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How to Keep a Teenager Occupied on a Long Airplane Trip?

by Kathryn Hatter, studioD

While air travel is often exciting, it can get tedious and exhausting as well. Long periods of inactivity -- both in the air and in airports -- can seem longer still if you have nothing to occupy your mind. If you're worried about keeping your teen occupied during a long plane trip, it's best to plan head to provide some engaging and entertaining activities that will help ensure a happy and positive excursion.

Give your teen some electronic devices to keep her busy on the flight -- and don't forget to charge all rechargeable devices prior to leaving for the trip. Depending on the flight, a smart phone with WiFi connectivity can enable your teen to surf the Internet, play games or watch inflight streaming movies. You can also give your teen a tablet or laptop to keep her occupied. Add some batteries to your teenager’s bag if she’s going to use electronic devices that take batteries. If her devices require electric power or charging, pack the charging cords.

Encourage your teenager to take a book or two to read if she’s an avid reader. An eBook reader is another option for a teenager who enjoys reading.

Pack puzzle books, such as crosswords or word finds, for your teenager. Don't forget a few pencils with good erasers so your teen can complete the puzzles. Add a deck of cards if your teenager wants to play solitaire, too.

Tuck a few snacks into your teen’s bag. Teenagers often have voracious appetites -- and airline food might not fit your teen’s taste buds. Granola bars, crackers, fruit strips or whatever appeals to your teenager might make the air travel miles go more smoothly.

Find a small gift to surprise your teenager and add it to his bag. If the gift is something he can use on the plane, like a book, all the better.

Give your teenager some spending money to purchase inflight entertainment and food. Your teen might enjoy the ability to make independent purchases during the flight. Make sure your teenager keeps the money in a safe place.

Items you will need
  •  Electronic devices (WiFi enabled)
  •  Batteries or charging cables
  •  Books or eBook reader
  •  Puzzle books
  •  Deck of cards
  •  Snacks
  •  Gift
  •  Money


  • Check with your airline for their carry-on bag restrictions to ensure that your teen's carry-on bag is the right size and weight.

About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images