The Best Apps for Long Flights and Holidays

Flying away to a beautiful vacation spot may be a dream come true, but getting there can be a nightmare. Whether you are heading to Australia and facing a more than 12-hour flight or flying across the country for four or five hours, you need a way to keep yourself entertained.

The restrictions on the use of certain electronic devices can make DIY in-flight entertainment a challenge, but you do not have to content yourself with a boring movie or overpriced internet access. If you have your smartphone in your pocket, you have a wealth of information and entertainment at your disposal – all you need are the right apps.

Here are the best apps for those long-distance flights.

Best Steaming Apps:


Having Netflix on your phone, tablet or laptop gives you instant access to a world of entertainment. As long as you download the content ahead of time, you can binge watch your favourite movies and TV shows, wiling away the hours and enjoying your favourite entertainment in the process.

Be sure to download the Netflix app before your trip, so you can download the content you plan to watch. Even when you are not flying, you are sure to find the Netflix app endlessly entertaining.

Best Apps For Children:

Trying to keep children occupied on a long journey can be challenging. Finding the best apps to keep them entertained means that they’ll be happy and so will you!

Amazon Fire for Kids Unlimited

Amazon Fire for Kids Unlimited is fantastic! It provides you with unlimited access to thousands of games, childrens books, movies, TV shows and educational apps. You can even customise the experience to the relevant age group for your child. Furthermore there are features like Parent Dashboard (allowing you to set time limits and view activity) plus the Available On The Go feature allows you to download your child’s favourite content for access when you don’t have Wi-Fi.

If you’re an Amazon Prime customer you can subscribe for the 1 month free trial. Thereafter if you choose to continue it’s £1.99 per month (and £3.99 per month for non-prime customers).

RollerCoaster Tycoon

If your final destination includes a theme park or two, you will certainly enjoy the RollerCoaster Tycoon app. This interactive app lets you design your own thrill rides, and your only limitation is the laws of physics. You can design your own roller coaster, check out the creations of other users and even take virtual rides on existing coasters.


Mr. Square

If you love games and puzzles, the Mr. Square app belongs on your phone. Unlike many other downloadable games, Mr. Square does not require an active Wi-Fi connection, so you can use it the whole time you are on the plane. This fun game is so addictive you might not want to get off the plane.



SimCity BuildIt

SimCity BuildIt does not require a Wi-Fi connection, so you can use it on the plane without worry. Sim City is a highly interactive and hugely addictive smartphone game. You can spend hours building your virtual world, and by the time the plane touches down, you will be ready for your offline adventure.



Best Music Apps:

Amazon Music Unlimited

Sign up to Amazon Music Unlimited. They offer a 90 day free trial (£7.99 a month after, and you can cancel at anytime). Amazon Music gives you unlimited access to 50 million songs! You can listen offline and even better, it’s ad-free for no distractions.


Let’s face it – the music choices on most flights are sorely limited. Even if you’re into a good musical selection, there is nothing like having your own playlist.

When you download the Spotify app prior to your trip, you can enjoy your own customised in-flight playlist. No matter what kind of music you prefer, you are sure to find thousands of different songs to choose from. It would take dozens of long flights to get through them all, so feel free to skip ahead to your favourites.

Apple Music

In addition to Amazon Music and Spotify there’s also Apple Music. With Apple Music you can stream 50 million songs, download your fave tunes and also listen offline.

Audible Books

One of the best ways to relax can be listening to a story. With Amazon audiobooks you can download and listen to the world’s best storytelling. Listen to your favourite genres, best sellers and latest releases. This is perfect for the plane journey or lounging by the pool side. All you need to do is put on your headphones.


Many people take the opportunity to read when they embark on their holiday. Reading can make you feel calm and relaxed so it’s a great way to unwind. Most of us will go out and especially buy a paper book for your holiday. Rather than purchasing a physical book for your next trip, why not invest in a Kindle? They’re extremely portable, readable in both light and dark conditions and not only perfect for the plane, but also the beach and bedtime reading. The device is also waterproof and the fantastic battery life lasts a week. Better still, you’ll have access to thousands of books and the investment of a Kindle will save you money in the long run.


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The best reading apps to download are:

Best Drawing Apps:

If you love being creative then check out these brilliant drawing apps. Drawing can make you feel relaxed and its also a great way to kill time on a flight. It’s best to use a tablet such as an iPad for drawing, as you have a larger screen size.

Here are some top drawing apps to download:

You’ll also need a stylus:


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If you don’t have an iPad but are considering getting one there’s the iPad Mini which is small and compact (perfect for travelling) or the next size up from this is the traditional iPad or iPad Air.

Playing games will help pass the time during a long flight. The mobile gaming industry has over two billion players worldwide and continues to grow in popularity each day.

Fortnite: Battle Royale

Fortnite is an open-world survival shooter game that continues to be one of the most popular apps available for gamers of all ages. Mobile users can battle up to 100 live players in various modes and also team together with friends to be the last one standing. Each week offers a new update that provides new challenges and keeps the game fresh. Players can also buy a wide variety of different skins, dances, and emotes to create a truly unique mobile gaming experience.

PUBG Mobile

PUBG Mobile is another battle royale game that requires users to collect weapons and equipment with other players. PUBG Mobile consists of three different game modes that include solo, duo, and squad. Mobile gamers have the freedom to play alone or choose to play with up to three others on the same team. The goal of the game is to be the last person standing, and players earn in-game currency to purchase crates that allow you to customise your weapons and character.

Clash of Clans

Clash of Clans is a longtime strategy game that gives players the opportunity to build a base, train a variety of troops, and attack other users to gain valuable resources. These resources are used to upgrade your base and unlock new troops. Players can also join a clan to participate in Clan Wars and earn stars by attacking an opponent’s base. Various in-game challenges are also available to help players speed the progression of the game to unlock additional levels of troops, spells, and defensive structures.


Minecraft is a 3-D pixelated game that gives players the opportunity to create a world by using a wide range of crafting materials in Survival, Multiplayer, and Creative mode. You can play online with friends and explore 14 different biomes that are each home to unique resources and animals for that particular area. Minecraft is a mobile sandbox game that gives players the freedom to be incredibly creative and captures the magic of the original version released on PC many years ago.

Clash Royale

Clash Royale is a fast-paced strategy game that focuses on players using collectible cards to battle against each other. The objective of Clash Royale is to be the first to destroy the opponent’s towers and advance through various arenas, leagues, and quests. Winning matchups allow you to unlock chests that give you the opportunity to gain new cards that have special abilities. Players can also join a clan to donate cards and compete against others in Clan Wars and tournaments.

Although we rely on our smartphones for just about everything, in the world of gaming smartphones are not designed for this feature. Investing in a handheld game console will bring you many benefits such as better performance, battery life and actual gaming buttons.

If you want to get yourself a portable games console, here are the top 3:

Nintendo Switch:

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Nintendo 2DS XL:

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GPD XD Plus:


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Holiday Essentials:

Comfort is key when travelling. If you don’t already have a travel cushion ensure you get one for your journey.

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Also if you’re hoping to try and get some sleep on your flight, remember to pack ear plugs to block out unwanted noise.

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Those long flights can be pretty boring, but they do not have to be. If you download the right apps, you can transform your humble smartphone into a fully-fledged in-flight entertainment system. The apps listed above give you a great place to start, and once you have them, you can face your long flight with a newfound sense of confidence.

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