Staying Occupied On WiFi-less Flights

When it comes to airplanes, the best way to make the time fly is to either be productive or waste time online. Unfortunately, not all flights have such a luxury. Whether your flight is 1 hour or 10, here are a few of my favorite ways to make the most of your disconnected time in the air and also things you should know before you go.

First, let’s get the warnings out of the way so we can end on a positive note!

  1. Be Aware of Yourself
    1. this may sound obvious but it’s important to make the most of your flight by knowing if you have anxiety, fear of heights, or even motion sickness. For example, if you have motion sickness, reading a book could make you nauseous. Before you get on a flight, take inventory of you
  2. Be Aware of Space
    1. if you didn’t check a bag, you will need room for whatever devices or books you to fit in your carry on. The more you bring on the heavier or complicated your bags will be. Too often I’ve seen/heard people losing things because they had too much in hand. That also goes for your phone or tablet! Don’t wait until you’re on the plane to download a game, you might be out of space. Never over pack or under prepare
  3. Be Aware of Necessities
    1. headphones – for in flight entertainment, stuff on your phone, or shutting out the world
    2. pen – for writing, activities, or something you don’t want to forget
    3. gum – because your ears might pop and gum helps. Also, find out if your on a flight that offers snacks because if not, get something after you go through security because you might not be able to buy (or use your card) in flight

OK, now that we covered the time before leaving for the airport, let’s chat about how to make the most of this connection free time.

In Flight Entertainment – American Airlines


  1. Ready Your Phone –  for short flights or seats with easily accessible plugs
    1. download a game such as Angry Birds to keep you engaged and entertained
    2. download a music app and download songs or a playlist to your phone
    3. make your photos accessible on an app such as Google Photos and organize
  2. Ready Your Laptop – also for short flights or easy accessible seats with plugs
    1. use this time to accomplish work that doesn’t need internet
    2. use a service such as Netflix that allows you to download movies
    3. also a good place to use that music service by saving songs/playlists
  3. Bring An Activity Book – no power needed
    1. sudoku, crossword, word search – keeping your mind active
    2. coloring book is a mindless yet calming distraction
    3. a planner/organizer for work/personal life with goal setting activities
    4. a visualization workbook for your hopes, dreams, and plans
  4. Bring Reading and/or Writing – no power needed
    1. a book that’s not super long as to not be cumbersome to pack
    2. a notepad where you can finally write that novel you’ve talked about forever

Because unloading your laptop to keep on the tray table is a pain, you may want to be a minimalist and stick to maybe your phone and an activity book. Those are the thinnest and easiest to shove into a bag. Because when it comes to airports, it’s best to be as compact as possible due to all the walking (possibly running, depending on security) and the need to go in and out of your pockets on the regular.

Travel light and safe!


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