What do you do while travelling during your commute or business trip? ‘Work’ is an obvious answer, but when you’re crammed into a busy train it can be difficult to focus. And the daily commute is usually a time when you want to think about work as little as possible.

Our smartphones and tablets can be a saviour on these journeys, giving us access to entertainment as well as productivity apps. National Holidays have taken a look at 21st century work travel habits and come up with a selection of apps to help calm, organise, or sharpen your mind during travel, so you can make the most of your time. 


Spotify – An essential part of any commute is being able to put in your earphones and escape the noise and bustle around you. Spotify is gives you access to a near-endless supply of music, and with the monthly subscription you can get it ad-free and unlimited. You can also download tracks onto your smartphone so you can keep listening even if you lose your mobile data connection. iPhone / Android

Headspace – Relaxation is a valuable skill on a busy commute, and Headspace can help you relax with a range of meditation and calming techniques. The free app claims that ten minutes a day can help to de-stress your mind, and improve your focus, mood, and even eating habits. iPhone / Android

Buddhify – Another app for de-stressing your commute, Buddhify contains more than 80 meditations designed for different situations, including travel, but also at home, when you can’t sleep, when you’re just generally feeling stressed, or when you’re online (presumably having an argument on Twitter). Unlike Headspace this app isn’t free, and costs £3.99. iPhone / Android

Audible – A great one for drivers, this app could actually make you look forward to your commute to work. Audible gives you a huge selection of audiobooks to listen to, from newly released best-sellers to classics and recordings from decades ago. Individual books are generally on the expensive side, especially newer ones, but a monthly subscription of £7.99 gives you a credit to spend on any book, and a discount on other audiobooks. You can also start with a month’s free trial.  iPhone / Android

Monument Valley – A game can be a welcome distraction during a commute, and Monument Valley is as absorbing as they come. You guide a princess through beautiful but physics-bending architecture, finding hidden paths and solving optical illusions, as well as outsmarting the mysterious Crow People scattered through the levels. The serene and elegant design of the game should hopefully make it as calming as it is enjoyable to play, too. iPhone / Android

Business trips

City Mapper – Ideal when you regularly find yourself in a new city for meetings and conferences, City Mapper will help you find the best route to your destination. It takes both public and private transport into account, so you can get across the city by metro, bus, or taxi, as appropriate. Doing this before you get there means you’ll be ready to go rather than staring at metro maps or bus timetables at the station. iPhone / Android

Brain HQ – Got an important meeting coming up? Train your brain with Brain HQ and you should hopefully feel like your thinking is faster than an Intel processor. Brain HQ claims its mind exercises are backed up by proven research, offering cognitive benefits such as better recall, navigation, people skills, and attention span. iPhone

Uber – If you’re travelling to a new city on a business trip, Uber is an essential app for easy taxi transport. Set your pickup location, your destination, and your car will be turn up in minutes. You don’t have to worry about searching your pockets for cash either, as everything happens automatically via the app with PayPal or a credit card. iPhone / Android

Duolingo – If you’re travelling abroad or meeting visiting clients, brushing up on your foreign languages can be a great way to spend your travel time. Duolingo adopts a kind of game mechanic to its language learning, so you have levels you need to complete to progress, with scores and bonuses along the way. Just dip in and out when you have a spare moment, and you can be confidently ordering vin rosé in no time. iPhone / Android