There’s nothing quite like the thrill of going traveling. It doesn’t matter how often you’ve done it – you’ll always feel that rush of excitement as you set off, anticipating all the fun that you’re going to have when you reach your destination. There’s just one problem: getting there can take quite a while. In the meantime, you’ll be stuck in a succession of planes, trains, automobiles and airport lounges. How are you going to pass the time? Planning in advance some ways to relieve the boredom will help you to enjoy the whole trip quite a bit more.
Reading books on the beach is a mainstay of many people’s vacation plans, but let’s face it, airport novels don’t exactly have a reputation for being deep. If you want something that’s going to occupy your mind fully and take the edge off your frustration during delays and stopovers, it’s better to prepare by picking up something in advance that really appeals to you. If you suffer from travel sickness and reading makes it worse, give audiobooks a try. There are many freely available on sites such as YouTube, along with short stories, which are ideal when you just have 15 minutes to fill.
Games are great when you’re traveling with kids and really help to keep them occupied, but they also have lots to offer for adults. A simple pack of cards gives you lots of options, or you can take along Travel Scrabble or a small boxed game such as Boggle. You can calculate and remember lotto numbers and check the latest results on your phone, download and try out the latest game apps, or go online to participate in multiplayer games. There are also old favorites such as I Spy, which has the additional benefit of helping you to enjoy intriguing new landscapes.
Whether you’re a student or you just enjoy learning and acquiring new skills, travel provides a great opportunity for study. Learning a language will help you get more out of your interactions with the people you meet. These days, there are lots of language courses available in audio format or in the form of videos that you can download before you go or stream live (if you can get a good enough internet connection). Old-fashioned phrasebooks still have their place, of course, and it’s always a good idea to have a jotter with you for taking notes.
Share your story
Whether you’re keeping a journal for posterity or you simply want to regale your friends with tales of your adventures, travel gives you time to catch up. You might choose to upload pictures to Instagram, chat on Facebook or visit your favorite travel forums. If you’re not connected or you prefer to save the stories for when you get back, you could focus on composing future blog entries. You could also make short videos in which you talk about your surroundings, even if it’s just the view from the bus window. Just take care to be respectful of people who might not want to be caught in them.
Pauses during travel are a great opportunity to catch up with all those little tasks that accumulate when you’re on the road, such as checking your itinerary, researching the sights that you’d like to see, and poring over maps so that you can be confident of finding your way around your next destination. It’s a good time for editing photos that you’ve taken, sorting through souvenirs and writing postcards. If you’re traveling without a fixed itinerary, you can use it to identify and book accommodation using the latest travel apps, or to sort out your next form of transport.
Make new friends
Sharing public transport or waiting rooms is a great opportunity to get talking to people, even if you only know a little of the language. You might be surprised by how much can be communicated without words, and of course many people are happy to converse in English anyway. You might also find that you get talking to fellow travelers from back home, which can be useful if you enjoy swapping tips, experiences and recommendations. Most of the people who you meet this way will not become lifelong friends, but this doesn’t mean that it won’t be a mutually enjoyable experience.
Taking the boredom out of travel means that you don’t need to wait to get to or between destinations – you can have a good time all of the time.