Traveling by train is certainly a unique experience that everyone should try.

For those interesting in trying out other travel methods, consider taking a train. When you travel by train you not only save a significant amount of money, but you also get to enjoy an exciting rail adventure. People use train services around the world for their daily commute as well as longer distance travel. A favorable alternative to air travel, trains work the best for some travel. While you might not be able to take a train to Portugal, you can still enjoy travel by train from Philadelphia to New York City or  San Diego to Los Angeles. Some people even attempt an adventurous cross-country journey via the rails.

So with all of this talk of riding the train, it is time to buy your ticket. Maybe you are already a well-established traveler who frequents the train station. Some people enjoy being lulled to sleep by the steady sway of a train car. Of course, if you are new to the whole travel by train scene, rest assured that you will likely benefit from it. Step out of your comfort zone and venture to your next destination via the rails. Let us help you get acclimated by providing some beneficial travel advice. Even if you travel more than you know what to do with, it still helps to learn some new advice now and again. Travel by train has never been easier than when you exercise some tried and true rail travel hacks.

These are our top seven tips to travel by train like a pro.

1. Plan your wardrobe ahead of time.

Nobody likes to be uncomfortable when they travel. Of course there are several ways you can help create the best experience for yourself. One tangible method for ensuring coziness while on the road (or on the rails) is to dress accordingly. Wear loose fitting clothes when traveling for maximum comfort. This allows you to relax, as you are sitting for a long period of time. It is also a good idea to consider various climates. Bring along a jacket or a sweater just in case the train gets cold.

2. Research the ticket prices.

Train ticket prices vary depending on factors such as the rail, destination, and day you travel. You can potentially save a significant amount of money by being strategic when you book tickets. Look up alternative days for your travel schedule, if your itinerary allows. Occasionally train tickets have a slight variance with bookings only days apart. If you travel by train frequently, it might be a better idea to purchase an Amtrak rail pass. This saves you money in the long run. U.S. Amtrak rail passes are available in 15, 30, and 45 day allotments. These are different from a commuter pass, but are ideal for several long distance trips.

3. Bring snacks.

Traveling when you are hangry is definitely not enjoyable. Be sure to stock up on some delicious travel snacks before you hop on the train. Bringing snacks when you travel by train makes the long trek quite pleasant. Choose lightweight and mess free options for maximum snacking ease. Trail mix, protein bars, chips, and crackers are all perfect travel snack items to munch on as you go. The only issue here is whether or not you have a big enough bag for all of the snacks you want.

4. Plan your entertainment.

travel by train - entertainment

Just like when you fly, when you travel by train it helps to have things to do to pass the time. Bring along a book or two to keep you occupied during the trip. One upside of train travel is that passengers often receive free WiFi, which means you can use your smartphone and electronics on the way. Download some podcasts and movies as well so you want stay stimulated as you travel by train. For train commuters, this travel time is the perfect opportunity to get some learning in. Whether you want to learn a new language or just expand your knowledge on a certain subject, budget your time here wisely and you might be surprised by the results.

5. Have a meal in the dining car.

You simply cannot travel by train without enjoying a meal in the dining car at least once. Food seems to taste a little better as you enjoy your dish while rocking back and forth in a train car. Train dining cars typically offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner throughout the duration of your trip. Plan ahead and make a meal reservation beforehand to save you the effort while traveling. Amtrak has a full-service dining car on their trains, as well a lounge car. This lounge car is simply a place to unwind as you travel by train. Here travelers can enjoy light food offerings and comfortable seating.

6. Check your bags.

travel by train - Check your bags

Checking your bags is a smart move for those who travel by train. Unlike air travelers, plenty of trains allow for the free checking of bags. You can also take advantage of the spacious overhead bins for your luggage. This gives you a peace of mind and frees you up to wander about the train car bag free. Without worrying about extra fees and weight limits, it is certainly simpler to take bags on a train. This is another reason why train travel is an ideal way to get where you need.

7. Think about your alternative transit arrangements before you arrive.

Odds are, the train tracks are not going to stop immediately in front of your intended destination. If they do, well, we applaud your immense travel luck. For the rest of us, it is important to think about your other transit arrangements before you get to your destination. If you are going to a city, look into the common public transportation options. There are often bus and additional rail services in most major cities. Uber and Lyft are also great options if you need to travel a longer distance.

Ride the rails without a care in the world when you use these pro tips.

For those who want to travel by train, be sure keep these helpful pieces of advice in mind. By preparing effectively for your trip as well as monopolizing on the travel resources available, you can stay stress-free. If you live in the United States, take advantage of the excellent train route offerings between numerous major cities. Take a chance and even try a cross country trip via train, if you are daring enough. The slower pace of travel as well as the spacious accommodation and excellent amenities all make train travel something to enjoy. Try out these tips for an even better train experience next time.

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Faith is a writer and social media manager residing in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She is passionate about people and currently attends university in pursuit of a degree in Clinical Psychology and Counseling. A nomad by nature, Faith finds utmost joy in trekking around the globe and strongly advocates backpacking as the best way to explore anywhere. Being a bookworm and an avid coffee drinker, she is likely to be found sipping an Americano and mulling over a classic novel.

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