I love flying on airlines like Delta where the seat back entertainment options seem endless and are so easy. But since I am a Budget Traveler, I often fly on carriers that don’t have seatback entertainment. Here are 10 things that you can do to pass the time while flying on budget carriers.
They take up virtually no room in your bag and offer a decent light reading option. I often prefer a magazine to a book on the plane because I am easily distracted and magazines require less focus. I recommend buying magazines before going to the airport in order to find a better selection and not pay airport prices. I often offer a magazine I am finished with to another traveler.
Books or Audio books
If you aren’t as easily distracted as I am on a plane, you can bring a book to read. You can also download books to your tablet or audio books that you can listen to with headphones.
Play a game
Save the Sunday crossword to work aboard or play an offline game on your electronic device if you are flying solo. If you are traveling with a companion, you may be able to play a 2 person game like Uno. You can do a lot with a regular deck of cards (even solitaire) and they don’t take up much space in your bag. They are nice to have on hand when you travel.
While on a lunch stop at Lake Worthersee last year, my husband picked up a European card game called “Turbos” for us to play on the tour bus as we made our way from Vienna to Venice. We ended up having a lot of fun figuring it out and playing it. I left the tiny box in our carry on bag pocket so we could enjoy it on future trips.
Watch TV programs or Movies on your Electronic Device
You can download movies or television shows to your electronic device to watch on the plane. For the best internet downloads, load any entertainment to your device before you get on the plane. Better yet, before you go to the airport so you don’t have to use the airport wifi.
Catch a Nap
I am a light sleeper and easily distracted, so this rarely works for me. But my husband often grabs a nap on the plane so that he feels rested when we arrive. It’s also a great way to help you avoid jet lag.
Knit or Crochet
Knitting/crocheting are very relaxing for some people. A lot of the true crafters always have a bag with a project at hand to work on. Why not bring it on the plane? Just be sure to check out the TSA Rules for Knitting Needles and Airline Travel Rules for Knitters before hand.
Review guidebooks for the destination you are traveling to. You will probably have your guidebook with you anyway, so why not utilize this free time to really dig into it. It’s a great time to review places of interest and read up on your destination so that everything is fresh in your mind.
Do a little Work
Another option to pass the time during your flight is to do some offline tasks for work, school assignments or write travel notes for articles or blog posts. Some people don’t like to work during travel, but for others it’s not a big deal.
Listen to Music or Podcasts
I love to listen to music on long flights. Something soothing like Andrea Boccelli that allows me to close my eyes and relax a bit (but not sleep). Also, if you like podcasts like I do, you can download a few to listen to on your flight. There is an unlimited amount of options for podcasts like travel, history, commentary or language learning. Really something for everyone.
You might use the time to write some notes you have been meaning to. A thank you note or a catch up letter to a friend you haven’t seen in a while. Bring note cards or stationary along with you and make sure you have the addresses and a few stamps.
Wrapping it All Up
I hope I have given you a few ideas of things you can do to make it through a long flight that doesn’t have seatback entertainment. The key is to plan ahead. Know about how long you will be in air to determine the amount of material to bring with you. Don’t forget to buy your books and magazines or download content before you go! If you will be using your electronic device, be sure to have a full charge when boarding since these budget airlines also rarely have power ports available.