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Fun ways to beat boredom on a long flight

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Long-haul flights are a lot like painting your nails. They seem like a good idea at first, and even a fun one, but as soon as the plane takes off or the first coat is on, you’re left with very little to do for a relatively long time. This can be completely unbearable, even if you planned to do nothing in the first place.

When you’re preparing to head off on holiday, the last thing you’re going to be worried about is the time spent on the flight. However, these hours can be completely agonising unless you plan a creative way to spend them.  So what to do on a long flight to prevent boredom?

With that in mind, here are nine fun things you can do to beat boredom on a long-haul flight.

1. Learn a new language

These days, it’s easier than ever to speak to people abroad without actually knowing the local language. All you need to do is download a translator app, and you’re on your way. That being said, knowing a few basic phrases will be appreciated and will help you to get much more out of your trip. For this reason, you may want to take advantage of your time flying and learn a few need-to-know words and phrases. Languages apps, like Duolingo, can make this a lot easier.

2. Tackle your reading list

With work and everything else we have to do each day, most of us find it increasingly difficult to find the time to sit down with a good book and get lost in the pages. Thankfully, when you’re on a particularly long flight, there are no reasons why you can’t. Because of this, you should pack a novel or e-reader before you run out the door the morning of your trip. Of course, with so much else to remember, this can be forgotten, so you could always grab one at the airport instead.

3. Find something to watch

That being said, you may not be much of a reader, in which case you could use the time watching a film or television show. Most long-haul flights do offer a pretty good selection of in-flight entertainment, so spend some time choosing a movie, sit back, and relax. If you already have your eye on something that you want to watch, then you could download it to a tablet or laptop just in case. This way, you know you have something binge-worthy to pass the time.

4. Play a travel game

When you’ve got a companion travelling with you, there are plenty of games you could play to pass the time together. These include things like Hangman and Tic Tac Toe, which just need a pen and paper, or travel and pocket games, like Snakes And Ladders, Checkers, and Backgammon. There are also a variety of card games, which you can play alone or as a pair or group. If you’re travelling alone, you may want to bring along a few puzzle books instead.

5. Talk to other travellers

Travelling alone can be even more boring, or it can be an opportunity to have even more fun. When you’re part of a pair or group, you tend to keep conversations to yourselves, but, being out there on your own makes it much easier to chat with other people around you. With that in mind, you should seize this opportunity and try to get to know other people on your flight. Just be aware of their tone and body language to make sure that they actually want to talk to you too.

6. Make your own art

Arts and crafts may be something that you do from the comfort of your own home, but there’s nothing to say that you can’t bring it out on the road (or air) too. You could pack a colouring book, pencils, marker pens, paper, and whatever else you wanted to draw or sketch on the plane. You could even knit, just as long as you follow the plane rules on knitting needles. You could also take and edit photographs on your phone or bring along a journal to do some creative writing.

7. Stretch out your legs

Sitting still for hours on a long-haul flight can cause tension to build up in your muscles and lead to a number of serious health issues, including blood clots. For this reason, you need to make sure that you get up now and then and take a walk around the plane. While you do this, you could go and grab a drink or snack to keep yourself hydrated and the hunger pangs away. Once you’re sat back down again, you could try some desk exercises to keep yourself fit and entertained.

8. Fly the plane yourself

Being a passenger in a plane can be quite boring, but flying one yourself is a completely different story. With that in mind, you may want to find out more info about pilot training and consider learning to fly yourself. This way, you’ll have something incredibly important to do every time you decide to travel somewhere. This is also an incredibly convenient option, as it eliminates baggage fees, means that you can travel with pets, and saves you from annoying layover waits.  OK, so you probably couldn't just pick and choose to fly the plane only when you want to go on holiday, but it was fun to daydream there for a while!

9. Plan your next trip

There is so much to see and do in this world, so why not spend the time you have flying planning your next trip. This is a perfect option for when you fly home, as it will distract you from your end-of-holiday blues and give you something to look forward to later on, so take a pen and paper and make some notes Even if you don’t decide anything for certain, kicking off the research on potential destinations now will save you some time and bother in a few months time.

The time spent on long-haul flights can be absolutely agonising or fun and productive. It’s up to you to decide which one yours is. With little thought, you probably will have a pretty boring experience, but with some forward thinking and creative ideas, you can make this time fly by.