Planning a trip can be a lot of fun but usually it involves a lot of stress because there are many things that require your attention.

Maybe you still need to figure out how you’re going to get a bus to your hotel when you land at your destination, or what happens when the ESTA authorisation is pending, meaning that you don’t have that much time to plan what you’ll be doing on the actual flight.

Most travellers today are used to being provided entertainment on the flight, but what if you have the bad luck of being in a plane with no entertainment?

It has happened to me in the past – we once boarded a United Flight from Hong Kong to San Francisco (11 hours!) only to find out there was no TVs on the  back of seats. Ouch! There have also been flights where entertainment has broken….

So, it’s always a good idea to bring your own distractions. Your options aren’t as limited as you might think. Here are some of the best things you can do to keep yourself busy.

Read more about traveling in 2022: Why are flights so expensive right now?

Play with clouds

Ok, let’s start easy here. The easiest thing you can do on a flight is to play with the clouds you can see outside your window. Try to find interesting or funny shapes in clouds or observe how they’re moving. It’s a lot more entertaining if you also have something in your headphones playing to fully make you let go and enter a sort of traveling stasis.

Catch up on your TV series

With services like Netflix available today, we have all the shows available with just a couple of touches of a screen – you can even download Netflix now for offline use. This means that more often than not, there are probably a couple of series you’d like to brush up on. This is the perfect opportunity. Most TV show streaming services offer an offline feature, which makes the episodes available locally on your device. Just download the first season and enjoy it during the flight. If it’s a long flight, you might want to download the second season as well, for the return trip.

Play some games

There are literally thousands of applications in the major app stores, so there are definitely a couple of games you will surely enjoy on your smartphone or tablet. If they are puzzle games it’s even better because they will keep you committed and determined to beat every level. It’s a really fun to pass time, because you can create a lot of diversity for yourself with all the games available.

Read a book

Not all entertainment comes from a digital screen. If you don’t like the idea of spending that much time with your eyes on a screen, maybe you’ll enjoy spending time with your nose in a book. If you’re not an avid reader, give it a try, and if you are one then this is your shot to read that book you’ve always wanted to read but never time for. You can even get an audiobook and download it on your phone or tablet, so you can just listen to the narrated version. Most audiobooks have professional narrators which do a great job of keeping you relaxed but engaged in the story.

The next time you have a long trip ahead of you, you should smile instead frowning because it means you have more time to do the things you never manage to fit in your schedule back home.