Consider Taking a Vacation by Train this Year
Traveling by train may not be your first go-to when planning a trip with your family; however, you would be missing out on one of the best and most relaxing ways to travel. Taking a train is a stress-free way to travel as you don’t have to worry about driving, traffic, or stops for human needs (bathrooms, eating, stretching legs, etc..) It’s all taken care of. Trains can even come with different car options, such as luxury seating or even sleeper cars for longer overland trips.
Favorite Train Trips I Recommend
There are many places that offer amazing rail travel packages. For those traveling with younger children, the Rocky Mountaineer and VIA Rail Canada are excellent companies to work with as they have a 2-3 day trip that is suited for children. For those who want a little more activity in their train travel, the Glacier Express that runs out of Switzerland has a train trip that occasionally stops to allow passengers to disembark to go hiking amongst the mountains and glaciers. Should neither of those interest you, there is a company called Golden Eagle’s 21-day Silk Road which, as the name suggests, travels along the ancient trade route called the Silk Road and is a 21-day train ride from start to finish. It is advised you have prior rail riding experience as 21 days in a train can be taxing on those not used to rail travel. Not looking to leave the country, try these fun trips:
Planning Your First Rail Trip
Planning for a train trip may seem daunting, especially if it’s your first time riding one. However, the more experienced rail riders use travel agencies to do all the booking and planning, so all they have to do is show up at the station. If that is not your speed, then what many do is go through train companies like Amtrak. Here you can pick your destinations and select from many possible destinations using Amtrak’s “500 Destinations page”. From there, it’s pretty much the same as purchasing plane tickets. Once you have your destination down, you can figure out what you will need to pack and bring.
Tips and Tricks for Traveling by Train
Like with anything that has been around for a long time, there are tips to train travel. Because even though train rides are relaxing and accommodate most things, there are ways to be more prepared and comfier while enjoying the trip.
While there are baggage cars on trains, those sometimes come with extra fees, as with air travel, so many passengers pack a decent-sized carry-on with everything they need. This way, you save some money and space in your seating area or travel car.
Learn the Route
This may seem like an unnecessary thing to do since you are not the one who is driving the train. But, if you experience or have high anxiety or become impatient, then knowing how much longer you still have before reaching your destination can be beneficial because being anxiety-ridden on a long train ride can make it feel so much longer.
Bring something to entertain yourself, as there may not always be something scenic to catch your eye out the window or someone to talk to. So, it’s best to bring something to distract you from those boring times. Good things to bring onboard are books, portable gaming systems, drawing books, electronic tablets, and downloading some favorite shows onto your phone (often there is little to no Wi-Fi on a train).