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I will be going on a bus tour of Europe soon. I'll spend some time looking out the window or chatting with the other people, but we'll be spending a lot of time travelling. I can spend time reading ebooks, listening to podcasts or watching videos. But what else is there that I could do to productively use the time. One such example: I learned to solve Rubix cubes during a bus trip.

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There is no 'answer' here, it should probably be more of a wiki of things to do in a restricted environment with weight limit. Then, I could add learning to tie knots to the list of suggestions (requirements: one book, one string). :-) – Alexandre Rafalovitch Mar 20 '12 at 11:54
up vote 15 down vote accepted

Train your foreign language skills - try to name every subject, every thing yoo see, try to retell what did you do and see during that day, about some theme, about some dialog you have had recently listen. Write down new vocabulary, you don't know and you will need in your training. Try to learn this vocabulary. I do often this training during my traveling. It requires only the dictionary in your cell phone or notebook, and the place to write down new words. (sometimes it is easier to audio record them, when there are bad conditions for writing)

Listen to some audio books - books from your work line, or some productivity books (time management, how to gain the success, how to manage your money, communication skills, another soft skills...) or, in the end, the foreign language books - your brain will gain a lot from that! It could be some record from famous and motivate people, which share their knowledge and motivate other people.

You can get better understanding of classical music (or another style), you can listen to it and make overview, who makes it, how do you like it,... You can find the music, which motivates you, music which is not disturbing, and helps you with concentration, music, which helps you when you are in a bad mood - all of this is valuable and you can use it after returning from trip, to make your mood, concentration and therefore you productivity better.

And these methods let your brain to have some rest from reading, solving sudoku or conundrums, so you can switch these tasks.

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+1 I love this answer – Mansuro Mar 22 '12 at 19:11

Train your memory, learn some poems.
Do some sudoku.
Oh, and don't forget to get up and move around every once in a while.

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Ideas I've come up with:

  • Origami - depends on the smoothness of the ride and how fiddly it is
  • Learning mnemonic systems - Memorise a deck of cards Strategic
  • Games like go, chess, checkers or five in a row
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If u love reading

  • Buy a kindle, create folders in it and keep all ur books in it. Remember to buy a kindle cover which has a notepad and a pen. This will help u read any book you want and even use that notepad for noting down your thoughts.

If u dont love reading

  • Listen to all music by your favorite band. Search about them, if you are carrying a smartphone or a tablet along.
  • Create a journey Diary. Note down all great adventures u had. No need to write an essay. Simple "today had a great coffee at a shop at mountain foothill" would do. Slowly you will pick up pace, make better entries and years later, you would relish this diary.
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+1 for the diary. It feels great when we read it later. – Mudassir Mar 30 '12 at 11:16

I think it's important to note that efficient doesn't neccessarily mean fun. I'd find it very difficult to do any 'working' or 'learning' activities on a bus (can just about manage working on a train, but not really) - but making sure that you can relax and escape a little bit might be a really good use of the time. For example - I've got to take some long train journeys this weekend and I've just been bought the Firefly boxed set. I think that ensuring that I arrive at my destination cheerful and pleasent is a very efficient use of the time...

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Indeed, travelling can often be tiring and sometimes relaxing is the most productive thing that can be done – Casebash Mar 30 '12 at 10:17

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