#MyTrainTime with East Midlands Trains

This post  is sponsored by East Midlands Trains

I’ve loved train travel since I was a child and it’s no wonder that it’s still very much a feature in my adult life. I will also confess it’s my favourite way to travel above all other modes of transport.  If I can travel by train, I will,  whether it’s for work or pleasure.  As a busy Mum and blogger I need to make the most of the time I have, and I find that I can use being on a train as a way to catch up with things that I wouldn’t normally be able to do travelling by car.

It’s a great feeling arriving at my destination knowing that I’ve used that time just for me.  I always feel refreshed by the achievements I’ve made and feel recharged for the rest of the day.  It’s such a good start if you have a busy day ahead of you, one I’d happily trade for being stressed about being in traffic or finding somewhere to park in the car.

Things You Can Do When You Travel By Train 

I use my train journey’s in lots of different ways to get things done, or to just have some time to spend on me.  It depends on what my to do list looks like and who I’m travelling with.  In just one train carriage we saw a Mum reading to her child, a group of women getting their Hen party under way and lots of people catching up on work, TV or reading.  Travelling by train definitely isn’t time wasted by any stretch.

Catch Up With Family Or Friends 

teenager on train to Manchester eating snacks

If I am travelling with my children or a friend, being on a train is a great place to catch up.  My daughter and I take books and magazines and we do puzzles and stickers together.  She really enjoys this one to one time.  When my son and I travelled from Nottingham to Manchester, we spent some time planning what he needs for university.  If I travel with a blogger, we share hints and tips on social media and blog promotion.  I’ve learnt so much from travelling by train with different people.

Learn A New Skill

Taking the train gives you the perfect opportunity to learn something new. If you want to learn a new language for your next holiday or improve your career prospects you’ve just made some time in your day to do it when you’re not to tired and free from distractions.  Imagine the sense of achievement when you step of the train and you conquered how to ask for directions to the supermarket in Mandarin.

I like to read about how to take the perfect picture, or ways that I can improve my blog or social media strategy.

Practice Photography

child at nottingham station

I love taking photographs and sharing them on Instagram and my blog.  I find that train stations make for some really great photos.  They look amazing in black and white, and with the tracks in play too, you can create a real sense of perspective.  Sharing pictures of your travels is such fun, and a train station is a great place to start.  I edit the photo on the train, share it on social media, and catch up with everyone’s plans for the day.  A photo is a great way to get people talking.


I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to doing some work on the train.  If my to do list is looking a little longer than I would like, I will draft some blog posts, edit some photos or plan an up and coming campaign.

Be Creative 

reading a magazine on a train

Being on the train is a great place to get the creative juices flowing.  I love sitting by the window, watching the English countryside go by and seeing what inspiration comes to me.  I always have a notebook to hand, and jot down the ideas that come to me until I hit that light bulb moment.  Being away from the usually daily distractions is a great way to generate amazing ideas.

Start A Bullet Journal 

bullet journal

I have started a bullet journal, and it’s such a great way to track what you need to do and improve aspects of your life that need work.  It’s more forgiving than a diary as you are in control of what goes on each page.  Being on a train is a great place to start your daily lists and catch up on your logs.  I love how it helps to restore a sense of balance to your life.

Adult Colouring 

Everyone is raving about adult colouring and how calming and relaxing it is aren’t they.? I bought a book and some pens a while ago, but have barely opened it at home.  When I’m on the train I stash my book and pens in my bag, and indulge in a mindful colouring moment.  It really helps to give my brain a much needed break from all the daily thoughts that run through it.

adult colouring on train

Keep In Touch

When life gets really busy, I find one of the hardest things to do is keep in touch with people.  Looking after our relationships is so important, especially with friends and family.  Touching base with people is such a lovely thing to do, and always so appreciated by the person on the other end.  If I have news to share, or just want to say hi, being on the train is a great chance to catch up with people.

Make A Plan

Are you the planner in your house?  I know I am here.  Everyone asks me ‘what are we doing today?’, or ‘what’s the plan?’.  Making plans are useful for all sorts of things from what you are going to be doing at the weekend, where you are going on holiday or arranging a big event like a part or a wedding. I’ve come up with some of my best plans on the train.  If you have a big event coming up, and time is precious, take to the train to get everything in order.

These are just a few of the things I like to use my train time for.  For more ideas and inspiration pop over to East Midlands Trains and check out this handy infographic to help decide what you could get done on your next trip.  I’d love to hear your ideas and suggestions in the comments below.

