Taking the train, particularly for Americans, is a unique experience. Often, we have not experienced travel aboard a train save for the instances where public transportation proves its necessity – light rails, subways, etc.

However, there exists an extensive rail network – both in America and abroad – that is available to get you from point A to point B. In other words, you might find that traveling by train might be the best option for you. In order to make the most of your journey by rail make sure to keep your wits about you and remain open to the new experience.

First off, trains can be a wonderful way to travel – and even can be the focus of your vacation! You just need to understand that there is going to be a bit more time dedicated to the travel than via an airline and that there can be complications that push your travel schedule back a bit. However, unlike airports, there is certainly another train that is heading in your direction should you miss the initial departure.

While airlines try to maintain regular flights between cities, sometimes the regularity is a bit more stretched than we would anticipate.

This is some of the beauty of a predetermined route on a train.

This, however, can also be a curse as the train will be forced to stop at the stations along the way (unless, of course, it is an express route).

Moreover, please be mindful that in most other countries it is not entirely unusual that you won’t have your own private space all to yourself.

While we can all hope that meeting people on a train is like something out of Harry Potter, we need to understand that people enjoy their privacy – even in close proximity inside a booth.

Think of it like you would any sort of public transit like a bus or light rail car and know that it is perfectly acceptable to avoid conversation and eye contact (though you should take this great opportunity to make travel partners or strike up a wonderful conversation from a unique perspective!).

One rule that remains similar to other forms of mass transit – make sure you arrive early.

While an early train is not likely to leave ahead of schedule it certainly doesn’t hurt to plan for certain travel externalities – delays in ticket purchases/acquisition, slow security, traffic issues, etc.

There is nothing worse than knowing that you have to wait for the next train on your route – maybe until the next day!

Overall, train trips can be exciting and trains are certainly an engaging form of travel. There is wondrous beauty to be observed from the windows of a train and one should not pass up this exciting opportunity.

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