Traveling can be a lot of fun. However, there are definitely periods where boredom can set in. This is especially true for the frequent business traveler who may be on the road week in and week out. Here are 6 gadgets that help me avoid travel boredom and can do the same for you!
The sometimes boring life of the traveler
By way of introduction let’s dig a little deeper into the sometimes boring life of the traveler. Sure, vacations are fun, flying is even fun, at times, but sometimes, many times, there are big bouts of boredom (read: the Darkside of Regular Work Travel).
This is true for long haul flights, for frequent business travelers who grind out their existence in hotels and airplanes each and every week. Maybe it’s just downtime at the hotel after a long day with customers, or the 3 hour flight delay due to weather.
You might be interested in 13 Long Haul Flight Tips – how to survive a long flight
Whatever the reason, the fact is that travel can be quite boring! The question becomes what will you do to prepare? For me, there are a few gadgets that I rely on to fight off the boredom. Let’s dig in.
Avoid Travel Boredom with these 6 Gadgets
Fighting travel boredom starts with prior planning. My wife is fond of saying “prior planning prevents poor performance” and she’s dead on. Whether you are traveling with your family or by yourself on a business trip you should plan for and expect some downtime that could quickly become boring.
One of the primary ways I fight travel boredom is the through the use of several gadgets and accessories that I bring with me on almost every flight.
Something to Watch
I carry an Apple iPad Pro (11-inch, Wi-Fi, 256GB) with me with which comprises the foundation of my boredom fighting tricks. With an iPad you can fight hours and hours of travel boredom in a variety of ways. One key method is to download Amazon Prime Video, Netflix or Hulu shows to your device (you can also do this with your phone).
Yes, airplanes, hotels and airports now have, for the most part, plentiful wi-fi access, but I prefer to pre-download most of my content for either security reasons or to avoid unnecessary fees/charges, but mostly because I don’t know how good / fast / available wi-fi may be. Thus, before I leave for a trip I will load up on a few episodes of whatever shoes I am watching and/or maybe a movie. I spread them out over my iPad and my phones in case I run low on batteries or it’s inconvenient to get one device out vs. another.
If you are looking for inspiration on what to watch check out 10 Best Shows to Binge Watch on your Flight
Something to Read
I owned a Barnes & Noble Nook for a few years, then a Kindle Paperwhite, but ultimately ditched those devices for the Kindle App which you can install on Apple and Android products. At any given time I have 3 to 4 books going (sometimes for months) and I may use an hour or so on a flight to dip into a book or two to break the monotony.
Having some sort of way to read books is a key facet of fighting the occasional travel boredom and I recommend the Kindle Apps.
Curious what to read? Check out 47 Best Books for Travel and get inspired!
Of course, if actual reading isn’t your thing, you can get a subscription to Audible and have books read back to you which can be pretty nice!
Something to Listen to
My Spotify subscription is one of the few things I plan to never get rid of. I love their vast selection and fairly affordable price and I don’t mind paying to be able to pick and download the songs I want.
A good way to fight some boredom is to play some music. I need to get a little better at this, but I’ve started to build out some travel-specific playlists (e.g. I’m tired and want to sleep music, or some pump up music, etc). Sometimes I will just put my large music selection on random shuffle and see where the music takes me. It can get interesting…
If you don’t use Spotify, Amazon Prime has a great music streaming service as well and they are almost always running unique deals to entice users to sign up.
For the backup set pretty much any non-expensive wired headphones will do, including these.
Something to Play
On both my iPad and my phone I have several games that I will occasionally play. I am not a huge gamer, but 30 minutes of Temple Run can kill some of the boredom that you might experience on a long flight or a lengthy travel delay – especially if you need to mix it up a bit.
You can play these on either you phone or iPad, but download a few of your favs and break the monotony!
Most of the gadgets I mentioned above require regular charging. On long flights or a particularly long travel day it’s possible you might drain your batteries. Sure, in theory, you can stop and charge your devices, but power is not always plentiful which is why I’ve included a Portable Power Charger in my travel kit.
The Anker PowerCore 20100 is my go-to charging device and I’ve reviewed it here. It’s a solid device with plenty of power and two jacks. Charge it the night before your trip and throw it in your bag!
Summary of the 6 gadgets I use to fight boredom
By way of summary, here is a list of the critical items I use to fight the boredom that can sometimes accompany travel:
- Apple iPad Pro (11-inch, Wi-Fi, 256GB)
- Kindle Paperwhite or Kindle App
- Beats Solo 3 Wireless Headphones
- Backup headphones
- Anker PowerCore 20100
- My Phone (android in my case, but it could be iPhone too!)
Speaking of gadgets, while it won’t help with boredom, it might help you stay a little healthier. Here’s our guide on travel thermometers.
Final Thoughts on Avoiding Travel Boredom
As we close out our discussion on how to avoid travel boredom there’s a few final thoughts I’d like to point out:
- Gadgets help, but don’t forget about other methods too. Sometimes an actual book or notepad can be just as valuable. Or sleep…
- Mix it up. Switching from medium to medium (e.g. movie to book to game) is helpful in keeping your brain occupied
- You can work too. In fact, many times I plow through some email on the plane, or make some calls at the airport. Kills time nicely!
- Back up plans. Prepare for broken headphones or a low battery by planning ahead.
- If you are traveling with kids – gadgets are great, but don’t forget to let them enjoy their flight / trip too!
I hope you enjoyed this discussion of gadgets to fight travel boredom. What do you use? We’d love to hear. Drop us a comment or tweet us!
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