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Long flights are usually the worst part of a trip. But you don’t have to let it ruin your travels. Find out what to do on a long flight based on tips from our readers.
What To Do on a Long Flight
Travel Fashion Girl help! A reader asks:
I have quite a few LONG flights coming up (6-12 hours). It’s hard for me to sleep on planes, so I need some good activities to pass the time. What are your favorite book series? Apps? Games? I can only watch so much TV.
Most of us don’t love flying, let alone sitting on a plane for long flights with nothing to do. From hard-to-put-down book series to games, our readers share their tips on what to do on a long flight.
Find out how to survive long flights over 20 hours long!
Grab a Stack of Magazines
Long flights are the perfect opportunity to catch up on your news or pop culture reading. One reader recommends using an app to save space and weight. “I like magazines for traveling but they are heavy, so the Texture app is great. I can download twenty in advance.” Another reader says, “I have the Issue app (works best on an iPad) for magazines.”
We recommend taking an assortment of magazines, from travel to beauty to news. As Travel Fashion Girls, we love taking a few fashion magazines, like Vogue and Elle, along with some travel favorites, like National Geographic and Travel + Leisure.
Develop a Sleep Routine
If you tend to get antsy on flights or can only read or play games for so long, many readers recommended developing a sleep routine, especially for flights over 10 hours. One reader says, “I have a sleep routine now: sleep music, melatonin, and a meditation podcast. It’s amazing how much better I sleep with sleep music on!”
We love a good pair of noise cancellation headphones so we can focus on calming music or meditation and enjoy a long nap.
Watch a Movie
A quick and easy way to get through a few hours of time is to enjoy a movie, whether it’s a favorite or a new one you’ve yet to see. As one reader says, “I don’t go to the theater much so it’s always easy for me to find a movie I haven’t seen on the plane.”
We love bringing an iPad and having a couple of movies downloaded and ready to watch. Check out new releases on Amazon and have a few ready for your flight.
Who doesn’t love a good game? When you find the right one, you can speed through hours without realizing how fast time flies. Our readers shared quite a few recommendations. One says, “Sudoku is addictive for us,” while another added, “New York Times crossword app or the print book is perfect for flights.”
If you’re looking for something more game-like, one reader says, “Candy Crush is good,” while another adds, “I love jigsaw puzzle apps! If you don’t have Internet, you have to start the puzzle before you get on the plane, but it’s great if staring at a TV or listening to a podcast isn’t enough to keep you entertained.”
Listen to a Podcast
Podcasts are like a blend of magazines, news, books, and audiobooks. One reader says, “Podcasts! Serial (all three seasons) are fantastic!” Serial might just be the most popular podcast and many listeners say it’s addictive.
For long flights, pair the Serial podcast with the book Adnan’s Story, which is a non-fiction story on the real-life Serial case.
Read a Book
Most of our readers recommended bringing a good book or two, either in print or as an audiobook or digital version for your Kindle. Our readers shared so many amazing book recommendations. Here’s what they recommended.
The Tudor series by Philippa Gregory. Readers said, “so good!” and “love her Tudor series!”
The Ava Lee mystery series by Ian Hamilton. One reader said, “The series is set in Toronto and southeast Asia, particularly China. Fabulous. All of our book club loves them.”
The Jojo Moyes trilogy. It all started with Me Before You, which was made into a movie. One reader says, “If you haven’t read the Jojo Moyes trilogy, you might enjoy them!”
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. One reader says, “I recommend all of the books by Ken Follett starting in the Middle Ages. I was so reluctant to read them but when I did I was so glad I did!”
The Neapolitan novels by Elena Ferrante. One reader says, “Start with My Brilliant Friend. There are four books in the series, and I loved them!”
The Chief Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny. Who doesn’t love a good mystery? One reader says, “loved this series!” while another adds, “Ditto! Penny’s writing improves, and the later ones are even better.”
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. One reader says, “I fought the popularity wave but eventually succumbed to curiosity and had to admit that The Hunger Games series was actually pretty good.”
Inspector Bruno series by Martin Walker. One reader says, “This is one reason why I am going to the south of France. The food descriptions in this book are great.”
The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. So many readers love this series. One says, “There are eight or nine books. It’s set in Scotland and they made a TV series of it. So good that you won’t be able to put it down.” Another adds, “I just finished the series. WOW!”
Educated by Tara Westover. A reader says, “Best new book I’ve read lately is Educated. It’s a biography but it reads like fiction. Amazing story.”
Sue Grafton murder mysteries. Several of our readers love Sue Grafton’s murder mysteries. One reader says, “A is for Alibi is amazing,” while another adds, “I love these also. Sadly I only have the last one left to read.”
The Hannah Vogel series by Rebecca Cantrell. One reader says, “For light reading, I try to find a good mystery or two set in the place I’m visiting. If the book is set another time period, even better. Most recently, I’ve been reading Rebecca Cantrell’s Hannah Vogel series set in pre-World War II Berlin.”
Guidebooks. One reader says, “I like to read historical fiction about the area I’m visiting en route. I also geek out on my guidebooks so I know what to see when I get there.”
What are your tips for what to do on a long flight? Share in the comments below!
For more airplane essentials, please read:
- What to Wear On A Plane
- 10 Airplane Essentials
- 5 Airplane Skin Care Essentials
- How to Look Good after A Long-Haul Flight
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