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Top 5 things to do while commuting

Updated on July 12, 2017

Beat the boredom when getting from A to B

There are over 1000 white lines painted on the road through the Manawatu Gorge. A windy 13 km (8 mile) stretch of road at the beginning of State Highway 3 in the North Island of New Zealand. I know because I have literally passed through there thousands of times.

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Counting lines passes the time, but there are much more interesting things to do during a daily commute (or longer trip).

Travelling almost daily for the last 30 years (both in New Zealand and Turkey), for school and work, I have found my 5 top things to do while commuting.
What are yours?

How do you get from A to B?

What method of transport do you use most often to commute?

See results



Whether you are driving or riding, an easy and interesting commuting activity is to listen to music, podcasts, radio talkback or audio books. About half the people on my bus are plugged into a device with their ears.



Chatting to other passengers is a good way to catch up and build relationships. On the local buses, talking on mobile phones was banned - apparently they interfered with the navigation system - I think it was probably more likely that the noise distracted the drivers. This did not stop people from sending messages back and forth by SMS.

Recently I have seen and heard more people using phones on buses and the no talking signs have gone. Out of courtesy to other travellers it is polite to keep conversations quiet and to a minimum.

If you are driving, and must use a phone, use a hands-free kit for safety. It is certainly not a good idea to use your phone for SMS while driving.



Do not attempt to read and drive, but for passengers reading is a great commuting activity. Use your commute time to read a novel, ebook, news, blogs, whatever interests you.

With my smartphone, I like to read my email, friends Facebook updates, local and global news and the blogs I subscribe to.

If you are looking for stories to read, Wattpad has the world's largest community of readers and writers with over 75 million stories to read.

Pick an Amazon Kindle - All your books in one book sized device

Amazon's best selling item, the Kindle gives you access to over 750,000 e-books (many for $9.99 or less) from Amazon, including 107 of 111 New York Times Best Sellers, plus audiobooks, periodicals and blogs. Plus over 1.8 million out-of-copyright classics such as Pride and Prejudice. Lighter than a paperback, you can read your Kindle in direct sunlight with the clear and sharp E Ink Pearl display. And with a single charge lasting up to a month, Kindle is an ideal device for your commuting reading.



Another do not attempt activity if you are driving. But writing while commuting is possible if you have a smooth ride or a mobile device.

Getting a seat with a table on the ferry, a cookie and a hot drink and 30 minutes to write on pen & paper or the laptop is a real productive way to spend the journey. I have friends who live on opposite sides of the harbor and spend a few trips back and forth across the bay on the ferry for meetings - cheaper than renting an office and great scenery.

This lens was started on the bus. See my lens on making lenses on a Sony Ericsson smart phone.

I have been able to use laptops on ferries, buses and trains, though most of my writing while traveling has been capturing notes on my phone that I have later edited into emails, Squidoo lenses, documents or blog posts.



Again, not a recommended driving activity. Please stay alert and drive safely. As a passenger though, you can often catch up on rest. If you think you will sleep during your journey, choose a seat so you can get comfortable and keep out of the way of other people. Take care to keep your belongings safe and wake up before your stop.

Bonus: Puzzles and Games

Puzzles and Games

Sudoku, crosswords and handheld video games are fun things to do if you are a passenger.

Drivers and passengers can play various games such as car cricket, where you get points for seeing different types of vehicles or the alphabet game - spotting signs starting with each letter of the alphabet (hint: try to drive past a hospital when you get close to X).

Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go ...

Oh, the Places You'll Go!  
Oh, the Places You'll Go!  
This is one of my favorite Dr. Seuss books ever. The wisdom in this book is epic.

The best travel advice ever


Today is your day.

You’re off to Great Places!

You’re off and away!

© 2010 Peter Murray

Your thoughts...

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    • petermurray profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Murray 

      8 years ago from Izmir, Turkey

      LifeHacker is featuring ideas for making your commute suck less at

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Nice and practical lens!

    • Asinka profile image

      Asinka Fields 

      10 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Nice and thoughtful lens, keep up the good work!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      The years I rode the city bus to work I watched people within scenes and situations along the way -- often enough had to listen to conversations I wished I hadn't, now and then struck up a chat (or allowed myself to be drawn into one) -- thus commuting veered in and out of active meditation -- THANKS for sharing your view and recommendations -- blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • PaulaMorgan profile image

      Paula Morgan 

      10 years ago from Sydney Australia

      I never seem to run out of things to do on the train since I started on Squidoo - fun page

    • profile image

      mini cheong 

      10 years ago

      LOL, counting white lines on the road. I never thought of that one :D

      I think the most common one for beating the boredom is play video game :D

    • petermurray profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Murray 

      10 years ago from Izmir, Turkey

      @gobbleupinfo: You can learn how to do this on my Awesome borders on lens intro modules lens

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I really like the treatment you gave to the Intro Module. Ah, the things we can do with Css........

    • JakTraks profile image

      Jacqueline Marshall 

      10 years ago from Chicago area

      When I'm driving I listen, but if I take the train I read, write or rest. Nice lens!


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