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How to keep your mind occupied on long journeys

As much as everyone hates to admit it, travelling isn’t always non-stop excitement at 100mph.

We love travelling — and there’s nothing like arriving at your new destination ready to explore everything it has to offer, from trying out exciting local cuisine to meeting new people to getting to know the area.

But it’s not like this 24/7; a lot of time is spent on long journeys going from one destination to your next, whether it’s via train, plane, bus or road-tripping in a rented car. So how do you make the most of this wasted time, and keep yourself from dying of boredom?

Download a language app and get learning

In this post, we’ll cover six ways to keep your mind occupied on long journeys; read on for inspiration. 

If you’re travelling to (or through) a country that doesn’t speak your language, then why not take the time to learn some useful words and phrases and brush up on your language skills?

This is one of the most productive ways to spend your time on a long journey: you’re educating yourself and keeping your brain stimulated, and you’re also doing something that will be super useful when you arrive at your next destination!

It’s easy enough to do; either you can go old-school and use a textbook to teach and test yourself in your chosen language, or you can download a language app. 

There are loads of great free language apps out there (not just Duolingo!) that have plenty of languages for you to choose from. 

Plan your next steps

Long journeys can often feel like dead time when you’re travelling — it’s such a waste when all you want to do is get out there and go exploring!

If you want to make the most of your travel time, then why not spend it planning your next steps and organising anything you want to do at your next destination?

Rifle through the pages of your Lonely Planet Guide to read up on the next region you’re travelling to, find out more about its rich history, and bookmark any must-visit attractions while you’re in the area. 

You could also use the time to phone ahead to book day excursions and activities, hostel stays, or dinner at that fun local restaurant you’ve been reading all about. 

Get some shut – eye

Travelling can be exhausting; the physical exertion of moving around all the time, meeting new people everywhere you go, and trying to navigate your way around a new country is all tiring. 

You don’t have to be doing something all the time — it’s okay to take a break, get some shut-eye and give your body a rest. After all, sleep is super important for our bodies

This is particularly true if you suffer from migraines; anyone who has had a migraine while travelling knows how painful and stressful it can be. Sleep can actually help to soothe migraines attacks. If sleep isn’t working, an effective treatment like Sumatriptan can also help to tackle migraine symptoms and alleviates pain.

A soothing train or plane journey is the perfect place to relax and recuperate — so get comfy, put your eye-mask on and don’t forget to set your alarm so that you wake up at your destination!

Read a good book or listen to a podcast

There’s nothing like reading a good book to pass the time on a long journey. 

Pick a book that you find gripping and easy to read and you could really lose yourself for a few hours. And if you’re worried about running out of space in your backpack, you can always invest in a Kindle — they’re pretty cheap to buy now, and you can download as many books as you want for your trip.  

If you’re prone to travel sickness of any kind, then you can always swap your book out for an audiobook or podcast. These will keep your mind occupied without causing you to suffer from any unpleasant travel sickness effects such as dizziness, nausea and vomiting. 

Write – whether it’s your journal, a novel or your blog!

There’s something about long journeys — particularly romantic, winding train rides through the luscious forests and epic scenery — that stimulates the imagination and gets the creative juices flowing. 

So if you love gazing out the window and feeling inspired by your surroundings and the gentle chug of the train, why not harness your creative spirit and get writing?

Whether it’s a short story or your private travel journal, you’ll be surprised by what you can come up with on the move! Plus, if you’re a travel blogger, you can use this time to update your blog or come up with ideas for your next post.

Keep your mind stimulated with online games

Long journeys are a great time to learn a new skill or hobby. And one of the best ones that will keep your mind occupied and stimulated for hours on end are online card games and gambling. 

Whether it’s poker or blackjack, there’s plenty to choose from — and it’s easy enough to learn if you’ve got the time (which you do). You could also download an online gambling app on your phone.

You can find all sorts of sites where you can play online while you’re travelling, and even win money while you’re having fun. Plus, learning card games will stand you in good stead when you arrive at a new hostel and someone gets out a deck of cards.

Long journeys don’t have to be dull and boring. These are six of the best ways that you can keep your mind occupied and have fun while you’re travelling — so the next time you’re about to board a train or bus, try them out!

By The Sisters

Two sisters madly in love with life, travel, and exploring the stories that make this world such a magical place. Blogging about travel & lifestyle of no drama.

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