If there is one person who hates the act of traveling more than anyone, it’s me (ironic being a travel blogger, I know!) Traveling by air can often stretch into hours of transit, turning what should be an exciting journey into a test of patience. To combat this, finding engaging things to do on a plane is vital. It’s not just about killing time; it’s about enhancing the travel experience, making every minute count whether you’re flying across domestic borders or navigating international skies. Particularly in scenarios where the luxury of in-flight WiFi isn’t available, discovering fun things to do on a plane can transform a mundane flight into an enjoyable segment of your adventure.

things to do on a plane without wifi

Here is my curated list of activities suited for everyone—ranging from solo travelers looking for creative pastimes to parents seeking things for kids to do on a plane, and even suggestions for 12-year-olds. Whether you’re prepping for a long flight or seeking ideas to keep entertained on shorter trips, you’ll find suggestions on watching in-flight entertainment, engaging in creative activities, playing games, catching up on reading, and strategies to stay productive. By exploring these varied things to do on a plane, passengers can ensure a more pleasant and fulfilling journey, turning hours in the air into an opportunity for enjoyment and productivity.

Watch In-Flight Entertainment

Traveling by air offers a unique opportunity to catch up on the latest movies, TV shows, podcasts, and audiobooks. Airlines typically provide a diverse range of in-flight entertainment options to cater to the varied tastes of their passengers. Here’s a breakdown of what one can enjoy during a flight:


Airlines often feature a wide selection of movies, from blockbuster hits to indie films. Emirates, for example, has been known to offer over 2,000 movies on their flights. Popular choices include high-grossing films like “Avatar: The Way of Water,” “Top Gun: Maverick,” and the “John Wick” series. For those who enjoy international cinema, Bollywood action movies like “Vikram Vedha” and French thrillers like “La Syndicaliste” are also frequently available. During the holiday season, airlines might update their selections with the latest releases such as “Barbie” and “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One,” ensuring travelers have access to new and exciting content.

TV Shows

Long-haul flights provide the perfect time to binge-watch TV series. From gripping dramas like “Breaking Bad” and “Game of Thrones” to light-hearted comedies like “Friends” and “The Office,” there’s something available for every type of TV enthusiast. Emirates passengers, for instance, have shown a preference for binge-watching series like “Succession” and “The White Lotus.” For those interested in different genres, options range from science fiction like “Stranger Things” to historical dramas such as “The Crown.”


Podcasts are an excellent choice for travelers looking to enjoy a hands-free entertainment option. They cover a vast range of topics, including storytelling, education, crime, and more. Notable mentions include “The Moth” for real-life stories, “How I Built This” for entrepreneurship insights, and “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend” for a mix of humor and celebrity interviews. Most airlines’ in-flight entertainment systems include a selection of popular podcasts, or passengers can download their favorites beforehand to listen offline.


For those who prefer listening over reading, audiobooks offer a wonderful alternative. Engaging audiobooks like “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams and “Normal People” by Sally Rooney can be found on platforms like the Barnes & Noble NOOK App, which can be downloaded for free. Audiobooks are perfect for immersing oneself in a different world, making the hours pass quickly while high above the clouds.

By leveraging these in-flight entertainment options, travelers can transform their journey into an enjoyable and enriching experience. Whether watching a new movie release, catching up on a favorite TV show, exploring podcasts, or losing oneself in an audiobook, there’s no shortage of ways to stay entertained while flying.

Engage in Creative Activities

Enjoying creative activities during a flight not only helps pass the time but also improves mental well-being and reduces stress. Here are some creative pursuits passengers might consider to make their journey more enjoyable and productive.

Drawing or Coloring Books

For those inclined towards visual arts, drawing or coloring can be a soothing activity. Adult coloring books, known for their complex patterns and designs, offer a great way to focus and relax. They are not just for children; many adults find coloring a meditative activity that helps calm the mind. Airlines might not provide coloring books, so bringing one’s own is a good idea. For children, consider packing a themed coloring book, such as those featuring airplanes, which can keep younger travelers entertained for hours. These books often come with single-sided illustrations, making it easy to tear out and save your child’s artwork.


