16 Tips to Beat Boredom on Long Train Journeys

By ClaroCaro | Jul 9, 2022

Maybe you are planning to travel a little more sustainably and therefore decide to take a train ride. Or you are taking an Interrail trip in Europe and will therefore spend a lot of time on the train. No matter what the reason is, a long train ride can become boring over time. Whether it is 5 hours, 10 hours or even a night train ride. You will certainly want to pass the time. There are many ways to fight boredom during a long train ride. And this list gives you 16 tips you can do when a long train journey becomes boring

1. Take books or an E-book reader with you

Although this is one of the classic tips, it is still a popular and frequently used way to drive away boredom. During longer journeys by train, books are perfect to pass the time. Whether it's a travel guide for your vacation or a novel, books make time pass much faster during the ride.
Nowadays, an E-book reader is the better option. Because no one wants to carry a backpack with a heavy lot of books around during the trip. An E-book takes up very little space and you can have many different books with you. Sometimes you can also find free books, and your travel literature will be less expensive. However, if you prefer the classic book in print form, go for it. The main thing is that there is no emerging of boredom.
Alternatively, you can visit a shop in the station before boarding the train to quickly buy a newspaper or a magazine. Some railway companies provide free railway magazines in modern highspeed trains. These train company magazines often contain travel stories about destinations that can be reached by train. Moreover, they contain random cultural and lifestyle themes that provide entertainment.

2. Audiobooks

Another option that also takes up little space in your luggage are audiobooks. This tip to beat boredom is also a wonderful pastime. Audiobooks can last several hours, so they're ideal for a long train ride. It is only important to remember to pack headphones, to not annoy other passengers on the train with your travel reading. There are also travel audiobooks who have all sorts of information for your holiday. These are called self-guided tours. They are available in audiobook format, but they are better suited for when one has arrived the destination.
Otherwise, you should remember to save your e-books or your audiobooks on your electronic devices before your trip. To add to this tip, you should pack a portable power bank in case the batteries are empty.

3. Keep a travel journal

A travel journal is a great way to keep and remember your thoughts and experiences during your trip. Whether you fill the book exclusively with text or stick in photographs, post cards or admission tickets, it is up to you. There are many people who have turned journaling into a real hobby. They decorate their entries with stickers or washi tape and decorate them with drawings. A long train ride is then the perfect opportunity to write down the impressions of the trip and to let your creativity run wild by making the travel journal more colorful.

4. Plan your trip

If you can hardly stand it with anticipation, you can plan your trip. And a long train ride is the best way to do that. Grab the travel guide and find out what will await you at the destination. You can put together a small list, with activities that you want to do. Check out the city maps to find out where major attractions are located. In addition, you can get an overview of how best to navigate through the destination. You can also note the opening hours and ticket prices to be well prepared. Moreover, you can search for recommendations for good restaurants in the area.
And as a little extra tip, if you meet locals on the train, ask them for tips and recommendations.

5. Learn a language

During the journey to the destination, you should take a little time to learn simple phrases and sentences in the local language. The locals will certainly be happy about it. And it can only be an advantage if you understand the menu in the restaurant and know exactly what you want to order. It is also a good opportunity to get in touch with the locals and learn a little more about the country and its culture.
There are countless different language learning apps available for mobile phones. One of the most popular is called Duolingo. It's best to try it out and see if it's something for you.

6. Bring a pen and paper

No matter what kind of trip, it is always useful to have writing utensils with you. And pens and paper are also well suited to banish boredom during a long train journey. Why not get creative and draw something. You can be inspired by the passing landscape and thus put the impressions of the journey on paper in an artistic way. However, if you are not such a gifted artist, then you can let your creativity run free, for example, with a coloring book for adults.
If you are traveling with others, you can, for example, play a word game such as categories with each other. So, there is no boredom and at the same time you also train your brain.

7. Do crossword puzzles and other puzzle games

If you feel like playing brain games, but don't have a fellow traveler at hand for word games, then a crossword puzzle is a good alternative. A small booklet of Sudoku can help against boredom on the train. In addition, such puzzles are a good exercise for the brain.
If you don't want to carry puzzle books or newspapers with you, you can download an app to your mobile phone. There are countless “brain training apps” with which you can challenge yourself. In addition to crossword puzzles and Sudoku, there are chess games and other board games in app version available. You should always make sure that these applications also work offline.

8. Meet other travelers

If you don't want to spend all your time alone, you can try to meet other travelers. Talking to fellow travelers is a great way to pass the time or even find new travel partners. You can share your own experiences or good insider tips.
If you are traveling alone and don't want to sit alone for safety reasons, you can ask other travelers if you can join them. Now you just need to find out how talkative the other travelers are and start a conversation.

