What to Do on a Flight: The Busy Girl’s Guide

The Busy Girl's Guide to What to Do on a Flight

I love flying. I always get a little rush during take off, and feel incredibly grateful for the chance to see a bit more of the world. I am lucky enough to travel more than most people – but spending time in the air can feel like a major time suck. Travel can also be stressful, pulling us away from our routines, self-care, and other goals. After many, many flights, I have figured out a few ways to make the most of time spent in the air. Playing games on your phone or watching  a movie is always an option, but your flight time can actually be both relaxing AND productive. Check out my tips for what to do on a flight:

Airplane Yoga

Yes, you can do yoga on an airplane without freaking out your fellow passengers. There are plenty of ways to stretch out your body while seated, giving you greater relaxation and preventing that stiff post-flight feeling. Flying is tough on your body, so adding a few simple stretches and breathing techniques to your flight can help alleviate this stress. I try to do a headstand or other inversion before a flight, but also fit in a few seated postures during my time in the air. If you are up for trying airplane yoga, here is a great list of 18 yoga poses you can do on your flight.


Beauty Treatments

SATC american girl in paris

There are tons of tips on how to fend off the typical beauty woes that come with air travel, but you can actually take advantage of a long flight to get some extra pampering. Ideally, you should fly without makeup or remove all your makeup in-flight using a makeup remover wipe. After takeoff, apply a hydrating treatment like La Mer or this mask from Tatcha. Go a little heavier than you would normally to combat the drying air and take advantage of your downtime. Next, add your favorite eye treatment (here’s mine) and a lip moisturizer. A rich lip balm works well, but I love to really pamper my skin on a flight with Bite Beauty’s Agave Lip Mask. Smooth on some rich hand lotion and settle in for some passive pampering! Travel can be stressful for your body, so use your flight time to really take care of your skin.



That’s right. Old school, pen to paper journaling. I always make sure to carry a small notebook and pen in my carry on.  I don’t regularly keep a journal at home, but I do try to jot down notes about trips, plans for what I want to see or do, and other things to help me cherish my time away from home. This can also be a great time to get rid of any stressful or distracting thoughts so you can arrive at your destination calmly, or return home savoring the experience. Journaling regularly has plenty of health benefits, so maybe the habit will stick!



I can’t be the only person who has stacks of unread magazines sitting on her coffee table. I always tuck a few of my favorite magazines in my bag to read on the plane. I prefer magazines to books on flights because I can recycle them after they are read, freeing up room in my luggage for the inevitable shopping.


Meditation Apps

Many successful people (think CEOs, musicians, and even Oprah) take time to meditate every day. Most of us are aware of the benefits of meditation, but hitting ‘pause’ on our busy schedules can feel challenging. You’re already stuck in a seated position, so you might as well make the most of it. I frequently use the apps Stop, Breathe & Think and Calm to meditate (with headphones) on flights. Bonus: meditation might make it easier to fall asleep on an airplane, and leave you refreshed when you arrive at your destination.



Give Candy Crush a break and play a game that gives your brain a workout instead! Crossword puzzles have tons of benefits for your mental health, including increased verbal skills and ability to recognize patterns. I keep the New York Times Crossword app on my phone, but a good old fashioned book of puzzles works too!


What do you do to take advantage of your time on on airplane?



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