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9 Useful Long Flight Tips for Traveling Abroad Like a Boss

So you’re days away from your first ever long flight. It’s exciting and adventurous, but also a little stressful.


What does one do for 8-10 hours in a small space?


Whether you’re flying to Paris or to Japan, we’ve got a few long flight tips that will make your travel experience a success. So, keep reading and take notes.


The last thing you want to do is find yourself bored, tired, or even grumpy from a miserable long haul flight.

long flight tips

Long Flight Tips That Can Make or Break Your Flight

Traveling abroad can be an exciting and enjoyable experience, but it can also be long and tedious if you don’t have anything to do on the way to your destination. Here are some long flight tips to make your journey more enjoyable and memorable.


1. Read or Listen

Probably the most obvious advice among long flight tips is to spend your time reading or listening. You laugh now but you’d be surprised as to how many people book flights to Paris or Rome and don’t grab something to read.


Bringing a good book or magazine is a great way to pass the time on a flight. If you’re not a fan of physical books, consider downloading an ebook or magazine on your tablet or e-reader.


You’ll be amazed at how quickly time flies by when you’re fully engrossed in a great story. Especially if you have an eye mask and a comfy blanket to cozy up with.


It is true that flights overseas can be very long when you’re flying from outside of Europe. For example, a flight from NYC to Dublin is about 8 hours long. A full audiobook can last 6-10 hours.


If a good story is something that sounds entertaining to you, this may be the only choice you need among these long flight tips. If your attention can’t last that long, a few books or magazines may be a better idea.


And, if you’re an Amazon Prime member, you might even have a few book credits to use. It’s worth checking out! But if you prefer the old-fashioned hand-held book or magazine, just keep in mind that carry-on space is limited and you may not want to use it up with something bulky like a book.

woman on flight, long flight tips

2. Watch a Movie or TV Show

Another obvious choice among our long flight tips to keep you entertained is watching something. Most airlines offer in-flight entertainment options, including movies and TV shows.


Take advantage of this by picking something you’ve been meaning to watch or discovering something new. If you’re unsure what to choose, consider checking out the airline’s movie and TV show list before your flight so that you can make a decision ahead of time.


It pays to know that most transatlantic flights are partnered with film companies that allow them to play in-flight films that are still in theaters. But if you can’t find a few titles that suit you, you may want to plan to bring a laptop or tablet.


If you bring your own viewing device there are a few things to consider. The biggest two challenges here are internet connectivity and battery life. Long flights, such as a flight to Paris from Atlanta, often require you to pay extra for internet.


And when it comes to battery life, it goes without saying that you’re going to run out of it. While long flights often have power outlets for their passengers, there is no guarantee that those outlets will work.


So, be sure to make a note of these long flight tips to find a reliable backup charger for your mobile devices. Other things to consider are streaming services vs downloading.


If you’re going to be watching a film on your laptop or tablet, you can download the film and not have to worry about using the internet. But if you’re looking to stream a show, you’ll probably need to be online for that.

woman sleeping on flight, long flight tips

3. Take a Long Nap

When it comes to long flight tips, sleep seems like the most common choice. If you’re feeling tired or just want to take a nap, consider taking advantage of the opportunity to sleep on the flight.


Bring along a comfortable neck pillow, an eye mask, and some earplugs, and you’ll be able to get some rest and arrive at your destination feeling refreshed and ready to go.


For some, napping is a luxury that they never get to have. This can make falling asleep hard for some.


You can try taking some melatonin or chamomile tea to help you drift off into dreamland.


You can also consider using sleep aid medications such as Kalm Night to address your sleep-related concerns effectively. It is important to consult with a doctor who can provide personalized advice, assess potential risks and benefits, and ensure safe and appropriate usage of sleep aids.

woman with headphones on a flight, long flight tips

4. Listen to Music

Music is a great way to relax and unwind on a flight. So whether you prefer classical, rock, or hip-hop, bring your headphones and let the music take you away.


If you don’t have any music saved on your device, consider signing up for a streaming service, such as Spotify or Apple Music, so that you have access to a large library of songs and playlists.


And this isn’t just relevant to long flight tips, listening to music while you’re navigating your way through the airport is very relaxing too.

kids with tablets on a flight, long flight tips

5. Play Games

Whether you’re looking for long flight tips to entertain yourself or your kid(s) playing games can be a fun way to pass the time on a flight. You or your kids can bring a physical board game, such as chess or backgammon, or download games onto your device.


Many airport shops sell small games for carry-ons, but you can find them just as easily in stores like Target or Walmart. Also, LEGOs are always a crowd-pleaser for kids. Just don’t drop any!


In addition, many airlines offer in-flight games, such as solitaire and crossword puzzles that you can play with passengers in your travel party. So be sure to check the in-flight entertainment options for options.

woman on flight

6. Write In a Journal

Writing in a journal is a great way to reflect on your thoughts and experiences. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, take some time to write about your journey, reviews, and hopes for the future.


You can also use your journal to jot down notes about things you’d like to remember about your trip or things you’d like to encounter on your trip.

woman on flight

7. Catch Up On Life and Be Productive

Believe it or not, this is our favorite option on our list of long flight tips. In life, it seems like we never get enough time to be caught up.


Whether that means cleaning up the storage on your mobile devices, planning a new budget, or writing out thank you cards for something, there seems to always be a list of ‘administrative’ tasks that we all have to do (but don’t).


Take this time to email your mom, plan an upcoming event, flesh out your holiday shopping plans, or your spring cleaning ones. Of all the long flight tips we have to share, this one will make you feel like a rockstar when you land.

woman relaxing on a plane

8. Meditate or Practice Yoga

Meditation and yoga are both great ways to relieve stress and calm your mind. Though less common among our long flight tips, it’s worth considering.


If you’re feeling anxious or just need to take a break, consider closing your eyes, breathing deeply, and focusing on your breathing. You can also bring along a yoga mat or blanket to stretch and practice yoga postures during your flight.

man and woman on flight, long flight tips

9. Socialize with Fellow Passengers

Last on our long flight tips list is socializing. But we advise proceeding with caution on this one. You never want to give out too much information to strangers. Also, be sure to pick up on the social cues of other passengers who may not like conversing.


If you’re traveling with friends or family, take advantage of the opportunity to spend quality time together. You can play a game or watch a movie together, or you can just catch up on sharing.


If you’re traveling solo, consider striking up a conversation with your fellow passengers. You never know who you might meet, and you might make some new friends along the way.


If you’re not sure what to talk to other passengers about, you can ask them about their upcoming trip and share some plans about yours. You can also discuss the flight, where you live, and where they live… at some point the conversation will move on its own.

man on flight


Whether you’re flying to Paris or taking a grand tour of the world, there are relaxing, amusing, and productive ways to pass the time. So don’t worry! These long flight tips are all you need to arrive at your destination rested and ready for adventure.

Christa Thompson

Christa Thompson is the Founder and Chief Editor of The Fairytale Traveler. She started traveling the world in 2003 when she attended a summer abroad study at the University of Cambridge in England. Since then, her wanderlust has been fierce. Her three passions in life are her son, traveling, and being creative. The Fairytale Traveler brand gives Christa the opportunity to do all of these things and to live intentionally every day. "It's never too late to believe in what you love and to pursue your dreams." -Christa Thompson

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