How to stay entertained on a long flight

boy playing a game on a plane

Stepping onto an international flight, knowing that you’re going to be spending the good part of a day with your knees pressed against someone’s back and attempting to sleep upright isn’t the epitome of entertainment.

Keeping yourself amused in the confines of a plane isn’t always easy but there are a few preparations you can make to attempt to keep boredom at bay.

  • Filter through the in-flight entertainment. If your flight comes with screens for personal viewing, see what the on-demand function is offering. Don’t watch films that you’ve seen before unless it’s your favourite or that have a boring start, these will just make you more conscious of time moving slowly. See if the entertainment system has music or audiobooks, these are more likely to help you zone out and might even send you to sleep.
  • Be prepared for sleep. Many travellers find it difficult to have some shuteye whilst flying but if your journey is a long one, you’ll want to try and get your forty winks. Bring earplugs and eye masks to drown out your surroundings and invest in a neck pillow and blanket to try and make sleeping upright a slightly more comfortable experience. Try to avoid taking sleeping pills because if they don’t work you’ll be left feeling groggy and grouchy for not only the flight but after you touch down, which isn’t the best way to start your holiday.
  • Keep your brain active. Staring at the ceiling or failing to sleep isn’t going to make time go any faster. Try to keep your brain active during flights by bringing some stimulating entertainment. Make sure you have a good mixture of books packed, which is easier than ever with an e-reader. Think about bringing some puzzles or a console with games, tasks that require a lot of attention will make the time fly.
  • Make some new friends. On a long flight, you have a great opportunity to meet some characters. If you’re flying alone or are sitting with strangers, try to get some conversation going. For instance, if you’re on a direct flight to Melbourne, get to know your fellow passengers and find out why they’re visiting the country or try to pick up some tips from them etc. Start chatting away and you won’t even think to check your watch.
  • Vary your activities. The monotony of long haul travel can drive anyone to climb the walls, so try to vary your entertainment during your flight. Take some time to do in-flight exercises, stretch your legs and walk around the cabin, switch between activities and take any opportunity to get free food or drink. It’s called long haul for a reason so be prepared to keep yourself busy.

So whether you’ve booked flights to Melbourne, Florida or Johannesburg you’ll need to make sure you’re organised to keep yourself entertained.

A good mixture of activities and a comfortable position should help the time move by, even if it’s just a little more than a snail’s pace.


Great! I will be going on a 30+ hour flight from the other side of the globe a month from now and the information that I have read from this post would really be helpful when the traveling day comes.

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