This post was written in collaboration with East Midlands Trains 



  1. September 8, 2016 / 10:13 am

    Great article, I love people watching and trains are perfect for that x

  2. September 8, 2016 / 4:01 pm

    Lots of great ideas here x Thanks for sharing x

  3. September 8, 2016 / 6:22 pm

    This are lovely ideas. For me, the best plan is reading a book or magazine, planning work or and or sleep, depending on how long the trip is! haha x

  4. September 8, 2016 / 6:45 pm

    I use trains so much to visit friends and just travel around the country and I find it the best time to read a book and catch up with things I’ve been meaning to read x

  5. September 8, 2016 / 7:15 pm

    Fabulous idea Zena! Sadly I don’t get much time on a train (or anywhere!) by myself but if I do, I will bear these in mind!
    Shared on twitter for you.

  6. September 8, 2016 / 7:57 pm

    I used to travel a lot when I lived in India which was horrible and I just walk to work now. I never admit it but I do miss my train time – it was uninterrupted time for reading. I definitely havent read as much since then. Lovely post – reminded me of my journeys!

  7. September 8, 2016 / 8:45 pm

    Great lists, I used to take the train a lot to go to work, I would always read a book!

  8. September 9, 2016 / 2:25 am

    I love working on trains! It’s sometimes the place I concentrate best. Once I even took a train journey while working on my MA thesis just so I could get some quality writing time with no distractions.
    Lola recently posted…Poshmark: How to Sell High & Score BigMy Profile

  9. September 10, 2016 / 6:45 am

    Well written, I love train journey as far as it is not one of the busiest London trains. Done most of the things you mentioned mainly catching up, work and being creative ( depending on what time of day I travel and how my mood is)! Photography seems to be a good idea 🙂

  10. September 10, 2016 / 9:16 am

    These are some great things to do on your train journey. I love photos at train stations as well, they always look so beautiful.

    Jordanne || Thelifeofaglasgowgirl.co.uk

  11. Serena
    September 10, 2016 / 9:27 pm

    Unfortunately I get travel sick so I can’t do much on a train but I agree that it is great for photography!

  12. September 12, 2016 / 4:45 pm

    I love travelling by trains, for me is just so much relaxing than planes.
    Evelina recently posted…Shoulder CleavageMy Profile

  13. September 26, 2016 / 9:47 am

    Trains from West Wales are generally horrendous! This looks a great journey – I really want to get into bullet journalling. Kaz x
    Ickle Pickle recently posted…Our Weekly Photo #37 #38My Profile

  14. September 30, 2016 / 1:52 pm

    Before I could drive I used to go pretty much everywhere by train – I used to love it, it really can be quite a relaxing way to travel. x

  15. September 30, 2016 / 5:35 pm

    I love traveling by train if I’m alone. I have made the trip to London (from Liverpool) a few times and it’s a great way to look over the catalogues and leaflets I took from there. There are plenty more things to do, love your ideas.
    Anca recently posted…Lullingstone Roman VillaMy Profile

  16. September 30, 2016 / 6:24 pm

    Great posts. Trains are my favourite way of transport. And never forget how many wonderful people you can meet during train journey.

  17. September 30, 2016 / 9:17 pm

    I have to admit I rarely use trains since learning to drive and I don’t miss them! I used to do Uni work on my commute, when I could get a seat… more often than not I’d end up stood for the 2 hour journey though!

  18. October 1, 2016 / 7:00 pm

    I’m going to London next month on the train and I’m really looking forward to relaxing and watching the world go by. It’s so less stressful than driving to London from South Wales.
    Mellissa Williams recently posted…A Guide To American Horror StoryMy Profile

  19. Milli
    October 1, 2016 / 7:06 pm

    I love train travel – in my opinion it’s a great opportunity to have time to yourself and relax with no pressure!

  20. October 2, 2016 / 5:25 pm

    I love to lose myself in a book on the train, that is, if it isn’t too crowded and you can get a seat.

  21. A S,Edinburgh
    January 15, 2017 / 3:16 pm

    Great post and ideas, thank you! I love travelling by train, partly because there’s so much opportunity to get on with other things.

  22. Kayleigh Watkins
    July 22, 2017 / 5:07 pm

    Lots of great ways to stop boredom, I’ve seen these colouring books they look really good and something I’d enjoy to relax xxx

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