6 Ways to Pass the Time While Travelling

Travelling isn’t all insta-worthy photos and life-changing experiences. There is a fair bit of waiting around. Those hours spent on buses, or waiting to check-in can feel eternal. It is important that you have something to keep yourself busy. If you’re a fellow travel blogger, I’m sure you have plenty to be catching up on. Nevertheless, everyone needs occupying. These are our top ways to pass the time while waiting around on your trip.


Travelling isn't all insta-worthy photos and life-changing experiences. The rest is mostly waiting around. These are our top ways to pass that spare time.
Grab one of these awesome e-readers!

It’s an old favourite. Sam loves to read whenever we get a spare few hours – especially on bus journeys. Reading can be liberating, and who knows when you’ll have so much spare time again in the future. You could read about the destination you’re visiting, you could read any of these quintessential travel books, or you could completely escape and dive into some of your favourite fiction authors.

We really recommend that you invest in an e-reader. Take it from us, carrying books can be an absolute nightmare. It takes up valuable backpack space, and adds unnecessary weight. Sam uses the Kindle Fire HD which also serves as a tablet – useful for Netflix or even typing.


People who can speak a second language live longer lives and have better memory. Depending on your destination, you may be able to survive just speaking English. However, if you’re travelling to Central or South America, it is definitely a good idea to speak some Spanish. There are some fantastic mobile apps that will give you a headstart in your language-learning adventure.

We have used both Babbel and Duolingo, and our understanding of Spanish has been more than enough to survive the gringo trail. Babbel is much better than Duolingo if you’re serious about learning a new language. They have full-on courses and use great techniques to help you remember phrases and words. Duolingo is awesome for vocab and the odd sentences, but some of the sentences you learn are quite odd. The major plus is that it is a free download, whereas Babbel has fees depending on how long you want to learn for. In our opinion, the fees are so worth it.


This is a modern version of the Christmas-party favourite involving post-it notes attached to foreheads. Created by Ellen DeGeneres, this mobile app offers hours of fun. Heads Up requires you to place your phone horizontally against your forehead with the screen showing. On the screen, is what the player has to guess.

You can choose from hundreds of different themes, Hollywood, Pop Songs, 80s Songs and much more. It’s a real laugh, especially after a few drinks when you’re all humming the tune and no one gets it. It can get a bit loud so it’s maybe not suitable for a long overnight bus, but it is a top game.

3) UNO

This was our go-to game whilst we were travelling Southeast Asia. It’s fast-paced and involves a surprising amount of strategy. I’m not going to go into the rules here, but if you’re thinking about what you could take travelling, add a pack of UNO cards. Not only are they a great way to pass the time, but they’re also a bit of an icebreaker when meeting people. Not to mention the intriguing drinking game rules you can play.


This is a new addition to our packing lists as we only recently discovered how addictive it is. You each get two plastic pigs and you roll them like dice until you get a certain combination. Each combination is worth a certain number of points, and when you reach 100 you’re the winner. It’s as simple as that. I am currently winning the Pass the Pigs league, but Katherine will surely get her own bac-on.


So everyone knows how great Netflix is, particularly if you can get hold of the American version – much better choice! It’s wonderful for those days you want to just rest in your wifi-haven Hostel. But, the game has changed.

Netflix listened to their consumers and now offer content for download. I’m not just talking B-rated Japanese samurai movies, I’m talking acclaimed shows like Narcos, and movies as classic as Schindler’s list. For travellers embarking on long journies, this is an unbelievable gift for boredom-prevention. You can while away the hours watching your favourite shows.


…Travel is the best thing we have ever done, and we would not change it for the world. There are however definitely times where there is a lot of waiting around. This list has helped us through these times. We hope this list helps you just as much.

*This article contains affiliate links which, when you use them, gives us a tiny commission to help maintain and improve WhenTwoWander – AT NO EXTRA CHARGE TO YOU!*

What do you do to pass the time? We’d love to know!

Travelling isn't all insta-worthy photos and life-changing experiences. The rest is mostly waiting around. These are our top ways to pass that spare time.

Travelling isn't all insta-worthy photos and life-changing experiences. The rest is mostly waiting around. These are our top ways to pass that spare time.

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We're Sam and Katherine, a young British couple on the trip of a lifetime. We've navigated South East Asia on a tight budget, and we're currently based in Melbourne, Australia. South America is next on the list! Our story is a sign of the times - we met on Twitter! We've been a couple for three years now, but we're still learning about each other.
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