Writing is another excellent way to engage creatively. It can range from journaling about your travel experiences to drafting chapters of a novel. The tranquility of a flight environment can enhance focus and productivity, making it an ideal setting for writing. For those who find inspiration in the act of travel itself, the unique perspective from above the clouds can spur creative thoughts and ideas. Whether it’s updating a personal blog, composing poetry, or outlining a new project, writing can be both a productive and therapeutic outlet.

Planning Your Trip

Planning future trips can be an exciting and engaging task to undertake while on a plane. This activity involves researching destinations, sketching out itineraries, and imagining the adventures that await. The process of planning not only passes time but also enhances the anticipation and pleasure of future travels. Utilize this time to organize your thoughts, set travel goals, or even start detailing your next big adventure. With tools like smartphones or tablets, one can easily jot down ideas, use travel planning apps, or browse through travel guides and websites.

By incorporating these creative activities into your flight routine, you can transform a mundane air travel experience into an enriching and enjoyable journey.

Play Games

Playing games is a fantastic way to make the hours fly by on a plane. Whether you’re traveling solo or with companions, there’s a variety of games that can keep you entertained. From classic card games to engaging puzzles and travel-specific games, here’s how you can turn your flight into a fun-filled journey.

Card Games

Card games are a popular choice for travelers due to their compact nature and versatility. Games like Blackjack and Poker can be easily adapted for two players, making them perfect for couples or friends flying together. For a quicker and simpler option, consider playing Crazy 8s, which is suitable for 2 to 5 players and provides a fun, interactive experience. If you’re looking for a game that requires strategic thinking and can be played quietly, Hearts is an excellent choice. It involves avoiding certain cards to maintain a low score, ideal for a peaceful flight environment.


For those who prefer a more solitary challenge, puzzles are an excellent way to stimulate the mind and pass the time. Classic games like Minesweeper require logical thinking and careful consideration, perfect for puzzle enthusiasts. For a more modern twist, consider games like Monument Valley, which offers beautifully designed puzzles that are as visually engaging as they are intellectually stimulating. If you’re a fan of narrative-driven puzzles, games like Device6 integrate literature and fantasy with challenging puzzles, providing a unique gaming experience.

Travel Games

Travel-specific games are designed to be portable and easy to play in confined spaces, making them ideal for airplane travel. Games like Solitaire and its many variations are available on platforms like Solitaired, which can be accessed on mobile devices, providing a great way to enjoy classic card games on the go. For group entertainment, Heads Up offers a lively and engaging option where players guess words based on others’ descriptions, perfect for light-hearted fun with fellow passengers.

By incorporating these games into your travel plans, you can transform a mundane flight into an enjoyable and engaging experience. Whether you’re strategizing over a card game, solving a complex puzzle, or laughing over a game of Heads Up, there’s no shortage of entertainment options to choose from.

Catch Up on Reading

Catching up on reading during a flight is a perfect way to immerse oneself in different worlds or to stay updated with current affairs. Whether passengers prefer books, magazines, or newspapers, there are ample opportunities to indulge in reading materials while flying.


For those who enjoy losing themselves in a novel, flights provide the perfect uninterrupted time to dive deep into books. A variety of genres are available to suit any reader’s preference, from thrilling mysteries to heartwarming romances. Notable book recommendations for air travel include engaging page-turners such as “Verity” by Colleen Hoover and “The Housemaid’s Secret” by Freida McFadden. For those who prefer a mix of genres, “The Song of Achilles” by Madeline Miller and “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen offer captivating narratives that can make hours seem like minutes. Carrying a Kindle or any e-reader can make it convenient to store multiple books without the bulk.


Many airlines continue to offer a selection of magazines, albeit moving from paper to digital formats. Magazines like Air Canada’s EnRoute and American Airlines’ American Way provide a mix of travel, lifestyle, and cultural articles that cater to a wide audience. These in-flight magazines are carefully curated to ensure content is relaxing and enjoyable, avoiding controversial topics to maintain a calm atmosphere. For those interested in specific hobbies or current trends, magazines offer a quick and informative way to catch up during the flight.


