10 Ways To Occupy Yourself On A Flight + Plane Essentials

While holidays are a non-stop whirl of fun and adventure, flights are not. In fact, flights kind of suck. The food is shit; the cabin’s cold; the time drags and you spend the entire time extremely conscious of the fact that you’re very high up and you could pretty easily die.

It’s kind of weird that flights are the passageway to holidays. A bit of cosmic juxtaposition, if you will.

And let’s not even talk about flights home. You don’t even have the excitement of visiting a fresh new destination . . . it’s just back to your 9 to 5. Risking death for work.


However, plane journeys don’t have to be painfully dull. Okay, fine, they kind of do – but today we’re talking about how to minimize the damage. When catching a flight, you usually have a couple of hours of interrupted time to waste . . . which doesn’t sound too bad when you put it that way, does it?

If you had interrupted time at home, where you could veg out and sleep, you wouldn’t be complaining; so how can we make those hours on a plane feel not quite so horrific?

Without further ado . . . here are 10 things to do on a plane.

How To Entertain Yourself During Plane Journeys

  1. Plan something.

    This could be anything to what you’re going to do while you’re on holiday to what content you’re going to put up on your blog over the next month.

  2. Read.

    Come on . . . who doesn’t love reading? You could use this time to break into a new book, or finally finish that one you keep meaning to come back to. Alternatively, you could flip through some magazines, or a non-fiction book.  Hey, you could even learn a skill up in the air!

    Did you know that Hamilton was inspired by a biography about Alexander Hamilton that Lin Manuel Miranda read on a flight?

  3. Watch TV – either on your phone or tablet, or using the in-flight entertainment.

    I would suggest not watching Snakes On A Plane.

    TV is always a good way to pass the time . . . and, let’s face it, when are you next going to get a few completely uninterrupted hours where nobody can blame you for checking out and watching TV? Thank you, plane journeys – I was getting behind on my Adventure Time.

  4. Listen to music.

    Oh please, like we needed the excuse to do this.

  5. Write.

    This naturally depends on if you enjoy or have any use for writing, but if you are a writer of any kind . . . well, grab you some interrupted writing time.

  6. Meditate.

    Sounds weird, I know – but once you hop off that plane you’re going to be thrown into the deep end. If you’re anything like me and you like your space and time to yourself, the plane can be a good place to mentally refresh and get yourself psyched up for your holiday. You aren’t going to be able to lay in bed all day, kiddo, better psyche up for socialising now!

  7. Be productive – get that thing you were putting off done!

    Don’t even look at me like that – you know you’ve got something to be getting on with. Whether you’ve got thank-you notes to write (boring), an essay to complete (great, it got worse) or a presentation for work (cake has been taken) . . . well, you’ve got some uninterrupted hours of free time to work that are going to suck anyway, so you might as well put them to good use.

  8. Plane spa!

    Okay, this one you’ll have to be more careful of because, if you’re sitting next to a stranger, they may not appreciate your awesome smelling deep-conditioner . . . but you could always use the plane journey as a quick pamper sesh. Especially if you’re flying with a friend, painting your nails or a quick peel-off face-mask (as long as it’s under 100ml!) could be a good way to spend the journey getting ready for your holiday.

  9. Create a bucketlist

    There’s nothing like being scared for your life to motivate you to make a list of things you want to do in it!

  10. Play games.

    Sure, you could download a bunch of gaming apps, but you could go old-school and use a DS and play Animal Crossing. Come on, there’s no competition.

  11. Fill in your journal!

    And if you don’t have one, now’s a great time to start!

  12. Take a little nap

    I know you’re looking at all these things to do to on a plane to avoid having to suffer through uncomfortable plane sleep and viewing all your gorgeous holiday sights sideways because of that crick in your neck . . . but hey – grab a travel pillow and have a snooze. Crick-free!

  13. Do some in-seat exercises – to avoid blood clots

    Yeah, this one absolutely terrified me when I first read about it – plane journeys are great conditions for blood clots to develop. Isn’t that . . . great? Thankfully, there are small in-seat exercises that you can do to alleviate the risks. These include:

    “Ankle turns: Lift your feet off the floor and move your toes in a circle, one foot moving clockwise and the other foot moving counterclockwise. Change direction and repeat.

    Foot lifts: Place your heels on the floor and bring your toes up as high as you can. Then put both feet back flat on the floor. Then pull your heels up while keeping the balls of your feet on the floor.

    Knee lifts: While keeping your knee bent, raise your leg while tensing your thigh muscle. Repeat 20 to 30 times, alternating legs.

    Shoulder rolls: Raise your shoulders and then move them forward, downward and then backward in a smooth circular movement.

    Arm bends: Start with your elbows on the armrests and your hands pointed forward so that your lower and upper arms make a 90-degree angle. Take turns moving your left and then your right hand toward your chest and back, and continue for 30 seconds.

    Knee to chest: Bend slightly forward. Fold your hands together around your left knee and pull it toward your chest. Hold this position for 15 seconds and let your knee drop slowly. Change legs and repeat.

    Forward bends: Place both feet on the floor and pull your abdomen in. Bend slowly forward and ”walk” your fingers along your shins to your ankles. Hold for 15 seconds and sit up slowly.

    Upper-body stretch: Stretch both arms over your head. With your right hand, grab your left wrist and pull it slowly to the right. Hold for 15 seconds and change arms.

    Shoulder stretch: With your right hand, grab your left elbow and pull your outstretched left arm slowly toward your right shoulder. Hold for 15 seconds and change arms.

    Neck roll: Relax your shoulders, let your head drop to your right shoulder and roll your head slowly to the front and then to your left side. Repeat five times.” – AceFitShare (linked)

Great. So now that the prospect of getting on a plane is even more terrifying, let’s get onto our plane essentials. (This was a terrible post for me to write in anticipation of me getting on a plane.)

Plane Journey Essentials

Okay, well, I hope you enjoyed this post, kids! I actually flew out yesterday evening (yep, I was moderately terrified the entire time; thanks research) to Cyprus for my mother’s birthday! Some good photos (and hopefully stories!) will be coming up soon.

Did I cover all your plane essentials? How do you keep yourself occupied during flights?