If you’re planning for a long journey, trains are convenient and relatively cheaper modes to use. Train travel is faster, safer, and more comfortable than bus travel. Compared to air travel, it is eco-friendly and has fewer chances of delays. Moreover, traveling by train allows you to meet new people and enjoy beautiful landscapes. 

However, just like any other journey, proper preparation is crucial to ensure a smooth and stress-free journey. Lack of proper preparation can cause all sorts of mayhem on your train journey.

For instance, you don’t want to pack big, heavy suitcases that will stress you when carrying them down the station staircases or through the narrow train corridors. That said, keep reading to learn how you should prepare for your long train journey!  


The Dixiana steam engine takes a curve at Roaring Camp in Felton, CA
The Dixiana steam engine takes a curve at Roaring Camp in Felton, CA

Book Your Train Ticket

This is the first step when planning for a long train journey. You should book your tickets before the travel date to secure a seat of your choice. You can get your tickets at the local train station. For a more convenient option, you can also book your train to new york or your destination online. Train tickets are of different types, such as single, open, return, round trip, or package deal tickets. Therefore, ensure you’re conversant when purchasing your ticket.  

Furthermore, when booking your tickets, choose the right train for your long journey. This is because trains differ in speed, price, comfortability, and amenities. So, choose a relatively cheaper train without sacrificing safety and comfort levels. It should also offer baggage services, toilets, toiletries, and even Wi-Fi to keep you connected throughout the journey.


Have The Basic Valuables

When traveling on a long journey, ensure you have the correct travel documents. First, if you booked your ticket online, confirm it’s valid for boarding. If you’re journeying across borders, carry your passport, visa, and identification to ensure a smooth journey. Additionally, have a small bag to hold items such as your phone, laptop, wallet, toiletries, and travel documents.

A small bag is essential as you can comfortably carry it to the bathroom or dining cart without dragging your main backpack. Moreover, since you’ll frequently be leaving your seat and it will be impossible to carry your luggage around, it’s a good idea to have luggage locks to keep your items safe.


A bullet train in the Seoul Station
A bullet train in the Seoul Station

Pack Your Own Food And Drinks

Carrying your food and drinks when traveling is essential. This allows you to reduce unnecessary spending on train food which mostly has unpredictable quality. Having your food and snacks makes the whole journey delicious and flavored. Packing your own food also ensures you stick to your eating habits. Consider packing foods like fruits, homemade chips, sandwiches, popcorn, cookies, rice, pasta, or muffins. 

Just be sure to use sealer clips and silicon bags to pack your food and drinks correctly to avoid causing a mess to your backpack, or opt to carry non-messy food and snacks. You can also consider packing additional snacks to share with your fellow travelers.


Know Your Routes

Familiarizing the routes before traveling is crucial, especially for long-distance travel. This helps you know where you’re at and where you should alight the train and make the necessary transfers. 

Understanding the route is also vital in helping you plan train delays, as trains share rails with freight trains. This means the train will make several stops to allow freight trains to pass. Therefore, if you’re familiar with the route, you’ll be able to consider these delays in your schedule.


Train Tracks in Santa Cruz, CA
Foggy train tracks in Santa Cruz, CA

Wear Comfortable Clothing

Packing and wearing comfortable clothes is crucial for a long train journey. You’ll be on the train for a long time, so it’s best to wear clothes you’re comfortable wearing throughout the journey. Just wear something comfortable both during the day and at night. For instance, you can pack light clothes for day time and warmer clothes to wear at night.


Have A Pre-Departure Checklist

One of the best packing tips is to have a pre-departure checklist. Designing a pre-departure checklist containing all the essentials you need is the best way to ensure you’re fully prepared and have everything you need for your train journey. When packing the essentials, tick out every item packed until you’re done. Additionally, your pre-departure checklist should contain train tickets, travel insurance, medications, if necessary, cash, personal identification, care items, and other must-have essentials.

A train conductor heads to his cabin in the Oruro, Bolivia, station of the FCA Empresa Ferroviaria Andina S.A

The Bottom Line

A long train journey is cheaper, fun, convenient, and memorable. However, the journey can be miserable and taxing without proper preparation, making you despise train travel. Therefore, use the above tips to ensure a smooth and fun trip for your long train journey!