Prepare for a Long Flight by Downloading Everything to Android

Skye Hudson 20-04-2016

Keeping yourself entertained on flights that last more than a few hours can be a real challenge. What could you possibly do sitting in a cramped chair for over 10 hours?


If you have an Android phone or tablet, you actually have a wide range of options. Of course, some apps (like Facebook or Twitter) require an Internet connection to work, but there are loads of apps you can use offline to keep yourself entertained without spending a dime on in-flight Wi-Fi.

Let’s take a look at how to download everything you need to your device for a long trip.



Back when we used to buy individual songs or albums, this would’ve been a no-brainer. You would’ve just taken your iPod on your flight and been done with it. Today, with music streaming services taking over What Is the Best Way to Stream Music for Free on Android? There are a ton of free music-streaming apps for Android, but how are they different and which is your best option? Read More the world, it’s a little bit harder to get your favorite tunes without access to the Internet.

Though it’s certainly not impossible — the method you use will just depend on how you generally listen to your music.


You Already Have a Collection

If you already have some music of your own, maybe saved in iTunes or saved in a folder on your computer, getting that music onto your Android device is extremely simple. Just plug your Android device into your computer like a USB drive and copy and paste the files over How to Transfer Files From Android to PC: 7 Methods Want to learn how to transfer Android files to a PC or vice-versa? Here are several easy methods for moving data between devices. Read More .

If you’re on a Mac, you’ll need to use a tool called Android File Transfer How to Transfer Files Between Android and Mac: 7 Easy Methods Need to transfer files between your Android phone and Mac computer? Here are simple ways to move data between those platforms. Read More .

If you’d like for your music to be automatically backed up, you can also upload all your songs to Google Play Music (which is genuinely the best music player on Android The Best Music Player on Android: Google Play Music Reviewed Google Play Music is a music streaming service, a local music player, and a podcast player all mashed into one. And it's great. Read More ), and then download all of them to your Android device The Best Music Player on Android: Google Play Music Reviewed Google Play Music is a music streaming service, a local music player, and a podcast player all mashed into one. And it's great. Read More .

You Don’t Own Any Songs

If streaming music is more your style, your best bet is probably gonna cost you at least a few bucks. Most streaming services offer some kind of offline mode, but only for paying premium users.


YouTube Music will let you listen offline if you sign up for YouTube Red Is YouTube Premium Worth the Cost? 7 Things You Need to Consider Is YouTube Premium's cost worth it? We look into the pros and cons of YouTube's paid version. Read More , and Spotify offers the same for premium subscribers.



If you haven’t given podcasts a try yet, you should. They’re an amazing way to pass time, and they require nothing more than popping on your headphones and pressing play.

We’ve outlined the best podcast players for Android The 8 Best Podcast Apps for Android Looking for the best podcast app for Android? We have you covered with apps that help you download, discover, listen, and more. Read More before, and several of those have built-in methods for searching for and downloading podcasts.


You could always just go to or Soundcloud and download podcast episodes directly to your phone or tablet. They’ll download as .MP3 files that you can open with any music player 6 Gorgeous Material Design-Inspired Music Players for Android Looking for a music player that's been updated with Material Design in mind? Look no further! Read More .

Movies and TV Shows


This is another area where we’ve moved from an ownership model to a streaming model. It’s not like you could’ve taken your Blockbuster DVD on a plane anyway, but you also can’t stream Netflix on the plane without paying for in-flight Wi-Fi.

The solution to this depends on what movies or TV shows you want to bring on the plane.


Movies/TV Shows You Already Own

Perhaps you’ve already bought some movies or TV shows, or you’ve ripped them from DVDs or Blu-Rays. If that’s the case, just like with music, you can simply copy them over to your Android device using a USB cable.

Then to actually play the media, you’ll need a file browser to locate where The 7 Best Free File Explorers for Android Looking for the best file manager apps for Android? Here are the top Android file browsers you should try. Read More you saved it, and a video player to actually watch What Is the Best Video Player for Android? Not all Android video player apps are made equal. Here are the best ones currently available. Read More it. My favorite is VLC — it seems to play all file types and formats, and has great customizability and subtitle support.

New Movies/TV Shows

So what if you don’t own anything yet? Well, buy it!

Google Play Movies & TV allows you to easily buy or rent tons of movies and TV shows to access offline. Rental periods are good for 30 days and require you to finish the movie within 48 hours of starting it, so you have plenty of time to pay ahead of time, download it, and watch it on the plane.

Amazon has a similar service with Amazon Instant Video if you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber. We’ve already detailed how to get that set up and download your videos offline on Android How to Download Amazon Prime Videos to Watch Offline Amazon Prime Video lets you download movies and TV shows to watch offline for free. Here's how to download Amazon Prime videos. Read More . This is actually a service you might want to consider even for after the plane trip, given how many great shows 10+ TV Shows That Make Amazon Prime Worth the Money Netflix is undoubtedly the king of the movie and TV show streaming services. However, Amazon Prime has some fantastic television shows that make it worth the asking price. Read More it has available.

Unfortunately, most other major streaming services like Netflix don’t support offline viewing, so snagging shows or movies to watch offline will likely cost you — unless you want to try a third-party tool for downloading Netflix videos Save Videos From Any Site – Even Netflix – With Applian's Replay Capture Suite If you can watch or listen to something, you can record it. All you need is the right tool. Read More .



