music

There’s nothing like tuning out all the background noise around you and listening to your favorite songs. Just like watching movies or television shows, you can listen to music for hours and hours. If you get caught up in thinking about the meaning of the song or you enjoy analyzing which instruments are being played and what type of genre you’re listening to, music is a great way to enjoy the plane ride and make time go by quicker. Music can be very therapeutic and soothing, and because traveling these days is very stressful, it’s important to have an activity that puts you at ease. When you’re relaxed, you’re happier and you can appreciate the present moment more. Also, since listening to music can be a very calming activity, some individuals fall asleep listening to music. We all know that sleeping on planes is amazing because you can fall asleep for the entire duration of the flight and once you wake up, you’re at your destination well-rested and happy.

5. Conversing With Your Neighbor

As children, adults tell us not to talk to strangers because it’s dangerous. Overall, this is good advice because kids are still developing good judgment and can’t tell if a stranger is a good or bad person. But as an adult owning your independence, talking to strangers in public areas isn’t always a negative thing. The art of conversation applies anywhere you go in the world. You learn a lot just by observing and talking with others. Another perfect way to make time go by faster on a plane is by talking to the person sitting next to you. If the person reciprocates, that’s great. If they don’t, that’s okay too, because at least you had the confidence to try and initiate a conversation. People do appreciate when you reach out to them.

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