For passengers interested in staying abreast of global events, many airlines provide access to newspapers. These can range from international editions offering a broad view of world events to more localized papers that give insight into regional news. Reading a newspaper while flying can keep one informed and engaged, turning travel time into a productive session of catching up with the latest headlines and developments.

By incorporating reading into their flight routine, travelers can enjoy a more enriching and entertaining experience. Whether exploring a new bestseller, flipping through a magazine, or perusing a newspaper, there’s no shortage of reading material to make the journey enjoyable and informative.

Stay Productive

Maximizing productivity during a flight can transform travel time into an opportunity for achievement and progress. Many travelers, especially those who are goal-oriented, find that flights provide a perfect setting to focus on tasks that require uninterrupted attention. Here are several ways to stay productive on a plane, encompassing tasks, photo organization, and learning new skills.

Work on Tasks

Achievers recognize the value of using flight time effectively. Instead of watching a movie, they often choose to tackle important tasks. This could include achieving Inbox Zero, finalizing a presentation, completing an expense report for the trip, or conducting an analysis on spreadsheets. Despite the challenges of working in a cramped seat or dealing with spotty Wi-Fi, successful individuals find ways to remain productive. They might switch to offline tasks such as planning—be it weekly, monthly, or yearly planning, or setting and reviewing goals. This proactive approach ensures that when they land, they have fewer tasks awaiting them, allowing for more free time back at home.

Organize Photos

For those who document their travels through photographs, flights provide a great time to organize these visual memories. The key to effective photo organization lies in creating a structured folder system, ideally segmented by year, month, and date with descriptive titles to easily navigate through memories. For example, a folder named “2018 > 10 October > 2018-10-12 Italy” helps in quickly locating photos from specific trips. Utilizing downtime on a plane to transfer, sort, and label photos can save tremendous time and frustration later. Tools like Adobe Lightroom can expedite the editing process, allowing travelers to flag, edit, and organize photos efficiently. This not only clears up storage space but also prepares the photos for sharing with friends or for professional use.

Learn a New Skill

Flights are the perfect time to invest in personal development by learning new skills. Whether it’s starting a new book on a Kindle, listening to educational podcasts, or diving into an online course, the quiet environment of a plane minimizes distractions and aids concentration. For those who prefer audible learning, audiobooks available through apps like Audible provide a rich resource for acquiring knowledge in various domains. Similarly, engaging in courses offered by platforms like Leaderbox can enhance leadership skills and personal growth.

By dedicating flight time to these productive activities, travelers can not only enhance their skills and knowledge but also make significant progress on personal and professional projects. This strategic use of time ensures that the journey is not only about reaching a destination but also about personal and professional growth.

Throughout this exploration of activities to engage in while flying, from watching in-flight entertainment and engaging in creative pursuits to diving into the digital or physical pages of books, the key takeaway is the potential to transform travel time from a mere transition between locations into enriching and productive segments of our lives. Emphasizing this, the journey through games, organizing photos, and even the opportunity to catch up on work or learn something new underlines the multitude of ways in which flight time can be optimized for enjoyment, relaxation, and productivity. Each suggested activity not only serves as a means to pass time but also enriches your travel experience, ensuring that your hours in the air contribute positively to both your personal and professional growth.

The broader implications of these recommendations touch on the significance of utilizing time in confined spaces, like that of an airplane cabin, to foster personal development, creativity, and mental wellness. By reiterating the thesis that mindful engagement in chosen activities can profoundly enhance our travel experience, the discussion not only suggests practical tips but also encourages a shift in our perception of travel time. Conclusively, as we navigate through the skies, these insights aim to inspire travelers to embrace the journey with enthusiasm and a proactive mindset, thereby enriching their overall travel narrative and potentially setting the stage for future explorations grounded in curiosity and the pursuit of knowledge.

FAQs: Things To Do On A Plane

What is fun to do on a plane?

Fun things to do on a plane include watching movies, reading a good book, or playing travel-friendly games. Without WiFi, you can enjoy downloaded shows or podcasts, solve puzzles, or sketch. Engaging in these activities can make your flight more enjoyable and help pass the time quickly.

