In every country, there are different kinds of trains. People go in and out of trains every day just to get to their work or school. But there are also trains that are made for you to travel long distances, even from one country to another.
And if you opt to go for an adventure and chose to ride a train, there are some things that you need to consider before purchasing a train ticket. Riding a train is like riding a bus, only there are no stops and the travel time is faster. There are also different kinds of accommodations. It is like a combination of a bus and a boat.
You can choose between sleeping accommodation and seating accommodation. The great thing about riding a train is that the train has everything that you need. But in some countries, their trains are not designed for this. They only have different kinds of accommodation types. All you need to worry about is how to get yourself comfortable in that accommodation you bought.
When it comes to traveling, it is already understood that there are some things that you need to prepare ahead of time. These things are your travel essentials and your luggage. Your travel essentials can help make your journey comfortable. And your luggage holds all of your clothes and the things you need when you reach your destination.
Traveling with comfort and with style is what most of us prefer. But there are people who would rather go for comfort than style.
Tips to Sleep on a Train
It is normal to fall asleep when you are traveling. You need more sleep, most especially if you are traveling. You need all the energy and the strength that you can get as soon as you reach your destination. But sleeping away from the comfort of your own bedroom can be a challenge most especially if you are not used to sleeping while traveling. Here are some ways for you to be able to sleep comfortably on a train.
Have enough water and food
Keeping yourself hydrated is one of the important things you need to keep in mind when it comes to traveling. Also, have enough food for you to eat so that you will no longer have to spend that much in the restaurant. The reason why this contributes to good sleep is that it will give you the right nourishment that your body needs. And whenever you sleep, your cells will repair themselves along with the right nutrients from the food that you are taking.
Make use of the type of accommodation you bought
- Couch car
Couch Car is one of the basic accommodations that you can choose from when you ride a train. You will get a comfortable seat with enough leg space. Some couch car accommodations even have a table for you to work on with something. It will depend on what kind of train that you are riding and the country that you are in.
- Compartment car
A compartment car is a cabin good for 6 to 8 people. It is a sofa where you can sit comfortably and socialize with the people that you are in this cabin. In some countries, a compartment car is also a place where you can sleep. It has a layer of two or three beds depending on the train that you are riding.
- Sleeper compartment
A Sleeper compartment is one of the most comfortable accommodations that you can get when you travel by train. It can accommodate up to three people with its comfortable and good quality bed. It is what a family usually book whenever they want privacy and to keep themselves intact.
Another sleeping accommodation is the Couchette. It is a basic sleeping accommodation that can fit up to 6 people. This accommodation will provide you with a pillow, a blanket, and a bedsheet. And it also has a toilet and a washroom at the end of the room for
- Reclining seats
If you want to save some money and still making sure that you are comfortable during your journey, the reclining seat accommodation is for you. It is like an airline accommodation with seats that can be reclined for your convenience.
No matter what accommodation you get, as long as you are comfortable, you are good to go. Just figure out how to make yourself comfortable for the next few hours, and you will be just fine.
Wear comfortable clothes
Traveling is like sleeping. You need to wear comfortable clothes so that you will be able to move however you want. If you want your skin to breathe even if you are traveling, wearing soft and cottony clothes can do the trick. You will also be able to sleep properly if you are wearing the right kinds of clothes. And as well as allow your skin to breathe without those garter marks on your skin.
Bring sleeping essentials
There are a lot of sleeping essentials that you can bring with you while you are traveling. You will need these essentials most especially if you are traveling for hours. One of the most sleeping essentials that you need is a neck pillow. It has the ability to support your neck whenever you sleep. It will also prevent you from having neck pain due to the weight of your head leaning in a different direction.
It can cause stress on your neck. Another sleeping essential that you must keep in your handbag is an eye patch. If you are traveling during the day, you will need something to block out the light from your eyes. It is required for you to sleep in a dark room to get the right quality of sleep. But you can’t do this if you are traveling.
You can’t control the amount of light that is coming in and out of the window. Nor the brightness of the light in the train.
Tune into your favorite music
Another trick to get a good sleep on the train is to listen to your favorite music. Sleepfoundation.com wrote a great article about how music has the ability to calm you down. And it relaxes your entire body. And once the body is well-relaxed, you will be able to sleep without having any trouble.
Use noise canceling headphones
Once you already prepared your playlist, it is best to listen to it with noise-canceling headphones. It blocks out the noise around you so that you will be able to concentrate on your own self. Too much noise can irritate us or disturb us from our peaceful zone. This is why noise-canceling headphones are made so that you will be able to enjoy every beat of the music that you brought with you all throughout your trip.
Keep your things safe
Before closing your eyes and sleep, always secure all of your things. Even if you are on a running train, there is still a possibility that you might lose your things. Also, have a bag that carries all of the important things that you own, like your gadgets, wallet, important documents, and your ticket. If you have huge luggage with you, it is best for you to go to the train station earlier and have your luggage checked in.
