6 Tips to Make Travelling by Train Easy


Taking the train when you’re overseas is a great way to do things. Not only are you lowering your carbon footprint (compared with air travel), you’ll also be saving money, and getting a close-up view of the country or area you're travelling through! But if you’re not used to travelling by train, and you’ve got children in tow, then everything might seem a little bit overwhelming – or at least, it will to begin with. So in this post I'm going to share a few tips, that will hopefully ensure that the process is as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

Travel Off-Peak
When things get busy, such as during the school holidays or special events, ticket prices rise according to demand. If you’re able to travel when it’s not busy though, you’ll benefit from reduced rates and quieter routes. So definitely try to when you can! If you’re always buying tickets along the same route whenever you travel, it can help to look for discounts if you can as well. Shop around for the best deals before clicking purchase.

Learn the route
If you know the route you are taking by heart, you’ll be more confident that you’ve boarded the right train. There's no bigger than stress than jumping on a train and it going the wrong direction (and I'm speaking from personal experience!). Knowing the route will also mean you can look out for certain destinations or sites along the way - a great idea if you're travelling with little ones.

Sleep on the Train
Some train journeys can take place overnight, so if you don't want to waste any time travelling to your destination this can be a great choice. Your cabin will have a pull down bed; fall asleep in one country and wake up in another! This is also great as it saves you from paying for transport and a hotel stopover separately.

Take Plenty of Snacks
If you’re used to eating at fixed times, then train travel might be a bit tricky for you - especially if you're travelling with children. You can deal with this in the short term with a handy supply of snacks, or by booking your train around meal times so you can either eat before you depart, or when you arrive.

Take Entertainment
While there’s a lot to be said for staring out of the window and watching a the countryside or urban landscape fly past, train travel is a lot like other forms of travel - there will be long stretches where nothing much interesting happens.  I usually pack a flight bag full of appropriate items when travelling by plane, but you could use the same idea for train travel too. Pack a few entertainment devices, books and colouring (that can be enjoyed by all), but remember the classics such as eye-spy and nought and crosses can be just as fun!

Arrive with Time to Spare
If you’d like to avoid added stress, then make sure you arrive at your departure location in plenty of time. This means you can locate the ticket office and pick up your tickets in plenty of time, as well as time to pop to the loo and grab any last minute snacks. Booking in advance online might save you a little bit of queuing time (but you’ll need to ensure that you’re organised and have all of your paperwork to hand when it’s called for), as could having your tickets ready on your smartphone.

This is a collaborative post.

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