Plane rides are just a part of modern life, regardless of whether you’re traveling for work or for personal reasons.

And sure, many flights now offer WiFi, but at an expensive premium. In other words, you’ll still need to find ways to entertain yourself while on a flight.

If your flight happens to offer free on-screen entertainment, then you’re in luck. Just make sure to bring some headphones and peruse the offerings.

But if your flight doesn’t offer entertainment or you can’t stand the idea of watching another movie, then you should take a look at our list of things to bring on a plane for entertainment.

Try any one of these suggestions on your next flight and the time will just fly by.


Smart Tablet

Smart tablets are easily one of the most versatile gadgets on the market today. They essentially offer many of the same capabilities as smartphones while giving much more screen space to work with.

You could try out some classic free-to-play games like Angry Birds or Fruit Ninja, or you could pay a few dollars to download a more in-depth adventure or strategy game.

Just make sure to purchase and download your new games long before you board your flight. This is the perfect activity to help you kill some time while waiting in the terminal.

And don’t forget that your tablet is also capable of much more than just games. Tablets can also be a fun way to play music.

plane entertainment

There are a number of free piano apps, as well as many different sampler and touchpad apps including Launchpad by Novation.

Even if you don’t often play instruments, you can have lots of fun messing around with these apps.

Just make sure to plug your headphones in so that you can keep your tunes to yourself.

Offline Streaming Music

Listening to music is one of the best entertainment options for long trips, especially since you don’t even need to keep your eyes open to enjoy it.

But now, in the age of streaming, very few people have any physical media or downloaded music that they can listen to without an internet connection.

Now, this doesn’t mean you have to go out and buy a CD player before your next flight. Luckily, many streaming services offer the option to download a portion of your saved music so that you can listen to these songs offline.

About a week before your flight, set aside some time to download a few playlists. Try to download a range of music, from upbeat tunes that will boost your mood to relaxing tracks that will help you fall asleep.


Books can be a great option for any trip, whether in the air or on the ground. But as we all know, bringing physical books along in your suitcases adds extra weight and takes up a little too much space.

Thankfully, we live in the future, where it’s possible to bring hundreds and hundreds of books with you on a flight, in the form of an eReader device.

If you don’t already have an eReader, buying one brand new won’t break the bank, with many models priced under $100.

things to bring on a plane for entertainment

Once you have the device in-hand, you can start to seek out and download some of your favorite books. E-books tend to be much more inexpensive than their paper counterparts.

Even better, eReaders usually have incredibly long battery life, so you may not even need to charge it for the length of the entire trip.

High-Quality Headphones

While headphones aren’t entertainment in themselves, they’re certainly a great way to enhance your other forms of entertainment.

After all, the point of finding entertainment on a plane is to distract yourself from the flight for a little while, and bringing along some high-quality headphones, or maybe even noise-canceling headphones can help out.

They’ll make it much easier to focus on the sounds of your entertainment and tune out from your immediate surroundings.

Another important factor to consider is the form factor of your headphones. Earbuds can be one of the most portable options available and won’t take up any significant space in your luggage.

Meanwhile, many pairs of more expensive headphones are over-the-ear, and as such are much larger as a whole.

You’ll need to make sure that you have enough room in your luggage for your headphones to rest safely, or you could wear them around your neck for the duration of your travel time.

Laptop or Netbook

While many of us use our computers to hop on the internet, there’s still plenty to do on your laptop even when you don’t have an internet connection.

Consider downloading some fun games a few days before your flight. You could also download some of your favorite movies to your computer to make sure that you’ll have entertainment to spare, even if the flight itself doesn’t offer any.

Things to Bring on a Plane for Entertainment

Of course, it can also be challenging to keep your laptop charged, especially if you’re scheduled for a long flight.

When you’re still in the airport terminal, try to find a spot where you can plug in your laptop easily.

Portable Gaming Console

Back in the 1980s, portable gaming only existed in the form of small handheld Tiger games. Each device had a single game with unimpressive graphics. They also made use of inconvenient button batteries.

But nowadays, portable gaming looks completely different. From the Vita to the Nintendo DS to the Nintendo Switch, portable gaming is as good as it’s ever been.

You have the option to download any number of games to your device, long before hopping on the plane.

Battery life has improved as well. And with a slew of options for playing video, a small gaming device could be another great way to watch a movie or a TV show.

Try to start a new game at the very beginning of your flight. You’re likely to focus on the game and not the flight itself, helping the travel experience seem much shorter.

And if you use a console like the Switch, you’ll even have the option to enjoy some two-player action!