Travelling by train is quick, cost-effective and efficient, making it an increasingly popular option for a short break. But why wait until you’re off the train for the fun to begin, have a look at our top ideas for keeping yourself entertained on the journey and kick-start your short break on the train.
1) Get lost in a book
I don’t know about you, but I don’t read half as much as I would like to – between work; home responsibilities and seeing friends, it’s hard to find the chance to sit down and really get engrossed in a book from start to finish. So a long train journey is the perfect time to catch up on your book bucketlist (or should that be booketlist?) completely undisturbed. Just make sure you don’t get so lost in your book that you miss your stop.
From smart phones, to tablets to laptops – technology these days makes it so easy to carry entertainment with you wherever you go. Services such as iTunes, Google Play and SkyGo make it easy to download your favourite movies and boxsets wherever you are. I caught up with 6 seasons of Modern Family on train journeys alone. Virgin trains have also recently introduced a new on-board streaming service, which with their free wi-fi, makes it even easier to find something to watch during your journey.
3) Get your brain working
Every summer as a child my parents bought me a new puzzle book packed full of brainteasers to keep me entertained on our summer roadtrips. Now, when my boyfriend and I are travelling we download some codebreakers and crosswords for the journey. Whether you opt for the traditional puzzle book or go for an app on your phone – a selection of puzzles will keep you busy for the entire journey. Puzzles are also great for sharing with your travel buddies or enjoying on your own.
4) Capture the moment
Who isn’t guilty of flooding their Facebook feed with snaps from their short breaks? (I know I am!) But pictures of your travels make for some of the best souvenirs of your wonderful experiences. So why stick to just taking pictures at your destination? Rail journeys take in some of the most scenic routes you could ever hope to see – and make for beautiful photographs. If you want to get really creative you could also take some video footage of your journey – it’s easy to film and edit videos on your phone with free movie editing apps.
5) Let the music take over
Personally I find nothing more relaxing than popping in my headphones, tuning out the rest of the world and getting lost in my thoughts as I watch the scenic countryside roll by. Why not make a playlist to last the length of your journey – you can even theme it towards your short break. Off to London? Have a listen to our London playlist. Heading to the seaside? Create a playlist of beach-inspired tunes. There are plenty of ways to get your own playlist on to your phone – you can download songs from your computer (including your CDs), download from the app store or use a streaming app such as Spotify. Just remember to bring your headphones – no-one wants to be that person playing ABBA to the entire train carriage.
6) Get inspired
A long train journey is the perfect time to pick up that project you’ve been meaning to do for years but never quite got round to. Got a great idea for a novel? Want to record your travel memories in a journal? Fancy writing some music? Use your time on your train journey to whip out your notebook or computer and start putting those thoughts into actions. You might even find that your journey help inspire your ideas further.
7) Start colouring
Adult colouring books are all the rage right now, and are reportedly great for relaxation and mindfulness. So relive your childhood colouring fun in the most sophisticated way, with a book of intricate designs and a pack of good-quality pencils. Getting lost in the image you’re creating really does soothe you – setting the perfect tone for travelling on a relaxing short break.
If all else fails, catch up on your Zzzs.
Do you have any more top tips for passing the time on long journeys? Let us know in the comments below.