My Top Tips for Beating Boredom When You Travel

With the holidays around the corner, you’re probably gearing up for travel in some shape or form. It might not necessarily be to an exotic tropical isle but it probably does involve at least one lengthy commute and its rather annoying sidekick: boredom. It could be a slow, traffic-jammed drive to your in-laws, a delayed Virgin train headed North or - if you’re a fellow expat - a 17-hour journey home, with two flights and a stopover included.

Long travel journeys can not only be gruelling, but also mind-numbingly dull. And if you don’t have the good fortune of being a napper (you lucky bast*rds), then you’ve got to find ways to entertain yourself on the road. But with no wifi on most international flights or overnight buses (and shoddy data on trains), it’s best to board your chosen mode of transport with a “distraction plan” in place.

So here are my top tips for beating travel boredom and making the most of your journey for the upcoming holidays - or well, just your next holiday.

1. Catch up on your favourite podcasts: For this, I never leave my Panasonic Bluetooth Headphones behind. And, like many, I can thank Serial for re-introducing me to world of podcasts. And I haven’t looked back since. I’m now subscribed to quite of few, on topics ranging anywhere from travel and beauty to mindfulness and entrepreneurship. So I always download a few episodes ahead of a trip to make sure I’ve got some good listening for the road. Podcasts are particularly good for long queues, 20-minute walks to your gate at Heathrow (ok, I may have done this yesterday) and red-eye flights when you can’t keep your eyes open to read or watch a film. My podcast favourites include Zero to Travel, The Emma Gunns Show and Breaking Beauty.

2. Bring all those books you’ve been meaning to get around to: I always have a stack of books next to my bedside table (and in my Amazon wish list) that I’m planning to read. Eventually. And then I get distracted: by work, my endless to-do list, my iphone or, more recently, The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel. So I like to use travel as an opportunity to indulge in some serious reading. Some 2018 recommended favourites include Everything I Know About Love, A Little Life, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and - for my fellow travel junkies - travel journalist Anna Hart’s memoir Departures. Shop my picks below.

3. Prepare some killer Spotify playlists: I’m constantly Shazaming unknown tunes but never get around to actually adding them onto Spotify. That is, until my next trip, where I finally make some time to sit down, sort through my music and create some fresh playlists for the road. Sometimes I only want New Tunes but if I feel like I need to decompress, I’ll go for Chill Vibes. This time of year, Driving Home For Christmas is the best. This tip is most useful on long road-trips, where you can karaoke to your favourite tunes in between heart-to-hearts with your travel mates.

4. Bring along your favourite magazines: Despite the fact that my carry-on is always excruciatingly heavy, I also like to travel with the latest editions of my favourite magazines. Sometimes I’m just not in the mood to get into a meaty novel and prefer something short and sweet. For this, magazines are great. My girly go-to is Grazia, my travel favourites are Condé Nast Traveller and Suitcase and when I’ve got my intellectual hat on, I love a bit of The Economist.

5. Update your to-do lists, organise your photos and generally sort out your phone life: Ten hours in, when I’m finally tired of all the above, I start sorting things on my phone. That can range from updating my to-do lists (things I want do and see during my holiday, goals for the next year, blog post ideas, etc.) to cleaning and categorising my photos to deleting apps I never use. It’s basically a digital spring clean.

6. Mediate for a minute: Yup, that’s right. You know I love a little mindfulness on the road. And what better time to give it a go than during a long journey. You’ve no longer got the excuse that you’re too busy. If you’re on your own, put your headphones in once you’ve taken off and all those announcements are (finally) out the way. And if you’re road-tripping, why not get your mates to join in? You’ll all arrive at your destination already in holiday-mode.

SHOP MY FAVOURITE recent READS ahead of your trip

 
 

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