How to pass the time on a long flight?

Apr 16, 2018Travel, Travel tips2 comments

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Two weeks ago we had a long flight from Morocco to Miami, with an overnight stopover in Lisbon.

We flied with TAP Portugal and had a 17h stopover overnight. We were surprised that the night wasn’t covered by the company, because usually if a stopover is over 8h, the flight company covers the hotel stay. Anyway, we booked a last minute superdeall on Booking, and took an Uber to Lisbon city center. Lisbon is one of my favourite European capitals, and one in which I would love to spend a month or two. Even if we were too tired to go out, it felt good to get a glimpse of the city. We stayed at the Friendly Hills an amazing and cheap hostel, they made us a quick breakfast outside of the breakfast hours before our early flights and the staff was over the top to please us. All of them are travellers just like us who are working in the hostel through Workaway. I definitely recommend it if you’re on a budget and don’t mind sharing a bathroom, the rooms are big enough to make for and it cost us… 24 Eur! It’s located in a charming and vibrant paved street.

Things to do on a long flight

The next day we landed in Miami after a 10 hours flight. The food on the plane was really not bad on the plane and TAP Portugal has an entertainment program, I watched the last Guillermo Del Toro movie “The shape of water”, it’s a beautiful and bizarre romantic story wrapped up in the beautiful visuals of Guillermo Del Toro. Otherwise I had a busy to-do list for the flight, so I barely felt the time passing. There is nothing better than the distraction-free environment of a long flight to get tedious things done. This is what I usually plan for long flights:

Digital organization

This is the perfect opportunity to do  digital thorough cleaning: Delete temporary files on your desktop file, sort out pictures, declutter your dowload file, and back up data (well that didn’t end up well, if you follow my stories on Instagram). This way, you will make room for your new travel prictures.

Apply a face sheet mask

I’ve been more conscious about skincare during this travel. Because travel can do a lot of damage to the skin, especially after thirty. Between sun damage, dehydrating flights and sleep deprivation, it’s important to take extra care of your skin. Sheet masks are the best in long haul flights. If you’re too self-conscious about looking like the mummy with your mask on, do it right before you sleep, and let it do its magic.

Training or video course

We all have things that we want to learn and never get to sit down and do so. Download a video course that can value into your life or your work and dive into it during your flight.  In my case, I finished my Final Cut editing training so I can help Omar with video editing…. and I will try to vlog during this trip.

Watch a new serie

Nobody will blame you if your binge watch a serie during a flight. Instead of rewatching “Friends” for the thousandth time, try a new serie. In my case I downloaded “Insecure” but I honestly hasn’t time to watch it yet


Have you ever heard of brain-dump? It’s basically listing all those backstage ideas floating in your head, you know those that you try to procrastinate, not think about or deny. This process is so liberating, I highly recommend it, especially to the people that relate to my meditation article (read the article here).

This is an amazing article about brain-dump if you’re interested: here.

Catch up on reading

Read a guide of the destination you’re going to, you will thank me for that: I swear by lonely planet, especially when I knew that we won’t have internet access in Cuba. Otherwise any kind of reading will help you relax and alternate power naps.

Edit pictures

If you’re a creative, those off hours are so valuable to tackle editing. This applies to any work that needs focus: translation, writing, webdesign…

Phone decluttering

Delete the apps that you don’t use, your junk file, the duplicate picture, the thousand failed selfies, the ad messages and and anything that takes unnecessary space on your phone… and you will need space on your phone if you travel.

Watch blockbusters

If entertainment is provided… Blockbusters are not my go-to movies, but they are easy to watch and visually entertaining, so perfect for a flight. I watched The Hunger game series for example on a long flight… the superhero movies and all that jazz.

I hope that this list will be helpful, I would love to know what you like to do on long flights?

xo xo Dalal
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  1. Demilade

    I really dislike long haul flights and I distract myself by watching movies/TV shows, reading and sleeping. Sleeping is definitely my favourite way to pass time on flights! Doing a digital detox is a good idea, thanks for suggesting 🙂

    Coco Bella Blog

  2. Jade P.

    If I’m not traveling alone, we do travel finances, play cards/board games, have long conversations we don’t usually have time to get in depth of without distractions (even though I guess this only works if you wanna have the conversation in a language the whole plane wouldn’t understand haha), and for sure watch blockbusters :DD

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