Traveling is an excellent opportunity to squeeze in one new experience after another. After all, coming to different places means encountering all the sights and witnessing various cultures that could enrich one’s life. However, seasoned travelers have learned that the journey is as valuable as the destination. Hence, you might consider trying out different modes of travel.
Compared to traveling by boat or plane, boarding a train has a charm that can never be found elsewhere. Because even though someone’s flying for you, plane rides often don’t offer much when it comes to sights; the same goes for boats. Meanwhile, trains are designed to have wide windows for your viewing pleasure. That way, you get to appreciate the sights from start to finish.
But before you go ahead and book Ghan tickets or head over to your dream destinations by train, you must be equipped for it, especially if it’s your first train travel. Here are some tips that could help you out:
1. Prepare a Checklist
The best way to prepare for anything new is by making a list. After all, it’s challenging to keep up with everything when you’ve been anticipating your first train ride for so long. However, like with other modes of travel, all kinds of things must be ready ahead of time to avoid any setbacks.
Although not in the air or on the water, preparing the right documents is a no-brainer when traveling. Because as long as you’re arriving someplace new, you must have the appropriate paperwork proving your identity. Passports, travel visas, and travel insurance are the only documents you must have. Considering how many there are, remember to list all the papers you need to collect easily.
Include personal belongings that are impossible to leave behind. They could be maintenance medications, hygiene items, or different clothes. Those who want to avoid staring at their phones the entire train ride as much as possible might consider trying out other great activities the whole way there, so consider packing the necessary materials.
2. Make Reservations
Those unfamiliar with trains might not be aware that there are various amenities and perks that passengers might be interested in. Since some trips last more than a day, travelers need a place to rest overnight. For those in this category, reserve a cabin or roomette. Some trains have extra benefits, such as drinks or hot showers. Take your time studying their deals to experience maximum comfort throughout the ride.
3. Pack Light
Comfort is an essential quality when traveling. After all, travelers love traveling in the first place because of the freedom it brings. Leaving behind one’s usual day-to-day is a luxury no one can afford, especially those who keep grinding for nine to five. However, that might be impossible when you’re already struggling with carrying your luggage.
Since trains are often designed with narrow aisles or steep steps, over-packing is one of the first-time travelers’ worst mistakes. Instead of packing different shoes for each day or outfits for every weather, be efficient with your things and try to give them multiple purposes. For example, pack a cute jacket for style and to withstand any sudden rainfall. As much as possible, only pack what you can carry.
4. Be Early
It’s easy to get all swept up in a rush between preparing for the trip and waiting for the day of departure. After all, it’s exciting to finally have the opportunity to ride a train for the first time. Still, you must sleep early the day before.
Being haggard and rushing around because you woke up late the day you’re about to leave might cause you to miss some things, given that you’re short on time. Aside from that, you’re bound to miss out on the sights when you get too tired as soon as you sit at your booth. Hence, as crucial as it is to arrive early, ensure you have an early night to balance it out.
5. Stay in the Know
Travelers take the train because of how many places their routes pass by. They could be tourist destinations or typical station stops. Either way, stay in the loop to know which is which. Ask train attendants whether the train is stopping for a rest or is meant to pick up and drop off other passengers. Otherwise, you might get left behind in the middle of nowhere while window shopping at a tourist trap.
6. Mingle With Other Passengers
Meeting new people is one of the best ways to enrich your travels. After all, everyone has different stories that are worth listening to. And considering passengers can leave their seats to roam around, they can mingle with others in common areas. However, remain vigilant against unsavory individuals since that freedom might be taken advantage of.
Traveling by train for the first time is an incredible experience. On top of witnessing all sorts of gorgeous sights throughout your journey, it’s not as restricting when passengers can leave their seats whenever they want. But making the most of it and preparing for the ride will make this experience even more memorable.