It’s near impossible to get a direct flight these days, and that means you need to be prepared for a long travel day. Smartphones and tablets make it easier than ever to pass the time and get to your final destination without losing your mind from boredom—as long as you’ve downloaded the right apps and entertainment. To help you stay sane while you travel, we’ve compiled a list of essentials to download before your next flight.
Keep the Music Flowing
Music is a must for any flight, short or long. Before your next flight, make sure you’ve updated your music library. Consider adding relaxing albums to help you sleep or some comedy albums to help you pass the time. If you have Spotify, be sure to update your playlist. You may also want to upgrade to Spotify’s premium service, if you don’t already have it, because it allows subscribers to play music offline, (no need for Wi-Fi!) perfect for a long flight or layover.
Prepare Some Reading Material
Thanks to digital books, you can bring a whole library with you without packing an extra suitcase. You don’t even need an e-Reader to download books, just use your smartphone or tablet. If you prefer reading articles online, download the Pocket app. Pocket lets you save articles, video, just about anything online, for easy access later. But what makes Pocket a real must have for your next flight is that you can access anything you save in Pocket without needing an internet connection so you can say goodbye to pricey airline Wi-Fi. If you’re not the reading type, just download your favorite movies or TV shows.
Kill Time with Podcasts
Podcasts are a great way to make the time pass and this year has some great podcasts to choose from. Alice Isn’t Dead is a creepy serial-style story from the creators of the popular Welcome to Nightvale podcast about a woman driving a truck across the country in search of her wife she believed was dead. Catch up on election news with FiveThirtyEight Elections, a podcast from Nate Silver, a statistician who accurately predicted the 2010 general election in ALL 50 states, or learn some life hacks from TEDTalks, which include educational and entertaining lectures from today’s leading thinkers and doers.
Useful Apps to Get You through the Airport
Make sure you arrive on time for your next flight or connecting flight with FlightTrack 5. The app tracks your flight so you’ll know accurate arrival times and immediately know about delays. If you get delayed or have a long layover, the Priority Pass app will give you access to relaxing lounges in airports all over the world. You have to be a Priority Pass member to make use of the app, but with membership comes access to over 900 lounges in airports around the globe. Lounges provide members with complimentary food, drinks (including alcohol), and Wi-Fi.
Useful Apps for Your Destination
Once you get off your flight and arrive at your destination, you’ll need to know where to eat and have a place to stay. Look into getting TripAdvisor’s mobile app or Yelp to download maps, restaurant and business reviews before your flight so you can get familiar with your destination without falling victim to data roaming rates. Never be stuck without a hotel room (and get a great price) with the Hotel Tonight app. Hotel Tonight lets you book hotels for the same day or up to a week in advance at great last-minute deals.
Other Must Haves before Your Next Flight
Once you’ve downloaded all the music, books, movies, and apps you’ll want for your flight, you need to make sure you have the gadgets to allow you to enjoy everything you’ve downloaded. Although phones today have powerful mobile processors, (phones with the Snapdragon processor have a Quick charge feature!) that can maintain battery life for hours, you can make sure you never run out of power by bringing along a portable charger. The Anker PowerCore+ aluminum portable charger is about the size of a lipstick case and can provide a full charge for an iPhone 6 and close to a full charge for a Galaxy S6, making it great for travel. Also, consider packing a pair of noise canceling headphones so you can block out engine noise and crying babies while you enjoy your favorite podcast.
Make the most of your time in the air and in the airport by downloading all your entertainment needs before your flight. With these essential downloads, you’ll be at your final destination before you know it. It’ll feel like the good old’ days when coast to coast nonstop flights actually existed!