Depending on where you are going and how far you intend to wander, your mode of travel will vary and learn Rail Travel The Dos and Dont’s. In some contexts, a flight is necessary. Sometimes you are fortunate to have your own car, and sometimes you aren’t. One of the most common modes of transportation is rail travel.
Traveling by train is often times convenient and sometimes the more fiscally logical option. It tends to be on the safe side and fairly stress free. It is, in short, one of my favorite ways to travel.
However, even with rail travel there are some things to keep in mind. Let’s talk about the absolute most important factor when considering hopping on the rails and riding cross country.
First of all, keep in mi
nd where you are. Rail travel and access to affordable reliable rail travel is going to vary from country to country.
For example, while I love my home country, America’s trains kind of suck. For starters, The United States is a massive country, so to take a train from one state to another can take several days. Furthermore, post Manifest Destiny, railroad development pretty much fizzled and died, so train stations are not always conveniently located. Not all major cities are connected via railways and transportation from the train station to your final destination can be a problem. I find that travelers underestimate the size of my home country and this fact is all too often overlooked. The false assumption a lot of Europeans make is that they will just “take a train around the US”. Then they show up heart broken, only to realize that it isn’t quite so simple.
Also, rail travel is ridiculously still treated as a luxury-despite it being incredibly inconvenient and time consuming. The consequence of such a ridiculous perspective? It ain’t cheap. Train tickets, while often less than plane tickets, are still more than most bus tickets and the journey is frequently longer.
While America’s trains are a drag, they are still old and capable of sticking to a schedule. In some countries, train traveling has only recently been implemented. For example, railroads in Kenya are extremely underdeveloped. While you may find the price appealing, keep in mind that it may not be worth the potential of lost time. A couple of years ago, a friend of mine took the train in Kenya. She was drawn to the option by her famished post-college wallet. She later reported that the train was one of her poorest travel mistakes ever since it broke down several times and the ultimate travel time ended up being several hours longer than listed on the itinerary.
Please realize that I am by no means providing you with these examples in some malicious attempt to steer you away from the railways. I’m simply providing you with some things to keep in mind since your expectations are probably shaped by your background and how much you have traveled. In fact, some countries have wonderful rail systems. For example, consider all of Western Europe. A EuroPass can be purchased for a reasonable price and used to easily access major cities all over Europe. Purchasing a pass removes the stress of serious travel planning in between cities as you only need to check departure times and show up. With that being said, even they have their flaws. I once took a train from Venice to Munich and was delayed by several hours without explanation. Occasionally I find it’s best to just roll with it and not ask too many questions, or maybe I’m just justifying that approach since I don’t speak Italian or German…
If you are fortunate enough to be in a country where the railways are a fiscally logical travel option, consider a night train as an alternative to a hostel or a hotel. Meaning that if the ride is long enough it may be feasible to take a night train and avoid paying for a hostel or hotel for a night. Please note that this is not an ideal option for those travels who either get motion sick or have difficulty sleeping on public transit.
Now let’s touch on some safety issues.
Trains are a coming and going kind of transit-for passengers. For the most part, like many other things in life, they are probably very safe. However, you should keep in mind that passengers are entering and exiting the train at each stop. Since this provides criminals with an easy getaway, I prefer to keep all of my money, important documents, electronics, and other valuables close at hand to dissuade wandering hands. In some countries, one of the benefits of rail travel is the cabins that provide passengers with an opportunity to sleep in between destinations. I won’t tell you not to sleep, but I will tell you not to neglect the important things. If I do have to sleep and I am traveling solo, I will keep the strap of my bag with important possessions wrapped around my leg or my arm.
If I am in a country
That is less secure, for example Mexico is probably not as safe as say, Canada, then I recommend implementing the buddy system. Take turns keeping watch. Lord knows you don’t need to be waking up on ice sans a kidney.
Regardless of whether you are hitting the pavement or rolling with the railways, just keep one thing in mind. As a wise man once said, “Location is everything.” As always, know the situation where you are, in order to make the best decision for your schedule and your wallet.
This article was writing in with great assistance by Tina Stelling. An expert writer of 21st century.
Her Website is www.tinastelling.com I welcome you all to check it out.