The only problem with traveling is that it really cuts into my reading time.
Don’t get me wrong, I can read A N Y W H E R E. But travel provides lots of distractions and entertainment, as well as tiring me out fast. But when I don’t get at least a little reading in, I can get really crabby. Sound familiar? Whether we are going on a weekend jaunt or a week or three of sightseeing, it’s important for us bookworms to make time for reading. It keeps us calm and energizes us for the next adventure.
On my recent trip overseas, I took note of when, where, and how I actually managed to read, and made up a list of the best ways to read while traveling. One of the biggest obstacles, of course, is time.
Make Time For What You Love
Whether you are a schedule-every-second traveler or a let’s-see-what-happens traveler, I recommend planning out when you are going to read, even if it’s just a few minutes. I try to get up at least 30 minutes before I “have to” so that I can squeeze in some reading before the day really starts. If you can’t or don’t want to schedule reading time, that’s fine too. Just take advantage of the places in my list below when you’re on the go.
Choose the Right Books
I definitely agonize over which book(s) to bring when I’m going on a trip, no matter how long I will be away from my shelves. I’ve learned that for me, it’s best to bring authors I’m familiar with and love, or something I love to reread, or a book that I know will be very suspenseful. On my recent long trip, I took my Kindle loaded with free or discount titles which meant I had a wide variety to choose from.
The Best Ways to Read While Traveling
- On the train: I’m biased in favor of trains because they are now my favorite form of transportation. Your Mileage May Vary with this one if you’re not using trains or they make you sick. For some reason I get sick on subways if I read, but not trains. The other thing is that trains may or may not have outlets and WiFi, so bringing a book or Kindle along will save you some boredom. Relax in your seat, take in the views outside the window, read your book, and you’ll be at your destination before you know it.
- Parks: Depending on the weather, parks can be a great way to combine exploration with your reading time. On my recent trip, I would use my maps app to find the nearest Big Green Area and use it for a nice walk and maybe some reading time if there’s a bench or some nice grass.
- On the airplane: I hate flying but planes are good for getting a lot of reading done. I try to pull out my book as soon as I’m boarded so I don’t sit and agonize over how long it’s taking for the plane to take off. I’m also an introvert so I don’t love chatting with fellow passengers (sorry, fellow passengers).
- Coffee/tea shops: It’s a good way to explore a new place by finding the nearest coffee shop, or if you’re in one place for a while to find your favorite. Hot beverages are pretty universal, and coffee shops are a great place to hang out with a book due to the deliciousness, atmosphere, and comfy chairs.
- Tourist site lines: If you’re doing a lot of sightseeing, you might have to deal with more than a few ticket lines, entry lines, whatever lines. Stash a small book or Kindle in your bag and pull it out if you find yourself tapping your foot with boredom.
Travel is fun but tiring; reading helps me take some time to relax and think about something besides what I’m going to do next. How do you make time to read while traveling? Which places did I miss?
Question for audiobook readers: I don’t use audiobooks very often. Most of the places on my list don’t have guaranteed electrical outlets. How do you deal with listening to your book while on the go? Portable phone battery? Other? Let me know in the comments!