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Essential Things to Pack for Down Time


Packing for a trip can be a stressful activity. Especially if it’s your first time traveling, not knowing what you will need in order to be prepared and not be over packed can be frustrating and overwhelming in the best of circumstances let alone if you’re going for a long period of time and it was left to the last minute. Word to the wise: leave yourself enough time so you’re not just tossing things into your bag to avoid the regret later.

Many people remember the essentials, like changes of clothes, toothpaste and toothbrush and of course, the travel documents, but maybe not as much time is spent thinking about what to do during down time. Unless you’re one of those people who is cramming in a million things in a short period of time (and even in that situation), you are likely going to have some time just to chill out and you want to have those things you enjoy doing handy. Even when it comes to travel days, having something to keep you pre-occupied can help pass the time, make you relax and give you a break from the hectic pace.

Here are some suggestions of things to take with you when you travel to help you relax, unwind and pass the time.



Normally people use audiobooks to prepare for a trip or in the car on their daily commute, but they are great tools to bring with you on a trip to study up on where you are going or just to unwind. You don’t need to just have ‘productive’ things on your audiobook playlist – sometimes it’s great to be read to by someone with a nice soothing voice. It’s a relatively passive activity that can be thrown on when you’re on those overnight bus trips and you’re tired of your music but still want to listen to something.



These can take any form, from old fashioned puzzle book on paper to in a tablet or handheld video game, and are great for picking up on a whim and tossing back when you reach your destination or get frustrated. Math puzzles like sudoku, word puzzles like crosswords – or more innovative ones like Pushmo for the 3DS are great additions to any holiday – they’ll challenge your brain and give you a chance for downtime.


Playing Cards

These are great if you’re traveling in a group, in a hostel or on a train, as you can pull them out easily and there are so many games that can be played. Travelling solo? Nothing beats good old fashioned solitaire. Once you get to your hostel or if there’s some sort of shared accommodation or group setting, take the cards out, make some new friends and learn some new games. They fit easily into your pocket and are a pretty inexpensive addition to any travel bag.