Train travel is a great way to cover long distances quickly and in comfort, but you can often find yourself staring aimlessly out the window with nothing to do. With my absolute train travel essentials to you can ensure your journey is simple and relaxing with never a dull moment.
Now I put smartphone here instead of just a normal phone as there is so much to do on a smartphone if you’re stuck on a delayed train. For example, you can tweet, update your Facebook status or Instagram your train snacks… (more on that later). There is an endless array of social media/app joy you can have on a smartphone which will make the journey go that much quicker.
This one also links to Smartphones because you would also have music on your phone too; headphones allow you to drown out screaming babies and the irritating loud personal conversations of other passengers. I like the in-ear ones that cancel out all surrounding noise, not so good if you are cycling or crossing roads… Still, they help you to zone out to your favourite tracks and also hopefully won’t leave you being the annoying person with their music up too loud on their Apple headphones meaning the whole train carriage can hear what your music taste is like.
Not the Paracetamol type, but the technology type, for example an iPad is one of the coolest things to own and use whilst travelling, all you need is a couple of films or TV episodes pre-downloaded onto it and you’re away! Allowing you to not only zone out, but also catch up on your favourite TV if you have a long commute and a busy life. Although watch out for over-the-shoulder-watchers.
Another item that will keep commuting or travelling boredom at bay is a good book; I’m currently reading The Debutantes by Cora Harrison (not sure if I like it yet). It’s so easy to get carried away in the world of your book, especially if it’s a great read, going to your local communities library is a great way to get free books to read then exchange for different ones, a novel concept I know! (Excuse the pun…)
Now it may be getting colder here in the UK, but even in the summer a jumper or cardigan was a must. The reason for this is tendency for constant air-conditioning in carriages of a number of train lines. Whilst trains can get busy and it would be horrendous to be on a HOT, busy train, it still gets pretty chilly, therefore make sure you have a cosy jumper ready with you when you board.
It’s good to keep hydrated, especially with all the air-con! Also water won’t make you burp and disgust the rest of your fellow train travellers.
Snacks are needed to keep your energy up and make sure you stay a contented traveller, no one likes hunger pangs!
Ear plugs are perhaps not the most traditional of train necessities, but they are good for cancelling out a number of annoying train travel noises, so that you can have a snooze on long journeys. Although they might not help with my other pet peeves such as smelly people and coughers; who knows what can help them?!
Ever tried to squeeze onto a train, but got shunted off by some other over-zealous traveller? You need a strong elbow to be able to get your own spot on the train/tube/metro/subway, so make sure you do some elbow exercises so that you come out on top in the traveller scrum.
Now this seems like an obvious one, but I have seen many a troubled train traveller get to the other side of their journey and frantically search for their ticket, having presumably lost it on the train or dropped it down the side of the platform. Make sure you keep you train ticket on you and any other tickets for that matter, even those for London Attractions, for instance.
Whatever you take on your train journey remember to consider you fellow passengers and don’t forget your ticket!
Photo by: paolomargari