Some people roll their eyes on the thought they have to spend several hours in a bus or train but that time doesn’t have to be spent in pain and agony. Here I’ll list some ways on how to kill time during long journeys which hopefully you’ll find interesting.


One of the best ways to kill time during long journeys is to read. I prefer to have a physical copy in my hand but I also use Amazon kindle app on my phone. Amazon Kindle store has thousands of free and cheap e-books that you can download and read on the go. Magazines, newspapers, blogs are another source of inspiration. If you are a student you can also bring your studying material with you and make your time a more productive one.

how to kill time during long journeys - books

Listen to music

This really is a no-brainer. Looking through the window and enjoying scenery whilst listening to a music is a must. If I have more free time before the trip I like to read the guidebook of the place I’ll be visiting and research their music scene. In this way you can make your trip a more thematic one eg. Oriental Express Playlist or Swedish Electro/Pop. I use Sony Walkman Music Player for travel because of its long battery and space.

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Crosswords and sudoku

I love crosswords and sudoku! I can’t stress this enough. Crosswords are really fun to do, especially if you’re doing it with your traveling companion. To make things more interesting you can make it a competition. The one who has more correct guesses win. Rules are simple: if you guess the correct answer you get 10 points, but if you guess the answer that already has some letters written in – you get 5 points. Sudoku is my personal favorite because I love spending my free time not just playing games but exercising my brain cells as well. Doing sudoku everyday is scientifically proven to reduce your chances of getting Alzeheimer!


This is never my first choice to do for one reason only, it drains my cellphone battery really fast. But if you have a portable charger or an outlet near you, make sure to download some of the many free (and really fun) games from Google or Apple store. Some of them are really addicting (READ: Minion rush) so be careful not to miss your stop.

how to kill time during long journeys - games

Do Important Work

Again if I have a portable charger or an outlet nearby plugging in my laptop would usually be my first choice. Good things are worth the wait. Because I know that whatever I do I’m going to be miserable for the next couple of hours, I might as well be productive. This way I feel better because I’m able to crunch up a few more extra hours of work/studying and I’m more stress free while I’m on my trip.


I have a list (sometimes it seems like it’s endless) of movies that I still haven’t seen. Yes, I get asked a lot if I live under a rock. And no, I do not. This is a great time to catch up and see that one movie that you have been talking about for ages. Just be careful not to pick a drama (like any movie with Hilary Swank ever). I’ve made that mistake and “They took my leg, boss.” resulted with me shaking and using up all of my Kleenex. Trust me nobody wants a sobbing mess next to them.

Enjoy the scenery

If you travel by train you can enjoy the wonderful landscapes of Europe. You can see the transition from green meadows to rocky mountains. These railroads remember many big historic moments, same roads that have taken so many iconic artists across the continent and inspired many famous works. You can’t help but gaze out the window and think about the history heritage and not somehow feel a part of it. It’s all oh-so-romantic.

how to kill time during long journeys

Start a conversation

Start a conversation with your fellow travelers. You’re going to the same destination so you can share ideas about what to see and do, and if you’re lucky you might meet a native (who’ll disclose all the musts in his city). For the love of God, just don’t be boring or pushy. Read the signals because not everyone is interested in talking.

Plan your activities

I always say that I’m going to work out my itinerary before my trip but I never get around to it. Thus this is the perfect time, no excuses, no procrastination. Take out your map, your travel guide and a notebook. Read up about the major sights and mark them on your map. This way you can already devise a route to do all the major attractions. In your notebook jolt down all the interesting and lesser known jewels of the city that you’re going to include into your route if you have some extra time. I really love Lonely Planet guides and I sincerely recommend them to anyone.

Practice your language skills

When visiting a new country I think it’s imperative to do some research about their culture. While knowing the taboos and the dress code is very important, one of the biggest aspects of any culture is language. The utmost compliment you can pay to a local is to try and communicate with them in their native tongue. It was Nelson Mandela who said, “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” So buy an audio book or use an app and repeat the most useful phrases while you enjoy the passing scenery.

If you have any other suggestions on how to kill time during long journeys feel free to comment below.