Travelling may seem like it should be exciting all of the time and without a dull moment, yet the truth is, when you travel for long periods of time there are highs and lows.
After a few weeks, spending hours on a train getting from A to B becomes a lot less appealing and you might actually get to the point of feeling bored! If you can imagine this and have an upcoming trip, it’s best to prepare yourself for the downtime when you need something to entertain yourself.
While I was interrailing through europe last summer, I used long journeys and the times when I was exhausted to either blog or nap most of the time, but if you don’t write or prefer not to sleep during the day, here are some of the best ways to entertain yourself on the go.
Play online games
Grab your smartphone and test yourself with games online. With so many options, you can really challenge yourself and use your brain power to beat other players online or a computer. Games like Triple Town or Sudoko are very laid-back, and you can even play casino games online. The good thing about casino games is that you enjoy playing as you sometimes even can win money online.
If you have no idea what game will entertain you the most, you can’t go wrong by checking out the most popular games on your phone’s app store and going from there. You can also check online casino sites to find games you will love. Just remember to plan a bit ahead and download on free Wi-Fi!
Plan your next adventure
By far one of the best uses of ‘dull moments’ is to combat it by planning your next adventure. Go online and see what you can do; a nearby museum, theme park, walking tour… whatever takes your fancy. If you’re travelling solo, then this is essential and very rewarding as you’re in control and have the freedom to make spontaneous or last minute decisions.
As always, I’d say Google is your friend but you can go direct to top travel bloggers like Expert Vagabond and Nomadic Matt if you need some inspiration about your destination. They’re great for ‘off the beaten track’ activities you won’t want to miss.
Talk to someone new
Sometimes, you’ll find yourself in a carriage or in the same row in a plane as someone friendly. It’s actually really common! Strike up a conversation to see if they’re also up for talking and if they are, ask them about themselves.
I chatted to so many other travelers in Europe and learnt so much from what they were doing and their view of the world. I’ve also overheard some very deep and meaningful conversations taking place that can really restore your faith in the kindness of strangers (although stay safe at all times and use your intuition!).
Listen to an audio book
I find this more relaxing and easy going that reading a book. You can just shut your eyes, block out the sounds around you and get totally involved in the story of your choice. I listened to Harper Lee’s ‘Go Set a Watchman’ during one trip, shortly after it came out. I didn’t finish it or take everything in, but the audio was both comforting and a bit of company. This made it easier to enjoy travel time stuck in a hot and sweaty carriage.
Invest in Netflix
Travelling or not, Netflix is becoming an everyday essential for TV and film buffs. As of November 2016, you can download shows on Wi-Fi and watch on the go without using your data. This is a real gift for an eight-hour train journey or flight, especially when your mobile data plan gets hit with extra roaming fees. Not the best use of funds!
I’d recommend watching an old favorite to properly relax. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched Bojack Horseman from start to finish. Well, I can. It’s four.
When your thousands of miles away it’s a good idea to check in with friends from home fairly regularly so you’re not out of the loop when you return – although this is sometimes unavoidable. You could write a letter or postcard, but by far the easiest way is to head online and chat on Facebook or WhatsApp. For a real-time call, you can’t beat Skype.
The only rule with this one is not to stay in touch to the point where you’re distracted from your own travel goals and the experiences right in front of you. You left on your journey for a reason and you need to be immersed and making the most of it day to day.
So, travel can have its dull points but technology and games will always come to the rescue! Of course, I do still recommend napping as sometimes doing nothing is the best thing to do when you’re up early and going to bed late exploring new destinations.
Share your tips below – what do you do that I’ve missed out?