A woman looking at her phone during a flight

10 Things to Bring on a Plane for Entertainment

Wondering what to bring on a plane for entertainment? You’re not alone. A lot of people — myself included — get bored easily on flights.

Some airlines do their best to keep you occupied by offering movies, television shows, wi-fi, and even interactive games on some flights. However, technical issues can happen and their programming options can fail.

Sometimes when that happens, it cannot be fixed until the airplane lands. Therefore it is best to ensure you are prepared to entertain yourself. Nobody wants to spend precious hours staring at the back of a seat!

In this post we’ll cover 10 things to should bring on a plane for entertainment. These include electronics, games, and some random things to help pass the time on the plane.

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10 Things Bring on a Plane for Entertainment

Your laptop, iPad, Kindle and smartphone can be your best friends on an airplane. Yes, you will have to set them to airplane mode but you will still be able to access the entertainment features without a problem. Below are some ideas of how to utilize your electronic devices in flight.

1. Listen to a Podcast

A flight is a great time to catch up on your podcasts or check out out that new series you have been meaning to listen to. Whether you prefer podcasts that are intellectually stimulating or just outright entertaining, engaging your ears, and brain, during the flight will make time fly by. Just make sure to download them in advance so that you are not reliant on Wi-Fi to enjoy them.

2. Read or Listen to a Book

A man listening to music on his phone during a flight

If you love to read, there is nothing better to do on a flight than immerse yourself in a good book.

Whether you have the Kindle app on your smartphone or iPad or the new Kindle Paperwhite, you can have a miniature library at your fingertips. If you prefer listening to books rather than reading them, Audible is a fantastic resource. For the price of a paperback in a bookstore, you can purchase a book to listen to during your flight.

If you like the option of toggling between reading a book and listening to it, Amazon offers you the ability to purchase the Audible version of the book along with a Kindle purchase for a discounted price.

Amazon also links the two services through its Kindle Unlimited subscription. The $10 per month subscription provides you access to an extensive selection of books, many of which also include the audio version, for no additional fee. However you decide to listen to or read a book, make sure to download the files from Kindle and/or Audible before your flight.And of course, carrying on a traditional paper book or magazine is always an option. No recharging required!

3. Catch up on a TV Series

If you have a favorite series on Netflix or Amazon Prime that you wouldn’t mind binging on, download it to Your iPad, laptop or Fire HD8 device so that you can enjoy it whether or not your plane has streaming capability.

To eliminate the stress of possibly running out of power to your device during your binge, consider purchasing an Anker Portable Charger. These devices allow you to recharge your electronics multiple times. (Just make sure they are fully charged before you leave).

4. Catch up on Work

A woman using her laptop during a flight

Regardless of length, a flight offers you the ability to have complete focus on your work. No one is standing next to you asking questions, your phone doesn’t ring or receive texts, and if you don’t connect to wi-fi, no one can reach you on your computer either.

This absolute silence can mean incredible productivity if you decide to use it for work purposes. One fantastic feature about email is that you can write emails that will send once you plug into the wi-fi on the ground, so you don’t have to worry about the distraction of an immediate response. Use this great opportunity to focus to your advantage!

There are all sorts of gadgets to make flying more comfortable, but by far the most important ones are the right pair of Bluetooth headphones (and, yes, you can use Bluetooth on a plane).

If you forget, the airlines have some you can purchase for a few dollars per pair, but those cannot compare with the luxury of a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones.

Additionally, many times the seat-back TVs require headphones with a 3.5 mm jack, so it’s always good to throw an old pair of iPhone earbuds in your bag just in case.

5. Tease Your Brain

If you find that nothing passes the time faster than a great brain-teasing challenge, check out the travel size SmartGames IQ for 120 different novice to expert options. If you are a puzzle fiend and prefer to solve them old-school style with a pen or pencil, you might want to invest in a set of puzzle books. You can while away the hours with a good word search, crossword puzzle, sudoku challenge or even just connect the dots! To be extra easy on the eyes, you can find large print puzzle books that don’t require reading glasses.

6. Color

One of the latest trends in adult relaxation and stress reduction is, believe it or not, coloring! You can get a set of adult coloring books and even some adult colored pencils to offer your brain a little space for creativity and beauty during any length of flight.

7. Knit

What better time to work on a new skill than a long flight? Whether you are new to knitting or an old pro, bring those TSA approved needles, crack open your knitting book and work on that winter hat, sweater, or blanket you have been meaning to make. If you would prefer to avoid knitting needles, but still want to create something, you may want to opt for a finger knitting kit.

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8. Cards

One of the most common card games to play on a plane is Solitaire. If you really want to impress the person in the next seat, bring your fancy playing cards to help you showcase your skill. If you decide not to play alone, you could invite your row to a game of Hearts, Go Fish, Spades, Blackjack, Poker or Gin Rummy. Another fun and easy game for all ages that only requires one other player is the classic UNO

9. Mad Libs

You are never too old to cry with laughter at an off the wall Mad Lib. You can engage your children with silly stories full of nonsensical words and phrases or instantly bond with your neighbors as you toss out a request for an adverb, noun or place in a house.

10. Legos

View of lego blocks and a plane toy

Why not use your flight to build something? Your tray table will most likely not support the next Taj Mahal, but it could be the home of your new castle, complete with animals and inhabitants you can snap together from your Travel Lego Kit. You can make a game of it, opening up a magazine to any page, and then challenging yourself or your children to build whatever you see there.


Now that you have a good sense of how to entertain yourself don’t forget your carry on essentials for long flights. If you checked your bag, make sure to fill your carry-on with tomorrow’s clothes, your essential toiletries, any medicine you take daily, and any other travel essentials you need. Include an extra layer of clothes for the flight, because regulating the temperature with so many body types in the cabin is tough. And don’t forget snacks! Those are “must haves” on flights.

Before you finalize your suitcase contents, be sure to review TSA’s travel tips site so that you know how to pack for flying regulations. You can also look for their recommendations for best clothes for a long haul flight that will be comfortable and simplify your journey through airport security.

That’s it! You’re ready! Now you have plenty of ideas about how to keep yourself entertained both with electronics and without. You know that you should download all digital content in advance and enjoy it with some Bluetooth headphones. You also know a few games that will help you bond with neighbors or family to help the hours pass quickly. Your first flight is going to be a breeze!