20 Shows and Movies to Download on Netflix for Your Holiday Travels

Airport WiFi isn’t the most reliable, in-flight WiFi is expensive, and in-flight media is either nonexistent or limited. What’s a person to do when stuck on a long, boring, lonely flight or layover? Sure, you could sleep, read a book, play Sudoku, try to make friends with your seat mate… But, let’s be real, nothing satisfies quite like a Netflix binge-session.

Fortunately, with a little pre-trip preparation, you can have hours of entertainment ready to go—no internet connection necessary. Netflix lets you download episodes for offline watching if you have the latest version of the Netflix Apple iOS, Netflix Android, Amazon Fire, or Netflix Windows 10 app.

To prepare you for your upcoming holiday travels, here are some of our recommendations for shows and movies to consider downloading to your phone, tablet, or Windows computer. There’s a little something old, something new, something original, and something you’ve probably seen a million times.

TV Shows 

1. The Good Place

Still from NBC's The Good Place
NBC/Colleen Hayes – © 2017 NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Available Seasons: 2
Currently in its third season (and recently renewed for a fourth!), The Good Place follows four humans through the universe of the afterlife. The premise is a little odd on paper, but each of the six main actors (the four pictured above—from left to right: Jameela Jamil, William Jackson Harper, Kristen Bell, Manny Jacinto—plus Ted Danson and D’Arcy Carden) deliver impeccable comedic performances.

2. Schitt’s Creek

schitt's creek tv still
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)

Available Seasons: 4
Take a family of four ultra-privileged people—each of whom is just sliiiightly out of touch with reality in their own way—strip them of their lifestyle and everything they know, and place them in a town in the middle of nowhere. The results are pretty hilarious. Bonus: The show is created by Eugene Levy and his son Dan Levy (both pictured)—and their daughter/sister Sarah Levy (not pictured) is also a series regular.

3. The Sinner

tv still from usa network's the sinner
Brownie Harris/USA Network – © 2016 USA Network Media, LLC

Available Seasons: 1 
Jessica Biel plays a woman who murders someone out of nowhere. The rest of the season goes back and forth from Biel’s character’s past and present to try and make sense of why she did what she did. Yes, your questions will be answered. And those answers are not going to be what you expected.

4. On My Block

on my block tv still
John O Flexor/Netflix

Available Seasons: 1
This Netflix original has received praise from critics and reviewers alike. On My Block follows four friends in the inner city of South Central LA as they navigate tough issues like starting high school, developing feelings for friends, and trying to get their friend out of a gang.

5. Friends

friends promotional poster
National Broadcasting Company (NBC)

Available Seasons: 10
If anything, you should download a few episodes or a season of Friends just because you can. Thankfully, Netflix heard the internet’s cries and let us keep our favorite ’90s show—at least for another year. I mean…Netflix paid a whopping $100 million to keep the show for us, so we might as well watch a few episodes.

6. Party of Five

party of five cast photo season 1
© Columbia Pictures

Available Seasons: 6
Whether you watched this show in its prime or not, Party of Five will give you nostalgia for the ’90s. It centers on five children who have to raise each other after their parents died in an accident (which happened before the series starts). Neve Campbell, Lacey Chabert, Scott Wolf, Matthew Fox, and Jennifer Love Hewitt all got their starts on this show. And you’ll definitely recognize the many guest stars along the way—including Adam Scott, JoAnna Garcia Swisher, Danny Masterson, and Patricia Heaton.

7. Queer Eye

queer eye cast photo
© Netflix

Available Seasons: 2 
How many of you are still thanking Netflix for this revival? Pack some tissues in your carryon and watch the Fab Five transform lives for the better—again and again.

8. Great News

great news promo poster
© 2017 NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Available Seasons: 2
Set in a newsroom, the show’s main relationship is between producer Katie Wendelson and her mother Carol. The real star, though, is Nicole Richie’s Portia Scott-Griffith, whose comedic timing is impeccable. It’s reminiscent of 30 Rock without being too similar and incredibly easy to binge-watch.

9. Parenthood

parenthood group photo
Art Streiber – © NBC Universal, Inc.

