For us, traveling by train is one of the most relaxed ways of traveling. You step in and you let the landscape slowly pass you by. Nevertheless, we also never go unprepared and when we do this, we always regret directly. Think of too expensive tickets, too short a transfer time or hunger for a ride without food. We also get a lot of questions about how you can best book a ticket and what you take with you during a train journey. To help you on your way, we give you some tips for a comfortable and stress-free train journey.
So you survive a (long) train journey!
1. Determine the route
Perhaps the most obvious, but determine in advance the route you want to make. Of course, you can also just board a train with a’I can see where I end up’ mentality, but then, of course, you do not need this guide. Do you like structure and get stressed quickly if you do not get what’s coming up? Then it is better to record the route in advance. First, determine where you want to go and from which point your train journey begins. Are you leaving directly from India by train?
Or do you first take the plane to travel by train in another country? Which sights do you want to see and which cities would you like to do during your trip? If you know this, you can create a map via My Maps from Google Maps. Here you can put pegs in all the places you want to see. Consult Google Maps to see if there are any trains running to your destinations and how long such a journey will take.
Download apps about the destination and apps of the train company of the country in which you are going to travel. When traveling via an Interrail pass, download the Interrail app. Very handy
2. Book the trip
Then it’s time to book the tickets for the train (s). I always recommend people to book on the website of the train company itself, instead of international booking sites. This way you get to see the right rates and times and it is often cheaper because there is no middleman in between. For example, if you are going to travel through Germany, book via the Deutsche Bahn website instead of NS International.
This can save you a lot of money. Book your train journey for a few months in advance, because the longer you wait, the more expensive a ticket becomes. Do not forget to reserve a spot on the train. When you buy a ticket, it does not always mean that you also have a seat. This is advisable, especially on longer routes, because chances are that you have to stand or end up in the hall.
Do you often take different trains? Then it might be useful to see if you are not cheaper with an Interrail ticket instead of a number of separate tickets. Add up the costs of your train journey and check the Trainman website to see whether a ticket there is cheaper.
3. What are you taking with you?
Then it’s time to take your bag or suitcase. The nice thing about train travel is that you can take as much as you want. You do not have to take the number of kg of your suitcase/bag into account. Nevertheless, I recommend to always travel light, especially if you have to make various transfers. For long train, journeys take a large backpack or a trolley with an extra backpack. During the journey, you do not want to drag too much and you want to be able to quickly and easily get to your things.
A small trolley is the most convenient to take on a train journey within Europe. A small trolley often fits on the luggage racks or between the seats, so you do not have to lose sight of it. It contains the things that you do not need immediately, such as a clean pair of clothes, extra shoes, and pajamas. In a small backpack, I always stop everything I think I need during the train journey itself. These are often things like a book, a magazine, my camera, something to eat, a large bottle of water and some wet wipes and deodorant. Most trains are dirty and dusty, plus I do not want to arrive too sweaty and dirty at the place of the destination.
Also, make sure that the clothes you wear are comfortable. Nothing is worse than tight pants during a long train journey. I always wear comfortable pants, a T-shirt and a vest during a train journey. You can not control the heating or air conditioning on the train yourself, so it is often a bit too hot or too cold in a train. I also always have shoes that sit comfortably or are easy to take off. This is especially important in hot or high areas, because your feet may start to swell.
Tip: Finest Way to Check PNR status.
4. How do I stay fresh during a train journey?
Sometimes a train journey is very long. In order to get from A to B, I sometimes sit for 8 hours on a train. As mentioned, trains can be very dusty or dirty or very hot so you get dusty and sweaty at the destination. Sometimes you just do not have the time to refresh yourself quickly in a hotel. In order to arrive a bit fresh and fruity at the place of destination, I always have wet wipes with me, deodorant, water, and dry shampoo. Just before arrival, I refresh myself and I can continue with it.
It is also important to stay fit during the train journey, otherwise, you will still not arrive fresh at your destination. Drink enough water, stay healthy and walk back and forth. Can a window open in your compartment? Then occasionally open the window for a good breath of fresh air.
5. Train travel on a budget
Unfortunately, train travel is not cheap. It is adventurous, romantic, fun and above all very sustainable, but no. Not cheap. Many people prefer to choose the plane because it is much cheaper. I get that. But train travel is best to do on a budget.
A few simple tricks are: Book the train journey in time, keep an eye on the train companies, buy an Interrail ticket when you take several trains and of course bring your own lunch. Do you have a tip to survive a train journey?