How to take a Long Train Trip for Fun: Useful Tips for an Overnight Train Ride

How to take a Long Train Trip for Fun: Useful Tips for an Overnight Train Ride

I love train rides. I always have. There’s something wonderful about traveling slow, about meeting new people in train cars or sitting back to relax and listen to an audiobook while watching the scenery go by. I’ve had some of my best experiences on a train, and even met one of my best friends in a restaurant car on an overnight train ride.

I don’t know what I would do without him in my life, and that train ride kick-started an entire three months of travel together that I wouldn’t trade for the world. Five years later, we still talk every day—even though we live in different countries. Had I decided to take a short flight instead of an overnight train, I never would have had the chance to meet him.

Whether it is just in your state, or cross country, long train rides provide affordable travel and great experiences—even if you end up just sitting on your own and spending some time being introspective while you get to your destination.

It can be easy to forget about the possibility for train travel when a quick plane flight can be booked to get us to our destination as fast as possible. A flight from San Francisco to San Diego, for example, costs $140 and has us arriving an hour after departure, whereas a train will take 18 hours, for about $37.00.

If you have the extra time though and are looking for a way to extend your travel, or even if you’re interested in lowering your CO2 footprint during your travels, trains are a great way to go.This year, one of my goals is to take the train cross country to Chicago. While it will take longer, it’s much more comfortable, is a more eco-friendly option from getting from Point A to Point B, and it allows me the ability to stop off at new locations on the way and check out new cities.

And have I mentioned how great sleeping on a train is? You should book a sleeper car that I used to take them just to get a solid night’s sleep. I think it has something to do with the movement of the train and noise. It’s like being rocked to sleep, and I have never slept more soundly in my life. Therefore, you should bring the travel portable package includes a memory foam neck pillow, eye mask, and earplugs is the best for taking a long train trip—There’s nothing as comfortable as falling asleep on a train without any disturbance and waking up in a new destination. If you do not want to use the train’s blanket, you can use your travel blanket that I suggest you buy the blanket lightweight portable makes you feel convenient to carry.

In order to prepare well for your train trip, you need to pack for an overnight train ride:

  • Wear comfortable clothes: Wearing a stretchy clothing will make your ride more enjoyable
  • Do not forget to bring headphones, phone and camera charger and a power strip: while you enjoy listening to your favorite songs, you can read a news or chat with your friends on your phone simultaneously without being out-of-battery. Moreover, when the train makes shortstops, you should get out for a bit of fresh air and to stretch your legs and take photos at that time.
  • Bring special toiletries: most of the sleeper cars provide shampoo, soap that what you need to bring are toothpaste, mouthwash, body lotion and so on. Because there are no liquids restrictions by train, you feel free to bring any liquid items.
  • Storage space: since the storage space in the sleeper car rooms is small, you should take advantage of the two free checked-bags that your train offers
  • A Book: Reading a book is my favorite activity to kill the time on a long train trip. I recommend you read Before Sunrise & Before Sunset is a romance story between two strangers on a train from Budapest to Vienna. They share their stories during the trip that make them feel attracted each other.We can feel the connection to their relationship  and the intensity of their feelings on so many topics.We all grow through life in the way that they did and reading this creates ripples of deep thoughts as if I am taking a train ride and deciding my what ifs and being in touch with the adventurer spirit inside me.

This year, I plan to go back to traveling slow whenever possible. There’s something that I miss about taking my time with travel. Not only is it an economical option, but there’s always something so adventurous about it. You never know who you’ll meet in passing, and my biggest recommendation is to be open to new conversations, don’t hide behind your books, and engage in conversations when they’re presented to you.

What about you? Do you have any great train experiences to share?? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!


Amy Nguyen

Amy Nguyen

I feel happy to share my experiences with you about Travel - Food - Life around the world. I hope to inspire you to Live-Love- Laugh :)



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