Over the years I have done a lot of train travel for leisure as although I have been able to drive there has been little point having a car while at university. So armed with my trusty rail card I have taken to the rails (occasionally by coach), and there is definitely a knack to travelling by train so I thought I’d share my packing tips if you are using the train for leisure purposes.
- Write a list
As with any time when you have to pack think about what you are doing and write a list or what you know you need. Pack appropriate clothing for the location, time of year and activities you may be doing while you are away and also can you do laundry while you are away as this can help you cut down items. Of course with rail there are no bag limits but whatever size bag you pick you will have to drag/carry it, so keep this in mind.
- Pack only what’s on the list
Most importantly once you’ve made your list stick to it, if you keep saying just one more item it will go crazy. Stick to the list no matter what so if you’ve decided 3 tops take only 3 tops just pick items that you can mix and match or is practical.
- Keep it compact, you have to drag it
I am definitely one of those who is definitely guilty of packing a huge bag, I have now managed to get 9 days’ work of items within a suitcase which is suitable to use as a carryon bag with planes. That and a decent sized hand bag and I’m all set. It is definitely now more manageable to drag around stations and carry up and down stairs. A carryon bag size is definitely the most suitable if you are in London and may need to tube between stations enough to carry everything but not too heavy to carry or fit on a packed tube.
- Think case with wheels
I will always use a case with wheels it makes the whole thing much simpler, I highly recommend one as carry one can just be painful. I have a standard two wheel drag one but the ones which four wheels may be much better as they are more manuverable.
- Know you’re route – stair case practical
This is a something I have mentioned before but would just like to reiterate, know your route, and try to gain a rough idea of the stations of where you start and end as well as any connecting stations, can you cope with your bag in these stations? If no look at downsizing your bag or picking a different type of bag. In London you can be up and down vast numbers of stairs if you cannot carry your bag in these situation you may need a different one.
- Pack what you need to hand in your carryon bag
As well as your suitcase consider a back pack or handbag and have everything you need within easy reach especially your tickets. In my hand bag I will also keep things like my phone charger and an activity, maybe a book, laptop ect. I also take my makeup in this bag, if you are going to use it on the train than keep it in there.
- Keep tickets/rail card on hand
Always keep your tickets and rail card on hand, you will need them at barriers as well as to be checked on the train. I have my compact bag, which I put my little card holder with tickets, rail card and debit card, my phone and then hand sanitiser and keep this at the top of my bag so all my essentials are within easy reach you don’t want to lose anything. This makes you less likely to panic as you know where everything is and its on hand for when you need it.
I hope these tips are helpful if you do travel by train, let me know your tips for travelling by train in the comments below.