How to Study While Away From Home or Traveling

Picture of How to Study While Away From Home or Traveling
Photo: Matthew Smith
By Cynthia Dalton
Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind. — Seneca

Travel Time Can Be A Productive Time

Technology is a beautiful thing. Today, with a laptop and online education, we can combine travel for business or pleasure with taking courses and earning a degree. In fact, having something to study can relieve the tedium of travel, which can be chock-full of wait times, delays, and cancellations.

Studying while travelling can also give us a real psychological boost because we proactively empower ourselves:

  • We take control of our own time instead of feeling that outside events are controlling our time.
  • We take control of our future because we are investing in ourselves.
  • We reduce our travel-induced stress-level by focusing more on our studies and less on extraneous hassles.
  • We learn something new which keeps our minds active and alert.
  • We feel a sense of accomplishment with each assignment completed.

Study Tips For Travelers (and Busy People)

In their article, Can Study and Travel go Together?, has some practical study tips for travelers including:

Choose a self-paced course of study.

This is important because you’re not locked into a specific schedule so you retain the ability to be flexible in how you allocate study time to yourself.

Choose Wi-Fi accessible locations and accommodations.

As internet access is essential to study, make sure you’ll be visiting destinations and booking accommodation with good internet connections. Contact the properties you’re researching and ask about the strength of their internet connections and whether in-room Wi-Fi is included in your booking. If it’s charged as an additional fee, you might want to rethink your stay, as it could become quite expensive! Alternatively, look into the locations of affordable internet cafes or regular cafes that offer free Wi-Fi. There are several smartphone apps that can help you locate these, such as Free Wi-Fi Finder [available at the iTunes Store].

Plan your travel itinerary around your coursework.

Many people think travelling and studying at the same time isn’t possible… In order to successfully do both, designate studying to the quieter periods of your trip, such as long waits at the airport, flights and trains… .

Set study goals with rewards.

You may find it tempting to ditch the time you’ve allocated for study… However, if you approach every new adventure, meal or tour as a reward, you can achieve great things. Set aside a manageable amount of time for study every week, and you’ll feel motivated to complete each task when you know what’s waiting on the other side!

Before you leave home, equip yourself with all the right resources.

This includes a light, laptop, and battery charger. A smartphone will also prove very handy to enable you to access helpful apps that make travelling and studying simultaneously more convenient. Be sure to check out the Tripadvisor app for global traveler reviews and information as well as Tripverse which lets you store your itinerary and keep track of your travel schedule.

Here are some additional tips:

  • Before you leave home, create a physical notebook with your study schedule. Draw squares in front of each assignment. During your travels, in a different ink color, check off each assignment as you complete them. There’s something psychologically rewarding and incentivizing about actually holding something in your hands that charts your progress.
  • If possible, pick a time of day best for you to study. Some people are more comfortable studying in the morning, some are more comfortable studying at night. Pick the time that works best for you and try to be consistent about it. This establishes study as a routine you begin to do purposefully and automatically. That said, quieter times during your day may be your only option at times. When this is the case, don’t sweat it, just go for it. However, ideally, the study you do in-between times is often best used for review and reinforcement.
  • Use shorter study/review times than you might at home. Because there can be distractions from fellow travelers, public address systems, etc., use the timer on your smartphone to limit your study/review time to small blocks of time. Smaller blocks of time are less likely to be interrupted and you are therefore more likely to retain your new-found knowledge.
  • Get plenty of rest. Everyone’s sleep requirements are different but aim to get the number of hours of sleep you normally need to function at your best.
  • Eat healthy. Sounds like a no-brainer but sometimes people eat very differently when they travel than when they are at home. You need to take good care of your nutritional needs because your brain needs the nourishment to function at its best.

What do you think?

  • Do you travel frequently?
  • Do you take homework with you when you travel?
  • What tips do you have for studying on the road?

Do you have a question, comment or an idea for an article? Email: [email protected]

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