10 Tips for Getting Through a Long Flight

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Most times when you face a long flight, the chances are that you’re going on vacation. There is excitement at the prospect of seeing a new country and your brain is swirling with thoughts of all the great things that you’re going to see and do. Unfortunately, until such time as mankind perfects a Star Trek teleportation device, such dream holidays are preceded by the necessity of a long-haul flight.

Many people dislike being stuck on a plane for any extended period of time. I was once one of these begrudging travelers until I changed my attitude towards my flying time.  Part of this shift came about when I started bringing novels from my favorite authors on my trips.  As I don’t normally have a lot of time to indulge in long periods of reading time, reading for hours during a flight became a lovely bit of luxury I looked forward to.

10 Tips for Getting Through a Long Flight

What would help you to change your mindset about flying?  Use these ideas to inspire you for your next adventure and you may just find the flight time zipping by faster than you thought possible!

Plan Your Vacation

Read a travel guide about the city or country that you are visiting.  Write down all the things that you want to see and do. You should be able to read this and pass a few enjoyable hours learning more about the area you are visiting.

Take things a step further and map out a desirable schedule for your trip to make sure you get in all the must-see items on your list.

Watch a Movie

Most long-haul flights offer a movie service, so if you’re a film buff, then plug in your headphones and sit back to enjoy the show.  This is another reason my attitude towards long-haul flights changed – it gives me the opportunity to see some great films that I otherwise wouldn’t have taken our of our busy schedule to see.

Alternatively, you could watch a favorite film that you have downloaded onto your laptop or tablet.

Listen to Music

Listening to music is always a good way to pass time.  A particularly good tip is to buy a new album from one of your favorite bands and don’t listen to it until you’re on the flight. Alternatively, you can download a bunch of your favorite tracks onto your iPod and relax in the knowledge that you’ve got the perfect soundtrack to accompany your flight.

Read a New Book

Reading is another activity that can be absorbing, meaning that before you know it the captain is telling you that it’s time to land.  If you’re going on holiday, you can always select a book that is about the place that you’re visiting for extra relevance.

I often pick new novels from my favorite authors to read but sometimes I’ll mix things up and buy a book at the airport that appeals to me.  I’ve discovered a lot of great new authors to love this way.

Enjoy the Scenery

Sometimes frequent flyers become blase about the marvel that is flying and you forget to look out the window at the world unfolding below you. I remember once flying over the Alps and being completely spellbound by their beauty and majesty.

The entertainment doesn’t end if you go up above the cloud level. Viewing fluffy white clouds, that stretch out like some sort of fairy tale snowy landscape can be mesmerizing, especially for small kids.

Sleep the Journey Away

If you can fall asleep, then that will bring the illusion that the flight has passed by very quickly.  It can also ensure that you are well rested and ready to go when you reach your desired destination.  Bringing a travel pillow may help you to enjoy the comfort needed to enjoy a good few hours’ sleep.

Get Crafty

The small space you have on an airplane isn’t great for crafts like scrap-booking, but there are plenty of other crafts that require minimal space to work on.  Sketching, crocheting, cross stitch, and finger knitting are all portable crafts perfect for completing on a plane.  The materials are easy to transport, too, and won’t take up too much room in your travel bag.  For crocheting and cross stitch, be sure to bring plastic hooks and needles as metal ones may not be allowed on the airplane.

Adult coloring books are also great to bring on your long trips as they are a fabulous stress reliever.  Origami is another craft that can be quite soothing to work on.


Studies warn us about the dangers of deep vein thrombosis, a condition that can be triggered from being seated in the same position for hours on end on a plane.  If you are traveling on a long flight, (when possible,) get up and walk about to stretch your limbs.

As well as being a good health precaution, it also gives you something to do to break up the monotony and may be an opportunity to strike up a conversation with fellow passengers who have had the same idea.

Write a Story

Have you always said you would love to write a book if you only had the time?  Bring a pad of paper and use the time to write a poem, or a short story. The chances are that you will become so engrossed in the act of writing that you will lose track of time.

Take the time on your long flight to just let yourself write and explore your creative side.  It may not turn into the “great American novel,” but you never know, it may just turn into a publishable work of art!

Play Travel Games

For those traveling with kids, board the plane armed with some travel games to keep the whole family occupied.  Favorite toys, coloring books, puzzles, cards or any travel size game will help the time go by more quickly.

If you are traveling with friends or your significant other, cards and travel-size versions of your favorite games will still be a fun way to enhance your journey!

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Tags: Boomers, midlife, stress, travel plans, travel tips

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Barb Webb
Barb Webb is a sustainable living expert nesting in Appalachian Kentucky. When she’s not chasing chickens around the farm or engaging in mock Jedi battles, she’s following the road less traveled, writing about country living and artisan culture. Travel specialties are: Agritourism and Second Season of Life (over 50) Adventures.
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  1. Xanax, iPad, and snacks! That’s how I do it, in fact, I love peanut snacks as my son is allergic and I can eat all I want when I leave town by myself!

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