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Flying to Australia? Here Are 7 Things to do on a Plane to Pass the Time

Surviving long-haul travel without losing yourself to boredom can sometimes be a tall order. Depending on where you’re flying in from, getting to Australia can take a long time (think 10, 14 or even 17+ hours on a long overnight flight). If you’ll soon be spending this much time in the air, you’re likely wondering how to pass time on a plane without going stir-crazy. Well, never fear – there is plenty you can do to keep your mind occupied throughout your journey. Keep reading to discover our top seven things to do on a long flight!

Watch TV shows/movies

“How many movies do I need to watch to get me through this flight?” There’s no denying this is a thought we’ve all had before boarding a long-haul flight. While you may not want to spend the entire time staring at a screen, picking a few favourite movies (or that new release you’ve been waiting for) is a great way to spend at least a few hours. Mix it up with a few episodes of your favourite TV show and, before you know it, you’ll be halfway to your destination! 

Most international flights offer in-flight entertainment, but if you have specific shows or films in mind, make sure you download them on your own device ahead of time. 

Listen to music or a podcast

If you’re a nervous flyer, one of the best things to do on a plane is listen to some podcast episodes or music. Simply popping in your headphones, picking some relaxing music (or heavy metal, if that’s your thing – we don’t judge) or an inspiring podcast, and closing your eyes can help occupy your mind while keeping your senses under control.

As a friendly reminder, you’ll want to make sure you bring an auxiliary cord as well (if your headphones are wireless). This will allow you to connect to the in-flight entertainment if you choose to enjoy the airline’s podcasts and music.

Read a book

Has your ‘To Be Read’ pile been growing taller and taller over the last few months? What better way to pass time on a plane than by spending a few hours losing yourself in your favourite paperback? After all, when you’re in the sky, you’re not able to do much else. 

If you tend to get bored easily on a flight, I’d suggest looking into an e-reader such as a Kindle or Kobo. You can download a selection of books, magazines and journals, and spend a few hours flicking through them at your leisure. These e-readers are also self-lit, so you can even keep reading on a long overnight flight when they turn the lights off!


Journalling is a great way to keep not only your mind occupied but also your hands. You might be a regular journaler who is eager to update this month’s spreads. Or, you may be brand-new to the world of journalling. 

No matter your circumstance, there’s no better time to write out your inner thoughts than when you’re travelling abroad. A travel journal is a great way to document your thoughts and feelings throughout this life-changing chapter of your life. With your journal, you’ll keep your memories close and return home with a one-of-a-kind souvenir – one you started creating on a long overnight flight.

Play a game

If you’re wondering how to pass time on a plane, we’ve got one word for you: games! There are so many different games you can play on a plane. If you’re lucky enough to have a portable device with you – such as your smartphone or a Nintendo Switch – make sure to download offline versions of all your favourite games. 

If you don’t have access to a device, there’s still plenty you can do to keep busy. The in-flight entertainment screens often feature games for you to enjoy, such as trivia, chess or virtual pool. 

Even something as simple as a pack of playing cards or a book of crosswords and sudokus can open up thousands of entertainment options. Play away and you’ll be at your destination in no time!

Talk to your neighbour

This one might not be for everyone, but if you’re feeling social then why not strike up a conversation with the person sitting next to you? It can be lonely flying by yourself, but a quick chat can help you to feel more settled in your space. If they’re local to your destination, they might have some great tips on places for you to visit. Who knows – you may even make a new friend!

Just remember that everyone manages long-haul travel differently. Your seatmate may be introverted and prefer to keep to themselves. If you try to strike up a conversation with them but they aren’t interested in chatting for too long, be respectful of that.


If none of the above seem like good things to do on a plane, then why not just have a nap? Travelling can be exhausting, so getting some sleep is a must. For maximum cosiness, make sure to invest in a neck pillow ahead of time. A cosy blanket and a fluffy pair of socks won’t go astray either!