How to entertain yourself on a plane?

To entertain yourself on a plane, you can bring along a variety of activities such as books, movies, or music. Without WiFi, things to do on a plane include writing in a journal, drawing, or doing crossword puzzles. These options ensure you stay engaged and entertained throughout the flight.

What to do when you’re on a plane?

When you’re on a plane, it’s a great time to catch up on reading, watch downloaded movies, or listen to music or podcasts. You can also enjoy fun things to do on a plane like playing card games or doing a travel-themed activity book. These activities make the flight experience more pleasant and productive.

How do you timepass on a plane?

To pass time on a plane, consider bringing along a mix of activities such as books, games, and downloaded content. Engaging in things to do on a plane without WiFi like journaling, coloring, or working on puzzles can be very fulfilling. These activities help make the hours fly by.

How can I make my flight more enjoyable?

Making your flight more enjoyable involves planning ahead with a variety of entertainment options and comfort items. Bring along fun things to do on a plane such as movies, books, and games, and don’t forget a neck pillow and snacks. Staying hydrated and stretching periodically also enhances the flying experience.

How to relax on a long flight?

To relax on a long flight, try listening to soothing music or guided meditations and bring a comfortable neck pillow and blanket. Without WiFi, you can engage in calming activities like reading, drawing, or writing. Practicing deep breathing exercises and gentle stretching can also help you stay relaxed.

Is a 10 hour flight safe?

Yes, a 10-hour flight is generally safe for most people. Ensuring comfort by moving around occasionally, staying hydrated, and following airline safety guidelines can enhance your well-being. Preparing with things to do on a long flight helps keep you occupied and comfortable.

What is the longest flight in the world?

The longest flight in the world is the Singapore Airlines flight from Singapore to New York, covering approximately 18-19 hours nonstop. Planning activities such as reading, watching movies, and bringing things to do on an airplane without WiFi can make such long flights more bearable. This flight showcases the extreme endurance of modern aviation.

How to spend time in a flight?

Spending time on a flight can be enjoyable with a mix of activities like reading, watching movies, and playing games. Without WiFi, consider writing, drawing, or doing puzzles to keep entertained. Planning ahead with various things to do on a plane ensures a pleasant flight experience.

Do planes have WiFi?

Many modern planes do offer WiFi, though availability can vary by airline and flight route. When WiFi isn’t available, it’s useful to have a backup plan with things to do on a plane without WiFi, such as reading, offline games, or downloaded entertainment. Checking in advance can help you prepare for your flight.

How to spend 15 hours on a plane?

To spend 15 hours on a plane comfortably, mix up activities like watching movies, reading books, and sleeping. Without WiFi, engaging in fun things to do on a plane like puzzles, writing, and drawing can help pass the time. Staying hydrated and moving around periodically also contributes to a more pleasant journey.

How do you enjoy being on a plane?

Enjoying being on a plane involves preparing with a variety of entertainment and comfort items. Bring things for kids to do on a plane, such as coloring books and toys, to keep them occupied. For yourself, activities like reading, watching movies, and listening to music can make the experience more enjoyable.

What will knock me out on a plane?

To help you sleep on a plane, consider using sleep aids like melatonin, earplugs, and an eye mask. Bringing a neck pillow and a cozy blanket can also make it easier to relax and fall asleep. Ensure you have some quiet, calming things to do on a plane without WiFi, such as listening to soothing music or guided meditation.

Should I sleep on my flight?

Sleeping on your flight can be beneficial, especially on long or overnight flights, to help adjust to time zone changes and reduce fatigue. Using comfort items like a neck pillow and eye mask, along with quiet things to do on a plane, can facilitate better sleep. Whether to sleep depends on your travel schedule and personal preference.

What does “red eye” mean in flights?

A “red eye” flight refers to an overnight flight that departs late in the evening and arrives early in the morning, often causing passengers to get little sleep and arrive with tired, red eyes. Preparing with comfortable items and quiet activities like reading or listening to audiobooks can make a red eye flight more bearable. Planning things to do on a plane for such flights can help you manage the long hours and potential discomfort.