Health & Wellness

12 Ways To Make Your Travel Time More Fun & Productive

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Last Updated On 17th April 2022 By Lauren | Wild Lovely World

Rather than complaining about the queues, getting road rage, wasting time on your social medium of choice with the never ending scroll, there are so many ways to make your travel time much more fun and productive. Whether by bus, train, car, plane, bike, boat or foot, however you travel, why not use the time wisely? Here are my top 12 tips for utilising your travel time.

How To Make Your Travel Time More Fun & Productive

1. Read

At the start of 2017, I set myself the challenge to read a book a month, so by the end of the year I’ll have read at least 12, if not more, books. Before this challenge I usually read on the bus anyway, but having the goal really helps me to utilise time I might have otherwise spent on my phone or day dreaming out the window.

Having a fair commute of around 20 minutes each way, I can get through a fair number of pages as that’s about 30-40 minutes of reading time per day (it could be even more if I read on my lunch break and before bed too)! If your commute is longer, that’s even more!

Don’t enjoy reading books? How about interesting and insightful magazine articles or catching up on the news? Drive, or feel queasy when reading in moving vehicles? Listen to audio books or podcasts.

2. Learn

There are so many ways to learn for free these days it’s absolutely amazing. Take advantage of all that’s on offer by learning a language, playing memory games and doing brain training, studying for a test like driving theory, or simply doing puzzles, soduku or cross words. Some of the ways you can learn are by playing on apps, listening to audio files and podcasts, reading study notes or quizzing a friend.

Some favourites I’ve been using recently, for example, include Duolingo, Tinycards, Coffee Break Spanish and Top Tests Free Driving Theory. The practice I got studying for my driving theory on my commute was really valuable in helping me pass my test. Duolingo really helped me get in extra Spanish practice outside my lessons. Tinycards has helped me learn more about history, geography and science, and also keep up with my Japanese Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji practice! It’s amazing what just 10 minutes a day can do.

3. Write

I carry small notebooks around with me everywhere (my favorite notebooks are the little £1 ones from Flying Tiger), and I would encourage you to do the same (or use the ‘notepad’ feature on your phone/tablet, but a pen and paper is best)! I use it to write my diary, to-do lists, create schedules and plans, stories, poems, blog posts, thoughts, ideas, letters… anything. Writing is a really healthy way to get things out of your mind and off your chest.

A great way to start the day is ’15 Minute Morning Pages’ – just write down whatever you think or feel or comes out through your pen and onto the paper for 15 minutes at the beginning of everyday.  It’ll really help you focus your mind loosen you thoughts, relieve anxiety, and record your ideas.

Drive? Talk or record yourself speaking your thoughts out loud.

4. Draw

Doodle and draw! You could even take a new approach to life drawing by drawing people on the bus or train! But be careful – they might not like it and tell you to stop 🙂 So look outside and draw your surroundings or objects around you. You can draw in your little notebook with a pen – it doesn’t need to be anything fancy. Unleashing that creative energy can really spur you on for the day and generate new ideas to put into practice and develop.

5. Relax

Sometimes I just love to listen to music, sit back, relax, and look out of the window. Enjoying the world around and the moment you can help you to be more mindful. Using this time to get some well deserved relaxation is all important too. Catching up on your sleep and saving up your energy for when you arrive at your destination is valuable use of this time, especially if you’re travelling long distances or backpacking for many weeks at a time!

koh lipe long-tail boat thailand
Long-tail boat in Koh Lipe, Thailand

6. Observe

People watching is easily one of my favourite hobbies, and no better place for it than out in the world at places where people gather. Taking public transport especially is a really great way to just take a closer look at the human subject. Notice all the people all around you. Be in the moment. Watch their interactions, their idiosyncrasies, their habits. Look outside and see the landscape, the architecture, the animals, the sky. Take it all in and observe. Really look at your surroundings. There’s interesting things all around you.

7. Create

Do something creative! Knit, crochet, stitch (just be careful not to poke your eye out with the needle!). Use your imagination.

8. Exercise

Run, cycle or walk to work (or row if you live by water). Exercising on the way to work is a great way to clear your head and relax before the office and to have a wind down before you get home. I know when I’ve cycled to work I really feel the benefits.

Make it easier on yourself (and motivate yourself to do it), by preparing as much as you can in advance by researching your route, getting your gear and trying it out on a free-day to give yourself an idea of how long it’ll take. Prepare your things the night before, travel in your exercise gear and take a backpack or leave a set of clean clothes at work to change into. If you need a shower, take or leave a towel and a toiletry bag – many workplaces now have showers, changing rooms and/or a gym you can use for free as an employee – see what options your workplace provides.

Many employers also have cycle to work programmes where you can get a bike for free or a discount and free luminosity gear to help you stay safe. Still need to sit on the bus or take the car? Do kegel exercises – no one will ever notice!

Looking for ideas on how to keep fit and active while traveling? Check out my post: 12 Free & Cheap Ways To Exercise, Keep Fit & Lose Weight While Traveling

mount fuji kawaguchiko five lakes cycling bike
Fujikawaguchiko (Fuji Five Lakes), Japan

9. Research

What to cook for dinner tonight, why is the sky blue, what tablet to buy – anything you want to know the answer to, now’s the time to find out! I save so much time at home by doing all these little bits on my phone. Many public transport providers now have free WiFi, so login online and find your answers!

10. Meditate

Close your eyes. Breathe deeply. Be in the moment. If you need a little help, try the Headspace app. It’s free for the first 10 lessons, and they’re only 10 minutes each. They also have special meditation programmes designed for your commute, if you want to continue. I found that doing this every day really helps me to stay focused and more mindful.

11. Connect

I get so much of my networking activity done during commuting hours. Phone a friend. Catch up on messages you’ve been meaning to reply to for ages. Sort of out your email inbox. Even better – catch a ride with a friend or arrange to travel with each other – so you can connect in person and enjoy the journey together.

12. Explore

My final tip to make your travel time more fun and productive is to explore! Your commute is an excellent time to discover new places all around you! Why not take a detour via somewhere you’ve never been before? I have discovered some really amazing and beautiful places which I may have never known about unless I went that way – a secluded beach, a hidden temple, a gorgeous view. You never know what’s around the corner.

12 Ways To Make Your Travel Time More Fun & Productive

So there you have it! These are my top 12 tips for making your travel time more fun and productive! Do you do any of these or have any other ideas for a more productive and fun journey? Comment below!

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links on this page may be affiliate links. Affiliate links are marked with an asterisk (*) where possible to help disclose these to you. If you decide to make a purchase through one of these links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. I use all of the companies I recommend and I use them because they are awesome and help make my travels better. If you are ready to book and would like to support Wild Lovely World, using these links is one way to do that. Thank you for your support! If you have any questions, please contact me or read my full disclaimer here.