You could just stash a paperback or an eReader What's the Difference Between E-Readers and Tablets? E-readers and tablets are not the same thing. Here's what you need to know about their differences. Read More in your bag, but why take up that precious space when you could just as easily read on your phone?

Amazon, arguably the leader (by a long shot) of the eBook market, has an amazing Kindle app for Android The Kindle App for Android and iPhone: As Good as a Real Kindle? You don't actually need a Kindle ereader to read ebooks. The Kindle app on your phone does the job. Here's how to use it. Read More that gives you access to the retail giant’s massive collection of eBooks. If you’re a Prime subscriber Netflix vs. Hulu vs. Amazon Prime: Which Should You Choose? It has been years since we've compared heavy-hitting streaming services, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. And with changes in pricing, content, quality, and interface, we thought it was time to revisit the topic. Read More , you can even borrow one book a month for free from the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library.

There are other eReading apps Don't Like Amazon? Alternatives To The Kindle eBook Reader App For Android Amazon has its own set of flaws that send readers looking for an alternative that’s just as good. Looking to get away from Amazon, the Kindle, and DRM? Here are some of the best ebook... Read More in case you have some ePub files of your favorite books lying around, and (surprise!) there’s always Google Play Books as well Reading A Book On Your Android Device? Google Play Books Makes It Easy Let's take a look at Google's stab at the fast-growing eBook market. Read More . Check out Project Gutenberg to access classic works Project Gutenberg: More Than Just Free Books Sites like Project Gutenberg, which has over 45,000 books on offer (at the time of writing), will ensure that no book will ever truly disappear. Discovering obscure works of literature is now easier than ever. Read More absolutely free of charge.



Even if you’re not generally a mobile gamer, you might want something to kill the time on a long flight. Watching the same TV show or reading the same book for hours can be great, but it can also get old after a while.

If you’re one of those people who tends to get antsy easily, mobile games can help you change up what you’re doing. Unfortunately, lots of games check for online access now, even if it’s not 100% necessary for running the game.

Luckily, we’ve compiled a multiple lists to help you out, starting with 10 awesome offline games 20 Best Offline Games on Android That Don't Need Internet These best offline games for Android are from all genres, including strategy, puzzle, racing, and more. No internet required. Read More and then expanding on another 13 fantastic options 11 Fun Mobile Games When You Have No Internet or Data Here are the best mobile games that don't need an internet connection, allowing you to save your mobile data. Read More . Download a few just in case — it can’t hurt, and once you’re in the air, it’ll be too late!

Don’t Forget Headphones and Batteries!

No matter how much content you download for your flight, if you don’t have headphones to listen or an external battery to keep your device going, you’re out of luck. While many planes provide USB power these days, it’s not a guarantee and not a gamble we’d recommend you take.

You could always go for the cheap earphones that came with your device or that you picked up at the airport, but for a quality experience you can grab some nice headphones for under $200 Don't Break The Bank: 6 Of The Best Headphones You Can Buy Under $200 For most people who are particular about their tunes and are looking for a new pair of headphones, $200 is that sweet spot. Read More . Just make sure you understand these basic terms first 10 Terms You Should Know to Identify the Best Headphones In this guide we'll cut through the jargon and show you what the key headphone specifications actually mean, and why — or if — they matter. Read More .

As for an external battery, we’ve covered 6 of the best backup battery packs The 6 Best Backup Battery Packs for Extending Your Phone's Uptime A battery pack is one of the best ways to charge your phone in an emergency. Here are a few portable power banks that might be just what you need. Read More you can get. For reference, note that most phones have between 2,000-3,000mAh, and tablets can get up into the 8,000mAh range. Think about how long your phone can usually keep going under heavy usage and get a corresponding battery pack.

How Do You Occupy Your Time?

As someone who’s been on many, many long flights, my Android phone has been an invaluable resource. Hopefully with these tips, your Android device can serve you just as well.

But everyone’s different, and I’m sure there are other ways of keeping yourself entertained without WiFi. Let me know down in the comments what tips you have for surviving a long flight!

Image Credit: Jenna and Julien Podcast

Related topics: Google Music, Podcasts, Travel.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Anonymous
    April 21, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    Don't forget your local library for materials.

    I get many magazines through Zinio that do not expire until i actually delete them.
    Also, I get ebooks and audio books for 21 day loans for free at my local library.
    I have not yet found a way to get videos other than by streaming through hoopladigital at my library, but you may be able to do it at yours.

    • ganastor
      April 25, 2016 at 12:11 pm

      Speaking of library... Thought I'd mention that I currently use LibraryBox ( so I can download all of these things there then move to my Android during the flight. I find it much better for 2 reasons - 1) being that I can download much more onto a flash drive using that and I can decide later what I'd like to watch/read, but the greatest thing about it is 2) the fact that doing it this way my wife can also download what she wants to at that time as well.

      Worth checking out! I renamed the ssid on mine to AirlineBox just in case others on the flights would like to get some material as well.

    • Riley J. Dennis
      April 30, 2016 at 10:46 am

      great idea! thanks for sharing that :)