Traveling by train is one of the most affordable ways to go on a long-distance trip across states and countries. As such, many passengers travel by train that offers compartments, dining, and a lived-in homely experience.
While this mode of transport is the most convenient and budget-friendly, it can become tedious and uncomfortable if you don’t plan ahead of time. Thus, the key to avoiding boredom and ‘cabin fever’ is organizing the provisions for your entire journey so you’ll have everything you need while enjoying the ride.
If you’re planning on traveling by train soon, here are some ways to prepare for a long train ride.
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Pack Travel Essentials into A Carry-On Bag
During your long train journey, you should ideally keep some items accessible to you without having to dig into your luggage to find them. Bringing a carry-on bag such as a backpack, tote, or duffel will allow you to move around the train while keeping the essentials handy when needed. These can be products used to refresh you, such as toiletries, light food and snacks, ear plugs, and eye masks for sleep.
You can also store your travel documents and tickets there to quickly find them when you have to present your tickets when reboarding after an off-train excursion. For instance, this is the case when traveling cross country using the Sydney to Perth railway. All these can be neatly fit into packing cubes for more storage space. If you plan on changing during the day or evening, you can bring a clothing case that you can roll into a duffel bag for easy carry. Remember that space on a train is limited so try sticking to small carry-on items.
Bring Some Entertainment
Train journeys don’t offer as many onboard activities as a flight, aside from socializing with fellow passengers. Since you’re on a long trip, you’ll need to bring something to keep you entertained when you get tired of sightseeing. This could be a book for reading or a hobby such as knitting. You can also bring your tech devices, such as a laptop to stream tv shows or catch up on some work.
Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets come in handy when you want to listen to music or long podcast series. However, if you bring along devices, ensure you have access to an outlet for charging and that you’re near a WIFI hotspot. To make the most of your entertainment time, try and bring a variety of amusements that can be enjoyed offline and online, in case the internet is spotty. If you’re traveling with a companion, you can bring traditional games to keep you busy.
Wear Comfortable Layered Clothing
If you plan on staying in the same clothing for your trip, make sure to wear a versatile outfit and can be layered on. This is especially necessary when you’re traveling for several days through weather changes. Keep in mind that the air conditioning inside the train is another factor to consider.
A good idea for a functional outfit consists of stretchy and breathable pants and a sleeved shirt. Then you can put on a jacket or long sleeve pullover that you can wear at any temperature. Be sure also to wear a pair of comfortable shoes such as trainers or flats. Since you’ll be sitting most of the time, don’t wear anything too tight-fitting, heavy, or light that could make you uncomfortable in very hot or cold weather conditions.
Secure Your Luggage
When you’re on a long train journey, there may be times when you have to leave your cabin, for dining, washing, and lounging around. This is why keeping your bags and other valuables secured when they’re unattended is important. Thus, before you embark on your trip, ensure your bags are tamper-proof with luggage locks or zip ties.
It’s also a good idea to invest in luggage made of a strong material like polyethylene that is cut-resistant to avoid pickpocketing. This is a necessary consideration, especially when you’re asleep. To prevent bag theft, find an area in your compartment that’s inconspicuous or hidden in the overhead rack opposite you. This works well if you have a large and heavy suitcase as it is more difficult to attempt to pull down without an attendant.
Preparing for a long train journey consists of gathering all the items you’ll need to make the trip comfortable. You can do this by keeping essential items handy, bringing something to spend your time on, and prioritizing luggage safety.
Furthermore, you should dress for weather changes as you move into new locations. Ideally, this should be organized before your trip begins to ensure no hassles while you’re already on the train, allowing you to relax and have a fun adventure.