This article is packed full of unique ideas and fun things to do on a train. As you travel at speed through a busy city or the vibrant countryside, browse this list so that you know what to do on a train to pass the time.
I’m sure you’ll agree that a long train journey can get boring, so this post aims to solve that. In fact, I’ve used these exact methods to enjoy my own train rides
I’ve collated 15 of the best ways to entertain yourself on a train. Whether you are on your daily commute, or en-route to the airport for a tropical getaway, this article will be sure to bulldoze your boredom!
Read on now to get started enjoying your trip!
1. Send messages to friends and family
Take some time to respond to all your messages and emails that have passed you by. Having a clear inbox when you arrive at your destination can give you a clear head. Use the time whilst on the train to message friends and family that you haven’t spoke to in a while. It’s great to keep in touch with everyone.
2. Play a mobile game focused on brain training
I’m sure you have many different games on your phone at your disposal, but why not play a game which benefits you? There are numerous “brain training” games which you can play such as Elevate and Lumosity. These games often involve puzzles and challenges aimed at increasing cognitive performance.
Instead of just playing a game, develop yourself at the same time!
3. Find a new audiobook in the charts and listen to it
The great thing about an audiobook is it can keep you entertained for a long train ride. There are a wide variety of titles to choose from and you can get a Free Trial on Audible to check them out.
I think this is one of the most enjoyable things to do on a train when you’re bored.
4. Listen to a stand up comedy performance
With such a wide range of content to choose from, sometimes it’s easy to just open up your usual media apps and scroll through the obvious choices. Why not have a few laughs to yourself while you hurtle past the scenic countryside?
From short clips on YouTube, to full length comedy specials on Netflix, a stand up comedy performance is an awesome way to pass the time during a commute on a train.
5. Organise your email inbox and manage subscriptions
Try to use the time productively. Don’t just clear out and reply to the emails in your inbox. Take the time to open up marketing emails and click the unsubscribe button at the bottom for all companies you are no long interested in.
Nowadays buying any product or service online seems to sign you up to a mailing list, Sometimes you have to clear them out
6. Learn the basics of a new language
This can be especially rewarding if you are on your regular commute. Just think of the progress you could make if you assigned time each day to learning a new language? It would certainly make those summer holiday’s more enjoyable, as you converse with the locals over a delicious beer or glass of wine.
Order a language book online, or give Duolingo a try, which is a free to use learning app.
7. Read a blog about a new interest or hobby
The internet has a wealth of content for all your interests. Often a blog or a niche site can be the perfect place to research a new topic in-depth. Search a few common questions about your hobby to find a good site. Even better, plan to create your own niche site!
8. Watch a movie on Netflix
It’s a simple suggestion because its such a common solution to boredom! If you want to save on data, plan ahead and download movies or shows onto your device before you board the train.
9. Read some hilarious jokes and laugh to yourself
One way to brighten your day is to read some of the most unbelievably funny Road Trip Jokes ever written! This is one of the simplest, but most entertaining things to do on a train journey.
10. Set targets for the week ahead
Use the time to set clear, achievable and measurable objectives for the week ahead. Think about what goals you are currently working towards.
Health is wealth, so consider prioritising tasks related to fitness. Perhaps try do hit a daily step target, or ensure you go for a morning run before starting each day. With fitness, I find consistency is key, so aiming to do a bit each day is a good step forward
11. Try meditation and develop mindfulness
When you are looking for something to do on a train, meditation probably isn’t the first activity that comes to mind.
Mindfulness takes time to develop. Benefits include reduced stress, improved sleep and superior mental clarity. You can practice mindfulness for as little as a few minutes per day. What better time to start than now? Download an introduction to meditation app such as 10% happier and give it a go whilst on the train.
12. Plan a workout for the following morning and set an early alarm
Winning the morning is a great way to start the day. If you are feeling unmotivated or tired due to a long train journey ahead of you, plan out a productive morning for the following day. A few suggestions include a morning run, cold shower, 10 minutes of meditation and writing an in-depth to do list for the day.
13. Read a newspaper or a magazine
Before you board the train, pickup a newspaper, or even better, a magazine on a new topic you haven’t read before. Perhaps see if there is a magazine on a new hobby or interest you have and try to learn something new during the journey.
Many trains have shops, so perhaps talk a walk down the aisle and see what reading material is on offer. Sometimes during the walk, you might find a discarded newspaper on an empty passenger seat.
14. Challenge yourself with a difficult puzzle or crossword
I prefer puzzles or crosswords to constantly playing typical mobile games. Whilst games are generally designed to be addictive and often encourage you to spend money, puzzles help to give your brain a good cognitive workout!
Why not try a brain training app such as Elevate, or a puzzle app such as Sudoku. Another way to challenge your intellect is with a game of Chess online.
15. Edit your photos and delete unwanted pictures
It’s natural over time to accumulate lots of photos on your phone. Take some time to clear out unwanted or duplicate images. Organise your images into albums so that you can enjoy them later. Use a popular photo editing add such as Adobe Lightroom or Snapseed
Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. This means I earn a commission if you make a qualifying purchase, but this is at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting The Road Trip Expert.
Iain founded The Road Trip Expert in 2019 and continues to manage the website to this day. The inspiration to start the blog came during an extensive road trip around Europe with two friends that spanned several months and involved over 25,000km of driving. He started backpacking in 2014 and has had the pleasure of exploring over 60 countries. Read more on the About page.