Let’s face it we have all been there when you’ve just found your seat for your long international flight only to discover your television screen isn’t working, or perhaps worse still, there is a loud crying baby seated near you on your red-eye flight. Over the years I’ve survived trips across the globe, and see all sorts of horrible flight situations, and discovered a few creative solutions to make the journey more enjoyable.
Before departing on your next flight, here are a few essential apps that I recommend.
Airline App – Find Your Gate
Most airlines have an app, so it is a good idea to download it before departing. Standard useful features include a digital boarding pass, along with updates regarding your boarding gate, flight delays or which carousel to find your checked suitcase at baggage claim.
Download the app for your next flight
Rain Sounds – Help You Sleep
Rain Sounds is my go-to app to drown out airplane and passenger noise. The free app has tons of white noise sounds that are super relaxing, such rain on leaves, light rain, calm beach etc. The rain sound effects do a great job in helping to drown out the background noise, while still keeping it peaceful so you can sleep.
In the app, you can even create your sound settings. I’m a big fan of my custom mix of rain on leaves, with rain on a roof (27), and rain on a window (16) that even when played softly helps me to sleep on a plane peacefully. If you are using it to help you sleep there is also a setting to turn off the app after a set amount of time.
Netflix – In-Flight Entertainment
While most airlines do have a good assortment of movies to watch to entertain you throughout your flight, it is always better to have a backup. Over the years I’ve found myself in situations several times where my seat’s screen does not work, or simply the flight doesn’t have in-flight entertainment.
Netflix is a great option as if you already have a paid Netflix account you can pre-download a TV series or several movies to binge watch.
Scribd – In-Flight Entertainment
Aside from watching movies books are my number one way to keep entertained on a flight. Audiobooks are perfect when you are flying, as you can close your eyes and relax while the audiobook helps to drown out passenger and airplane noise.
My favourite audiobook service is Scribd which is $8.99 a month but allows you to listen to unlimited audiobooks. The service also lets you read unlimited paperback books too. So you can download travel guides to the country you will be visiting.
Compared to other audiobook services like Audible, or even the price of buying two ebooks Scribd is much cheaper. Plus you get two months free when you sign up.
Google Play Music Or Spotify – In-Flight Entertainment
Music is a fantastic way to keep you entertained on a flight, and the two best options are Google Play Music or Spotify. If you already have a paid Spotify account, you can download music before your flight so you won’t need to stream.
While if you don’t have a paid Spotify account, I’d recommend Google Play Music, which is what I use. I use the free version which lets you buy songs, or download songs already on your phone/computer to listen offline while you travel. Within Google Play Music you also have the option to download podcasts for free.
YouTube Premium – In-Flight Entertainment
Unlike regular Youtube, with a premium account, you have the option to download videos. For $11.99 a month (first month free) you get access to exclusive YouTube original series and movies (though the selection is minimal), and Youtube music which you can listen to offline.
Needless to say with the ability to download Youtube videos you easily can find hours and hours of content to download and watch for your next flight.
Duolingo – In-Flight Entertainment
Duolingo is a fun way to learn a new language, and the short lessons are perfect doing on the flight. The app is free to use. You can use the app to learn Spanish, French, German, Italian, Russian, Portuguese, Turkish, Dutch, Irish, Danish, Swedish, Ukrainian, Esperanto, Polish, Greek, Hungarian, Norwegian, Hebrew, Welsh, English, Swahili and Romanian.
Lounge Buddy – Airport Lounge Access
With Lounge Buddy you can book lounge access at airports around the world. The useful app will let you see what the lounges look like at each airport and list the amenities. The price of airport lounge access varies, but it offers the lowest lounge admission rates I’ve found (unless you have a credit card or airline perks that let you enter for free).
Unfortunately, at this time, the app is not available for Android devices.
These days many large airports have their own app. Airports like London’s Heathrow Airport, have apps filled with useful features like terminal maps. I’m a massive fan of Heathrow Airports app which lists all the restaurants in each terminal before and after security, and allows you to read their menus and even preorder your food!
Make sure to search on Google Play Store to see if the airport you will be visiting has its own app
Tile – Find Your Suitcase
Tile is a GPS tracker you can attach to your checked bag. Using the Tile app you can track the location of your checked bag, so you never will lose a bag again. This can be super handy at baggage claim as if you can’t find your bag on the conveyor belt you can load the Tile bag to discover where it is.