9. Pack card games or travel games

A classic card game is old-fashioned, but still great for relieving boredom during a train ride. If you have a travel buddy or even have met fellow travelers, you can suggest a game.
Such a card game is just a small box that takes up little space in the luggage. And depending on the deck of cards, you could play a variety of games. Whether bridge or solitaire, all help against boredom. Alternatively, there is the card game UNO, which is characterized by its colorful hand. This card game is popular with young and old. You can also use the playing cards for magic tricks to amaze the other travelers.
Or you can pack other classic board games. With a small game collection set you have several games with you. And whether Monopoly or Scrabble, it's best to get a travel variant of the games. For example, there are special travel games that are equipped with a magnetic playing surface. This keeps the characters in place, even if it stutters on the train.

10. Mobile Games

And if you prefer digital games, you can play with your favorite mobile game. Yes, admittedly the tip is not very original, but still a popular activity against boredom on the train. Self-explanatory, there are many games that you can play either alone or in pairs.
If there is no Wi-Fi reception on the train, it is important that the games also work offline. That's why it's best to download the apps to your mobile phone before your holiday. And make sure that the games can also be used without the Internet. In addition, in some trains there are sockets on the seats, which is ideal to recharge the mobile phone during the train journey. It should be added that depending on the country of travel, an adapter for these sockets may be necessary. If the sockets do not work or that there is no closure, you should have a power bank with you.

11. Listen to music

Basically, this tip is trivial. And for many people, it's part of everyday life. You can listen to music while writing in your travel diary, for example, or passing the time in other creative ways. But you can also listen to music "just like that “and look out of the window, which is extremely relaxing. But if that's not enough relaxation for you, you can try meditation with the right musical accompaniment in your head.

12. Look out the window and enjoy the view

This tip fits perfectly with the previous tip. But even without music you can look out of the window and enjoy the passing landscape. Especially if you have not packed any other aids against boredom, this is probably the most obvious. Nevertheless, staring out of the window is a good way to let your thoughts fly and get into anticipation for your vacation.

13. Watch movies or series

Watch a movie or your favorite series. There is probably no better way to banish boredom on a train journey. And admittedly, this Tipp is not very fancy, that's clear. But entertainment and relaxation are guaranteed. In addition, time will certainly pass much faster. But there is something to consider. If you want to have entertainment on the train, you should plan this and download the desired movie or series before the trip. For example, some streaming services offer the possibility to download your favorite show to watch it offline later. Thus, you can save data. Whether on a laptop, tablet, or mobile phone, please remember the headphones, to not to disturb the fellow travelers.

14. Snacking or eating in the dining car

During a long train journey, not only boredom arises during times. Because when hunger sets in, Snack Time is the order of the day. And the food on the train can become a culinary travel experience. So, you should pay a visit to the dining car. And depending on the chosen itinerary, you have the first opportunity to taste the typical local cuisine. Depending on the ticket price, you may receive a special service and the food will be brought to your seat.
However, if you are traveling on a more limited budget, you should bring your own snacks. You can take homemade sandwiches and fresh fruits from home, or you can buy a small snack to-go at the train station. And if you are already traveling in the destination, then the local supermarket is the best place to buy provisions for your train journey.

15. Walking the train

A small digestive walk after eating can't hurt you. But of course, such a walk through the train also helps against boredom. And if you have already sat for many hours, then it is quite pleasant to stretch your legs.
If you take such a walk, you should either carry your valuables with you in a small bag or lock them securely in place.

16. Sleep

After you have turned a small round through the train full and satisfied, you can take a small siesta. Especially with very long train journeys, one also gets tired sometimes. If you have even booked a night train, you are guaranteed to sleep a few hours.
A small blanket or a misused scarf keep you warm, because the air conditioning in trains can be a bit cold. Another recommendation is an inflatable travel pillow, a neck roll or just a crumpled hoodie, making a good pillow to sleep more comfortably.
Finally, you should set an alarm clock so as not to miss your station and start your holiday relaxed.

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Written by ClaroCaro
When I was around 21 years old, I worked and lived in Barcelona for a year. This international experience has shaped me interculturally very much and made me a cosmopolitan person. From then on I wanted to see the big wide world. This was followed by smaller city trips and larger tours across Europe. Over time, friends referred to me as a “globetrotter” and often asked me for advice when they were planning their vacation. My first significant travel experience was an Interrail tour, all by myself through Western Europe, when I graduated from high school. Not everything went as smoothly as I had imagined, but I made it home safe and sou... Read more

There is 1 comment

Jul 30, 2022 at 13:10

I never sleep before a train ride, I always try to sleep there while I’m on my way, then when I’m already moving I take books with me and read, usually while reading and shaking the train, your eyes close very quickly and in a dream you can miss most of the road

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