Keep on hold of your ticket
From time to time, a conductor or a ticket inspector will check your ticket. This is to make sure that everyone who is on board bought a real ticket. And for you to no longer burden yourself from diving into your bag full of things, hold on to your ticket even if you fall asleep. Display them properly and enough for the conductor to see your details on the ticket.
Find a comfortable position
Finding the right position when you sleep on a train will depend on the kind of accommodation that you bought. If you bought the accommodation where there are beds in it, you are lucky because all you have to do is to lie down. But if you bought the reclining seats or the coach car, you need to be more patient in finding a comfortable position.
Luckily our trains today provide soft and comfortable seats. And some trains even provide you with a blanket or a pillow. But if they don’t, you will have to be wise enough to have a make-shift pillow.
According to webmd.com, “A few hours of lost sleep combined with business travel significantly reduces performance.” Even if you are traveling for a vacation, you still need to catch some Zs to make sure your body will have enough energy and strength to do the things that you need to do. Losing even an hour of sleep can deteriorate your brain function and your productivity.
We are lucky that modern trains can provide us with different kinds of amenities. We also get to choose the kind of accommodation we want for extra comfort. And as well as a dining area and a bar so that whenever we go hungry or thirsty, there is a place for us to go. A train is like a mini-hotel on the move.
We get to sleep on it, have meals, and at the same time, it transports us from one place to another. It is one of the best and the most convenient ways of commuting.
The reason why a lot of people prefer traveling by train is that it is one of the most comfortable ways for them to reach their destination. Also, the view from the mountains and the rivers is breathtaking. Good view and comfortable accommodation are what a traveler wants. And it will make the traveling process more memorable.
Train Travel Tips
Research about your destination
When it comes to having a vacation to an unfamiliar place, it is best to have research about it. As amtrack.com reports, planning your trips way ahead of time will save you during your travel and as soon as you reach your destination. Have an exact location where you want to go. And as well as book a hotel beforehand so that you will no longer have to wander on the streets of an unfamiliar place.
This is also for you to avoid getting lost. It is also best for you to know the different whereabouts so that you will not get lost. Also, carry a map with you and your GPS guide. Mark on the map the places where you want to go and the places where you want to eat. This can make up your entire trip. And ask the friendly locals about the place.
They might help you find what you are looking for. It is better to think ahead for you to be safe as you travel. And it is also for you to enjoy your journey.
But if you are on a business trip, you will no longer worry about most of it. Most of the business trips are already planned by the company you are working with. The only thing that you need to worry about is how to get there safely. And if you get to have a little bit of free time, take a bit of a walk around that place that you are at. It is not all the time that you get to travel for business.
Know your train station
There are different train stations for every destination that you will be going to. Some train stations are assigned to different areas in a certain country. If you are going south, find a train station that is positioned to the south, and so on. There are also some places where they have only one train station for everything. You’re lucky if the departing place that you are at has one station. You will not be confused about where to go.
Beat the train station earlier than your departure time
What is the point of traveling if you missed your train? Time is one of the most important things that you need to know when it comes to traveling. You should know what time your train will leave so that you will be able to catch it. Or better yet, be in the train station two hours before it leaves.
This is for you to make sure you won’t miss your train. And as well as get to your accommodation without the rush from the people around you. Another great thing when it comes to going to the train station earlier is that you can check your luggage in. This is to make sure that your luggage is safe and for you to wander around the train without worrying about your luggage.
Know the stops
All trains have different stops. Make sure you know where you will be stopping. It is not easy to get off at a different stop. Because this means you will have to purchase another ticket to the stop where you were supposed to be. Getting lost is the least of what you want when you travel by train.
Ask about the accommodations and the amenities in the train
Before purchasing a ticket, you should know the different kinds of accommodations. Most especially if you are traveling for hours. Every type of accommodation has a corresponding price. And just like when you purchase a plane ticket, you get to choose between a business class or the economy class.
Of course, the business class costs more than the economy class. And so is the train’s accommodation. It is also important for you to be comfortable whenever you are traveling by train. You will be able to keep yourself well-rested so that as soon as you reach your destination, you won’t feel tired or exhausted.
A train has a lot to offer to its passengers. Aside from the accommodations, a train also has different areas for you to go to. There is a bar car, a dining car and many more. The term “car” is referred to as the different sections of a train according to .macmillandictionary.com. And these sections are places where a passenger can go in order to make themselves more comfortable during their train ride.
Purchase your tickets ahead of time
And once you already know the different kinds of accommodations, you can purchase your one-way or return ticket. It is better to purchase your ticket for a few hours or a day before leaving. The reason why early purchasing of tickets is advised is that it is for you to avoid overly crowded counters.
There is a tendency where they will run out of tickets due to the number of passengers buying. Most especially if you are leaving for the holidays or going back to your hometown. Avoiding rush hour is very convenient for you and for your travel.
Article written by: Chao Hanggeuk
Hanggeuk is a Train Station Supervisor and Manager of Singapore Main Rapid Transit for the past 20 years. He has been in the train supervising and management industry for the past 20 years. He witnessed the evolvement of the way the different trains function throughout the years. He wrote for BodyBuilding.com and for TravelAsia about the different classifications of trains.