While many would probably be preparing for a long-haul flight by downloading their entire music libraries and enough moves to keep their eyes glued to a screen the entire time, we plan a little differently. In fact, there is no shame to admit that you may even get excited about a few hours of distraction free time to tackle your to do list.

Long haul flights provide the perfect opportunity to really get stuck in to some deep work without the distractions of your phone constantly pinging off or emails popping into your inbox. That is why we have compiled our top tips for making the most out of your long-haul flights with no Wi-Fi.


Download content needed beforehand

A little bit of forward planning goes a long way, so if you know you have got a nice long-haul flight coming up – think ahead as to if you can save certain projects for this distraction free time. Once you have decided what you are going to work on, you must think about what content you need to get the job done. There is nothing worse than sitting down to start working and remembering that you had not download the attached brief from an email or researched the topic you need to write about. Now this planning does not need to be detailed but it does need to be though out. After all what is less productive than half finishing a project that then leaves you with nothing to do for the rest of the flight. If you do find yourself in that predicament – make sure to reply to all your emails and send them in bulk when you land.

Downloading content for long-haul flights


Keep Moving

Lack of movement can affect your productivity. You cannot pay attention to work if you are feeling sluggish or exhausted. You want to get your exercise in whenever you want, be it doing laps of the terminal or stretching your legs up and down the aisle of plane while en route to your destination. Keeping your blood pumping can keep stress to a minimum and mean you land feel re-energised. This can also include some simple exercises in your seat such as keeping your legs moving and rolling your ankles, anything to keep the blood flowing.

Aisle of plane on long haul flight


Focus on the macro

We all have those tasks during our work week that always find their way to the bottom of our to do list. Do not pretend you do not because you know its true. The beauty of working inflight is the complete lack of distractions, especially if you have invested in some high-quality soundproof headphones. Some of your most satisfying and productive may come from the eight hours you have to devote to ticking off your to do list – making it appear a lot of manageable. So, what is the thing that comes to mind that you have pushed back week after week? Now’s the time to bump it to the top, and finally get it done.

To do list on a notepad


Choose your seat carefully

As much as sitting in the aisle gives you the perfect opportunity to get up and move about the plan. As far as distractions from your work go – the window seat is the place to be. After all you do not want other passengers interrupting your workflow to get up and use the restroom. This is as well as the distractions of drink carts and other passengers constantly walking by. Another benefit of the window seat is privacy, with less eyes around peering over your shoulder at your work.

Window seat on airplane


Fully charge devices

A lot of the time, technology runs out of battery before you to. That is why a portable charger is a must for all of us digital nomads. They are on hand to give that extra little boost whilst travelling. Before your trip make sure that your laptop, phone, tablet, and portable charger are fully charged, you can even take advantage of charging points in departures before you board. Then once you are on the flight, check out to see if there are complimentary USB ports available – something to note to make sure your phone is charge before you disembark. If you are not able to access power on board, this is where the portable charger comes into its own, with there even now being power banks on the market that can give your laptop a charge boost too. Another simple tip is remembering to put your devices in airplane mode to save battery.


Learn something new

Make the most out of every minute you are onboard, including the first fifteen minutes or so when before you can set up your laptop. Revel in this leisure time, read a book or magazine or pull out your calendar and look at your upcoming month. Perhaps you could even find the time to read a chapter in your book that you have been told is life changing and revolutionary. It is just you never actually get time to sit down and take any of it in – not quite so life changing then is it. Taking the time to learn something new and better ourselves when we cannot be tapping away online being productive, is probably more productive in the long term than you think.


Catch up on Sleep

You cannot work nonstop, whether your flight is three hours or thirteen. Before long, you will start to see your concentration and quality of work suffer. Instead of mindlessly flipping through your emails, or editing the same content repeatedly, think about perhaps closing your eyes. Catching up on much needed sleep is also important when aiming to be as productive as possible. And where better to get that energy boost than 35,000 feet. You will feel ten times better if you land from a long-haul flight with a to do list full of ticks and a fresh complexion.