11 Ways to Survive Long Travel Journeys

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Going on a travel adventure is fun, exciting, and worth it. However, in some cases, you’ll have to endure some less-than-ideal moments. For example, if you have a long travel journey — say, a 15-hour train ride — then you’ll be facing some uncomfortable periods. Of course, those types of experiences are part of the fun; even if it’s not as relaxing as a 5-star resort, you’ll certainly come away with a few stories. And you’ll learn a thing or two about yourself, too.

You don’t need to go into these long journeys completely unprepared (unless you’re brave, that is!). There are plenty of ways to make the trip easier to manage. We’ll run through a bunch of tips which, when all combined, might just make the journey enjoyable. 


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Prepare Yourself 

You can’t pour water from an empty cup. If you know that you have a long and likely uncomfortable journey ahead of you, then make sure you’re getting plenty of rest in the days leading up to the trip. If you’re on a journey that’s 8+ hours, especially one overnight, then you might assume that you’ll sleep. However, it’s best to assume that there will be things that keep you awake. If you’ve already had a lot of rest in the preceding days, then you’ll be able to afford staying up more than usual. This will help ensure you arrive at your destination as refreshed as possible, regardless of how much you’re able to sleep during the journey. 

Bring Comfortable Clothes

When you’re on a long trip, your goal should be to mimic your sleeping conditions as much as possible. And you’d never get into bed wearing jeans and otherwise formal clothes. It’s recommended to pack some comfortable clothing in an easily-accessible part of your luggage, and then change into them just before you board the vehicle. Also, a change of socks and comfortable slip-on shoes will be worth their weight in gold, especially if you’ve had a long journey just to reach the departure area. If it’s possible, then consider packing a pillow or something else comfortable, too — you’ll be thankful for it a few hours into the journey.

Well-Charged Devices

Your devices are going to be highly valuable during your long journey. You’ll be looking at them a lot. As such, it’s important to make sure they’re fully charged before you settle into your seat. Even if your ticket says that charging outlets are available on board, don’t assume that they’ll work — that’ll put you in a false sense of security that you can use your devices as much as you like beforehand. Make sure they’re all as close to 100% as possible. It’s also recommended to invest in a power bank, so you can charge your devices throughout the trip. They’re pretty cheap yet can be a lifesaver.

Playing Games

Imagine how awful it must have been to make long journeys way back when they had no digital games to play. Today, we’re spoiled for choice. With little more than your device, you can play a whole host of games, from quality mobile games to brain-challenging puzzles that’ll keep your mind sharp. Whether you choose a crossword or sudoku, Candy Crush, or The Sims, you’ll be happy that you’ve got something to keep you entertained when you’re on your trip. If you think you’ll be unable to play games for whatever reason (say, you’re going into an area with minimal internet connection), then look at bringing some non-digital entertainment. A deck of cards or travel chess set will keep you and your traveling companions entertained. 

Catch Up On TV Series

If you’re on a long travel adventure, then you’ll likely be happy to be taking a break from most of your regular life (say, work). However, you’re probably less than thrilled that you’re missing out on new episodes of your favorite TV series. When you’re on an adventure, you’re unlikely to spend a night indoors seeing what your favorite characters are up to. But when you’re on a journey where there’s nothing to do? That gives you the perfect opportunity. Most streaming services allow the option to download content for later viewing. If you’re traveling internationally, be aware that some shows may be geo-fenced. In that case, a VPN can help. 


Part of the magic of traveling is that it’s all go, go, go. However, there is a downside to always being on the move: you don’t get all that much time to reflect. You’re too busy having fun! When you’re on a long travel journey, you’ll have the ideal space to finally bust out that new journal you bought for your trip, and jot down some of your thoughts. It can be tempting to sleep or stare out the window, but remember that making a note of all the things you’ve seen, done, and felt is important — it’ll make it much easier to recall the trip many years down the line. 

Brush Up On The Language

If you’re traveling internationally, and don’t speak the local language, then consider using your time on the road to brush up on the basics. There are a host of excellent language-learning apps and websites that can teach what you need to know, and many of them make their content available online. Spending just half an hour learning can make a difference and will give you something to say once you finally arrive at your destination. 

Travel Partner Conversations

You and your travel partner will have plenty of moments of looking “outward” when you’re traveling. When you’re on a long travel journey, you can turn your attention to each other. Spending hours sitting next to each other is a good opportunity to dive deep and ask engaging questions that inspire long conversations. By the end of the journey, you might just find that you know each other a lot better. 

Take the Small Victories 

When you’re on a long trip, the idea of stepping into a private jacuzzi in a five-star hotel room will feel like bliss. Alas, when you’re sitting in a cramped coach chair, that’ll be very far from your reality. During these moments, it’s best to claim the small victories when you can. For instance, if there’s a massage chair in the station during one of your many stops, then use it. If there’s delicious food for sale, then buy it. You can’t transport yourself to a blissful existence, but you can do what you can to make your life slightly better — and when you’re on a long trip, sometimes that’s all you need. 

Adopt a Happy-Go-Lucky Attitude

Finally, perhaps the ultimate tip for surviving long travel journeys: have a happy-go-lucky attitude! Long trips can test the patience of even the most experienced travelers, especially if you encounter delays that seem to make no sense to you. At that point, it’ll be your attitude that determines how much fun you have. Ultimately, it’s worth remembering that you have to surrender control when you take these types of trips. If the train you’re on stops for an hour, then you can trust that it’s stopped for a reason! 

If you find it difficult to stay positive, then remember this: all journeys, even the worst ones, come to an end eventually. And in any case, would you rather have had the experience, or not have had? In all likelihood, if you’re a traveler, then you’ll say that it was worth it — even if it sucked!

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