You don’t need wifi to stay entertained while flying. Here are some things to do on a plane, including tips and tricks to help you enjoy music, movies and more.
Congratulations! You just booked a long-haul flight. Not having layovers is cool, but what are you going to do on a plane for six consecutive hours?
Frequent flyers know that when you’re preparing for a long-haul flight, taking the time to check your phone’s “digital baggage” before takeoff is crucial to alleviate inflight boredom (and avoid paying extra for in-flight wi-fi).
Packing high-quality earphones in your carry-on before a flight is a no-brainer for keeping entertained—whether you’re channel surfing through in-flight entertainment, catching up on audiobooks and podcasts, or mixing your next single in business class, a good set of noise-isolating earphones will always go the distance.
In this article, we’ll share our favorite travel tips for flying so you can stay occupied as you take the skies.
Prepare Entertainment Ahead of Time
Airport wifi is slow. In-flight wi-fi is expensive and slow. Too slow for streaming lossless audio, downloading TV shows or syncing your Splice projects.
If you want your favorite music, games, movies and tv shows to sound and look their best, downloading them directly to your phone or tablet is the only way to fly.
Streaming apps—including Netflix, Hulu, Spotify and others—allow users to save songs, films and podcast or television episodes for offline viewing. Ditto for book lovers—saving titles from Audible to your phone’s internal storage makes it easy to check out a new series on audiobook.
And if you’re listening on earphones with passive noise cancellation, like the UE CSX series—a lifesaver on noisy, crowded flights.
Research Your In-Flight Options
Traveling with kids? Need to stay on top of breaking news? Trying to catch the big game at 40,000 feet?
Before you call an Uber to the airport, do a quick internet search for your airline’s in-flight entertainment options. Some major carriers and aircrafts offer free in-flight entertainment through a seatback touchscreen, which you’ll only be able to hear if you have headphones with a 3.5mm cable—much to the chagrin of Bluetooth-only earbud users everywhere.
Other airlines offer their movies and TV shows via a mobile app, which you should download in advance. Of course, since that entertainment will be on your device you can use a wired or wireless connection; just make sure your device is charged up.
Depending on your airline, there could be children’s programming, specially curated playlists for your destination, streaming movies and tv episodes, live news and sports broadcasts, and more.
Some airlines include wired earbuds at no additional cost, but they’re far from audiophile-quality. CSX earphones, with their ability to connect via Bluetooth or 3.5mm headphone jack, provide lively, clear and detailed sound that outperforms even high-end earbuds whether your entertainment is on the seatback or on a mobile app.
Charge and Pack Your Listening Devices
Nothing grounds your in-flight fun faster than a depleted battery.
Before your flight, charge your mobile devices and your earbuds or CSX Bluetooth adapter to their full capacity and double-check that you have all necessary cables, cords, chargers, adapters, dongles, plugs and accessories in your carry-on luggage.
This is also the perfect time to take inventory of your phone’s internal storage and make sure your downloaded content is saved and ready to rock.
Once you’ve finished packing, be sure to save your boarding pass to your iPhone’s wallet app and take photos and screenshots of important travel documents so you can get through airport security and to your destination (and home again) without incident.
Things to Do on a Plane
The secret to flying without boredom is to bring entertainment that inspires “tarmac moments”—those few minutes after landing where you’re so engrossed in a book, podcast, game or whatever it is that you remain seated, UE CSX in ear, while everyone else is scrambling for the overhead bins. Here are a few of our favorite things to do on a plane.
Long flight? Bring on The Lord of the Rings. Yes, the Extended Edition. A plane is the perfect place to experience the latest Hollywood blockbuster, revisit a classic, or our favorite—find something random on in-flight TV. With the passive noise isolation of UE CSX earphones, you get your own immersive in-flight cinematic experience, no matter what’s in your queue. Drowning out the sound of crying babies and chit chat? That’s something the movie theater can’t even promise.
Listen to Music
Making and listening to a unique playlist created especially for your trip is not only a fun way to watch the clouds go by but also a musical keepsake that you’ll always remember. Try grouping songs by theme, decade or vibe to mix your perfect soundtrack.
Traveling with friends and family? Make mixes for one another and share the links in a group text before you leave. You can even sync up and press play at the same time for a true communal experience.
Create or Mix Your Music
Creativity doesn’t stop just because you’re on a plane. Long flights are the perfect time to tweak your latest mix or overdub that soft-synth melody.
With up to a 5-way crossover on the UE LIVE model, UE CSX earphones deliver accurate, detailed audio across all frequency ranges so you can record and mix on-the-go.
A word to the wise, though: some popular DAWs connect to the internet as an anti-piracy measure, so if you want to produce without using in-flight wifi, we recommend backing up your software licenses to a physical iLok to avoid being shut out of your recording software.
Need some tips on mixing and mastering with IEMs or earphones? Check out our guide to learn how to dial in professional-sounding mixes with PRO in-ears and CSX earphones.
Nothing puts miles behind you like an intense gaming session. Whether you’re grinding through a new roguelike, exploring the latest metroidvania, revisiting a remastered retro classic or just playing solitaire, UE CSX earphones deliver superior sound quality with a bespoke fit for hours of immersive gaming.
And with CSX’s 3.5mm headphone connectivity plus the optional Fostex true wireless headset, you can connect to virtually any gaming platform—Nintendo Switch, gaming laptops, iOS devices, Valve Steam Deck and more.
Write or Journal
Putting thoughts on paper (or in your Notes app) is a sure way to clear your head and relieve the stress of a long flight. Sketch out some lyrics or poems that might turn into a song later. Keep a travel diary with your stray thoughts and observations (like an analog Twitter). Record unusual details you observe as you travel or free-write about what you’re excited about on your upcoming trip.
Read a Book
The long, uninterrupted quiet of a long-haul flight can start to feel like an afternoon in detention without something to read. Settling into your seat with a good book is the perfect way to start your next trip. If there’s no room for paper books in your luggage, eBooks and audiobooks are great digital alternatives. And if the noise of the plane is making it tough to focus, CSX blocks out up to 26dB of ambient noise to keep your mind in the pages and not in the chit chat behind you.
Try UE CSX Earphones
With a bespoke fit, plus the UE Custom app and its custom tone profiles, and the versatility to switch between traditional AUX and Bluetooth connections, UE CSX earphones are untouchable when it comes to maximum comfort and uncompromising audio quality at home and in the air. Click to learn more about UE CSX earphones.