If you know you’re going to be spending hours in the confines of a car, or a train carriage, then it’s worth investing in a few entertainment-delivering gadgets to help the time pass by. In some cases, you might already have a version of these – but spending a little bit extra on an upgrade might well be justified, especially if you’re going to be doing a lot of travelling via train.
A Mobile Phone
Just about everyone has access to a modern smartphone. But it should be said that, for entertainment purposes, not all smartphones are built alike. The size and resolution of the display will affect your enjoyment of your favourite new releases on your favourite streaming services, and 5G capability will mean that you’re able to enjoy uninterrupted, super-fast internet – provided, of course, that you’re travelling through an area that provides it.
Noise Cancelling Headphones
Out of courtesy to fellow passengers and pedestrians, you don’t want to inflict your personal choice of entertainment on everyone else. There’s nothing more irritating than a traveller who doesn’t bother with headphones. But if you want to ensure that the outside world doesn’t affect your enjoyment, either, it’s worth investing in a set of special noise-cancelling headphones.
If you’re into reading, then a Kindle is an obvious purchase. It’s lightweight, inexpensive, and can store more literature than you could possibly read in a single journey (or indeed, lifetime). Unlike your phone, the display doesn’t actually emit any light, which means less eye-strain, and an experience that’s closer to reading an actual paperback. Having said that, it does come with a light so you won’t be squinting at the page.
Of course, Kindle is just one of a range of e-readers available, so it’s worth considering some of the alternatives if you don’t like the idea of handing Amazon any more of your income than you already are.
Handheld Gaming Console
A Nintendo Switch is the current favourite gaming device for long journeys. It provides the kind of experience that you’d get from the console under your TV, because it is the console under your TV. You might also pick up the Switch ‘Lite’, which is a bit like the main console, except dialled down to the extent that it’s more affordable, and easier to transport, without any detachable ‘wings’.
USB Car Charger
To power all of these devices, you’ll need a USB charging hub. This can either be the sort that plugs into the cigarette lighter in your car (or indeed, the USB socket), or it can be a power pack that you can leave in your backpack. If you do run low, you’ll be glad you packed it.