Tricks and Hacks For Long Train Rides

In some parts of the world, riding the train is just a way of life. Yet, some of us live where there is no train service easily accessed. So if you are an avid train rider, this may sound silly to you, but keep in mind there are others reading who are about to embark on their very first train ride. If that train ride is a very long one, they have no idea what to expect. Still, read along, you may find a few hints that you can use as well.



You will have a baggage allowance. You will be allowed to check your baggage if you choose to. Most advise against it. There is plenty of room to stash your bags overhead and there are little places like where back to back seats form a V that you can shove a bag into. If you pack smart you will have not problems taking what you need along with you.

Besides your bags consider a small backpack to wear on your chest, You can wear one on your back too, but the small one is for valuable things that would cause great problems if you lost them. Secure that backpack with a lock and use it as a pillow when you go to sleep. That is the time most baggage thieves strike. While many people lock all their baggage, you might find securing it to the rack with a strap is enough. A thief is not going to stand there and try to figure out why your bag will not move, he will move on to the next one.




Spreading out / sleeping cars

If you have room (no one is looking for a seat) feel free to spread out. Just be polite. If the train begins to fill up, move your things out of the way.

If you are going to be on a train for several hours, splurge on a sleeper car. If you are traveling with others, chip in together. Having the extra room and comfort is well worth it. To offset some of the expense, bring your own food and drinks with you. Train food is expensive and it usually is not very good. You might consider freezing a bottle of water before the trip and let it thaw during the early part of the ride. By the time the water thaws, you have a fresh cold drink for the evening meal.


Train etiquette

Pay attention to the people around you. If they are speaking softly, then you speak softly too. Do not be the loud passenger, speaking too loud, laughing too loud, and being a jerk.


voyage en train


Do not put your feet on the seat across from you, even if you take your shoes off. If you have foot odor, do not take your shoes off on the train. Also, take care of your look, especially if you are using your holidays for hiking, climbing, or any other nature sport. Your shoes might be full of dirt, and it’s recommended to leave the train in the same way you’ve entered it.

If you are going to snack, eat quietly and use proper manners. No one wants to hear you smacking and slurping. Do not bring smelly food on the train. Tuna or egg salad is simply not a good idea.

The restroom will be small, but look around in other cars, there is probably a larger one for handicap passengers.

If you want to stretch out, just before nighttime, head for the observation deck with your (backpack) pillow and blanket. You will probably not be asked to move.


Sri Lanka


Here are a few things to take with you on your trip:

– Reading material (or puzzle books)
– Portable charger for your phone. These can be precharged and they will recharge your cell phone anywhere
– Motion sickness medications
– Wet wipes
– Write down any train changes and keep it in your pocket so you do not have to dig out your actual tickets
– Breath mints



Wendy Dessler
Wendy is a super-connector with Outreachmama who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.

Cover image by Hugh Lunnon

Introvert man alone staring at the Marble Temple in Bangkok

Travelling as an Introvert: Fostering My Personal Space For a Deeper Connection to the World

I’ve been wondering how has introversion hindered me from meeting people that could’ve had enriched my travel experience. After all, isn’t that one of the reasons I wanted to travel anyways? Should I’ve been more outgoing? Shouldn’t I have gotten home with prospect opportunities, tons of new emails and recollections of people I met on the road?




Let me contextualize

I’ve just finished the trip of a lifetime and now after 5 months, I’m back home.
I never was a person of many friends, I’m a loner and an introvert that enjoys planning parties more than attending them. Aloneness to me is freedom—aloneness, not isolation though.

When traveling there’s a natural inclination to gravitate to other travelers: we’re all in a foreign place with great stories to tell and valid opinions to share. Family and friends are back home and there’s a guy at your hostel with a similar adventurer spirit. Common ground, easy! So after 5 minutes of small talk, he wants to know what are you doing tomorrow, asks if he can join you and you say: “Sure.”

Well, a month had gone by into my trip when I lost the patience to hear rowdy backpacker’s stories about where they’ve been or where they were planning to go next. Honestly, I never cared about how many beers were drunk the night before, or their bias opinions about X country —mainly because they always tended to come up at the entrance of the epic monuments I always wanted to visit.




I just felt that the place I was deserved my full attention. After all, I spent years waiting for the opportunity to be there.




So I started to withdraw from people

Bearing in mind that we all have limited time to get to know a place when we’re on the road, I realized that I rather do it by myself without the distractions of casual chitchat, or the awkward moments of silence because it was my turn to say something back. I love silence, and I always preferred contemplation over a conversation.


floating market


The internal struggle

The thing is that I also envy the stories of travelers meeting someone that radically changed their travel plans, turned into a job opportunity overseas, or ended up as a lifelong friendship. The stories about being approached by a monk and talking for hours about life and god, or the ones about how fun it was bargaining at the market.

Why hasn’t that happened to me? Am I that disconnected or is it my body language? Where is this frustration coming from anyways? I hate bargaining, it makes me cringe—I rather use coupons, it’s more refined.



As an introvert, I wanted this trip to push me out of my comfort zone, to teach me about the world, and how I fit in it. So I came to understand that solitude it’s like my charging station and I need it daily, especially when I’m in a stimulating environment on the other side of the world.

Maybe I didn’t open myself more because I was never alone to begin with. I traveled with Nuno and we have a dynamic that works. We know each other and we tend to wander by ourselves for hours, only talking about it at the end of the day or during dinner.





I know I’m missing out on getting to know other travelers with which I could share tips and tricks on the best guesthouses, food stalls or transportation. And locals that could teach me more about their culture and cool unknown places to visit. But I don’t open myself easily.

Frankly, visiting most of the places on my own allowed me to be fully present in them. I could orient my focus to what spoke to me: I was aware of details, colors, lights, and smells. I now remember details perfectly and I do so because my mind wasn’t divided between where I was, and small talk with a new acquaintance. Isn’t that a sign of a fulfilled experience?

Now that I’m back home I’d like to take everybody I know to the places I’ve been. I want to share the food with my family, take my close friends to the most amazing viewpoints and swim with everybody in warm tropical waters.
Maybe I never felt the need to make new friends because I have good ones back home. Maybe I unconsciously realized that the opportunity I sought after was to do everything a second time with them by my side.
Then again, I don’t have that many friends anyway, so it would be quite a private excursion.

“Conversation enriches the understanding, but solitude is the school of genius”
– Edward Gibbon