Travelling by train is a truly exhilarating experience as it allows for a unique view of the countryside, and as you are not driving, you can focus your attention on the amazing scenery that passes your window. For most people, their first train ride would be a childhood experience, but if you are yet to have the good fortune to take a train trip, here is some very useful advice to help make the experience a memorable one.
It might be that your very first train experience is something special, such as the exciting Trans-Siberian express holidays or perhaps a berth on the famous Orient Express, but whatever the reason – or journey – it is important to come prepared. A reading material is essential for a long train journey, and it is always a good idea to have some music to listen to, along with headphones. Make sure your digital camera is along for the ride and it wouldn’t hurt to bring a couple of spare SD cards, as you will no doubt pass through many breathtaking scenery.
Arrive At The Train Station Early
This is critical because, like commercial flights, trains do not wait for passengers, as they have a tight schedule and will leave the station at the scheduled time, regardless. This is especially important if the train station is unfamiliar and you are in a foreign country, where there might be language issues. Ask any seasoned train traveller and they will tell you that by arriving an hour early, you will have the opportunity to locate the right platform and have enough time to explore, as there’s always a lot to see at a train station, including a range of retail outlets of bookstores and food and beverage shops. You may need to get yourself some snacks for the long journey.
Keep Your Valuables With You All The Time
While you might think your carry-on luggage is safe enough, especially as it is always in view, there are expert thieves who wait for the right opportunity. We all tend to doze off thanks to the soothing, rocking motion that train travel involves, but don’t take the risk of losing your valuables. There are informative guides for first time train travellers that makes for essential reading and might make the difference between a good and bad experience.
Do Not Accept Food Or Drink From Strangers
It is a sad fact of life that trains attract thieves, and on longer journeys, the villain might single a person out, get to know them a little and offer a drink or a snack. While nine times out of ten, the stranger is just being kind, some add a little something to help you sleep and when you do finally awake, they – and your valuables – are long gone. Typically, this kind of thief will get off the train as soon as possible once they have stolen a person’s items, which makes it impossible for you to do anything.
If you are lucky enough to combine your first train experience with a once in a lifetime trip like the Trans-Siberian Train Express, you are certainly in for an unforgettable experience that will remain in your memory forever.