Research the different rail passes available
If you are planning to see numerous countries it may be wise to consider investing in an Interrail Pass, or what non-EU citizens call the Eurail Pass. An Interrail Pass will make your train voyage easier. However, if you are on a tighter budget, individual tickets may work out cheaper (especially if you’re mainly traveling east of Germany). Consider your budget and do some research before you book your rail pass.
Try to reserve your seats
Train tickets and seat reservations are two different things. A ticket allows you to board a train, and a reservation guarantees you a seat on a specific train. Before your trip make sure you understand whether your train requires, recommends, or doesn’t accept seat reservations.
If possible, try to reserve your seat, especially if you are traveling in uber-popular countries such as France, Italy or Spain. For most trains, you are not required to reserve your seat, however, boarding the train and hoping for the best is not a good idea. You could be told to get out of your seat mid-journey if someone else has booked it. By reserving your place, you can choose whether you would like an aisle or window seat. You can sit back and enjoy the ride knowing you won’t be interrupted to move.
Keep your belongings safe
European train travel is known as one of the safest ways to travel. However, it is important to keep an eye out for pickpocketers, particularly with trains that stop in major cities. Don’t leave your luggage unguarded on the train or in the station. On night trains, if you intend to sleep, make sure to secure baggage to the rack with a small bicycle lock. To have peace of mind, wear a waist pack under your clothes to keep your passport, phone and any important documents protected from any potential thieves.
Less is more – tips for traveling by train in Europe
Going from country to country or city to city is a fun and exciting journey. However, the trip can become tiring if you are carrying a heavy load. Pack the essentials and leave any items or products that are not needed behind.
Depending on the train you are traveling on, there can be limited storage space in over-seat racks and shelves at the ends of carriages. Instead of carrying a big and heavy suitcase, a quality lightweight backpack is another way to lighten your load.
Pack the right supplies for the journey
Traveling through Europe provides sensational views; however, it is a good idea to bring a few key items to help you pass the time especially if you are embarking on a journey of more than 2 hours. Read a book, watch a movie on your tablet, write in your travel journal or strike up a conversation with another passenger and before you know it you will be at your next destination.
Most trains have either a restaurant, café carriages or snack carts that come by selling sandwiches, soft drinks and more. But if you are on a tight traveling budget or you have specific dietary requirements, it is wise to bring some snacks with you on your journey.