Available Seasons: 6
Part of me is sad I never watched this show while it was on the air. But the other part is happy I got to watch it all at my own (insanely fast) pace without having to wait weeks or months between episodes. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll gasp. For having such a big ensemble cast, the show really pulls off making each character dynamic and real.

10. Atypical

atypical tv still
© Netflix

Available Seasons: 2
Mental illness and, in this case, developmental disorders are so seldom depicted accurately in the media. Atypical, which centers on Sam Gardner, a high schooler with autism, has been praised for its portrayal of this disorder. Variety magazine  describes the show as “tender, accurate and, best of all, funny” which is a huge feat for Hollywood. There’s still a long way to go with presenting people with mental/neurological disorders and illnesses accurately, but Atypical is certainly a step in the right direction.


11. What Happened to Monday

what happened to monday movie poster
© Netflix

Ohhhh, boy. This movie is a doozy. First of all: Swedish actress Noomi Rapace plays seven different characters—and she brings a uniqueness to each one of them. While that fact, alone, might make it sound a little Orphan Black-like, it’s far from it. What Happened to Monday? is set in a dystopian world where overpopulation and scarce resources lead to the enactment of a one-child-per-family law. The seven characters Rapace plays? They’re all identical septuplets. What could go wrong?

12. The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society

guernsey literary and potato peel society move still
Amazon Prime Video / Blueprint Pictures / Mazur / Kaplan Company

If you haven’t already fallen in love with Lily James as Cinderella or a young Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again, you definitely will in this movie. Set just after World War II, the movie follows a young writer (James) as she connects with an unexpected group of friends on Guernsey Island. Bonus: Michiel Huisman (aka Daario Naharis from Game of Thrones and, more recently, Steven Crain in The Haunting of Hill House) stars as well.

13. Room

room movie poster
Element Pictures

You will cry if you decide to watch this movie, which won Brie Larson the much-deserved Oscar for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role. Based on the book of the same name, Room tells the story of 5-year-old Jack (Jacob Tremblay), who has never known life outside of a single room, and his Ma (Larson). It’s heart-wrenching and beautifully acted—by both Larson and Tremblay. Totally worth the ugly cry, I promise.

14. Shrek

shrek movie still
© 2011 – Dreamworks/Paramount Pictures

Besides the jokes you couldn’t fully appreciate as a kid and the great voice-actors (Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, John Lithgow), this movie has a killer soundtrack. And the song/dance party after the credits? So good.

15. Jurassic Park

jeff goldblum jurassic park
© 2012 – Universal Pictures

Between the giant statue in London and the “Thank U, Next” parody, Jeff Goldblum is having a moment. Let’s embrace it.

16. Heathers

heathers movie cast
Archive Photos/Getty Images – © 2012 Getty Images

While we’re on the subject of throwbacks, how about one of the best dark comedies ever made? Don’t agree? F*** me gently with a chainsaw.

17. The Incredible Jessica James

the incredible jessica james

Official Sundance Selection? Check. Strong, female lead? Check. A woman who knows her worth and isn’t afraid to say it? Check, check, check! Psst: This is not to be confused with the Netflix original series Jessica Jones. 

18. Laggies

laggies movie still
Anonymous Content

28-year-old Megan (Kiera Knightley) has a major life crisis and befriends 16-year-old Annika (Chloë Grace Moretz) in this underrated dramedy. At times, the story does go exactly where you’d expect, but the movie will surprise you a bit.

19. Experimenter

experimenter movie still
BB Film Productions / Magnolia Pictures

If you’ve ever taken a psychology class, you’ve heard of psychologist Stanley Milgram, who, in the 1960s, conducted a series of experiments on humans and their willingness to obey authority. Though I already knew the results of the experiments, it was still fascinating to watch this dramatic retelling. It reaaaaally makes you wonder what you’d have done if put in that situation.

20. Alex Strangelove

alex strangelove movie still

I’m not going to spoil this one for you if you haven’t seen it. Just know it’s a heartwarming coming-of-age story. And a Netflix original.

Kaitlin Willow

Kaitlin is Founder and Editor in Chief of The Vim. She works for Dermstore during the day and writes novels and short stories in the evenings. She lives in Long Beach, California with the coolest dog in the world, Benny. (Find him on Instagram: @bennythejetsetter)


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