At first sight, you might think it sounds obvious. A complete and utter no brainer. And yet, it’s surprising just how much the inclusion- or indeed omission- of a single item can enhance or completely derail the considerable potential pleasures of a long distance train journey.
In the haste of all that packing and preparation, please do not forget to get dressed before your journey to the station. You may, indeed, be quivering with anticipation at the prospect of a rail journey, but even the most battle hardened of rail adventurers really does not need to see all that quivering as you sit there, starkers from head to foot. And imagine the effect on the poor guard.
For sure, don’t leave home without them. just because you happen to be gloriously ensconced in a mobiles free, ‘quiet carriage’, that is no deterrent to the potential tidal wail of a battalion of satanic, snot sucking little savages, for whom the sweetie trolley can never arrive quickly enough.
Similarly, should you have the incredible ill fortune to find yourself squashed like an emaciated straw in a carriage full of tanked up, singing and swearing post match football supporters, you’ll also find ear plugs to be a blessing. Don’t just expect their husbands to keep them in order- get pro active.
Food and snacks:
Don’t take it for granted that every long haul train will be operating a full catering service. Things can- and do- go wrong. From non delivery of actual food stocks to a chef calling in sick at the last possible moment, it’s always wise to have a little something in reserve. A bottle of wine and some plastic glasses seldom comes in wrong. And you’re much more likely to find that the prices are cheaper outside the confines of the train than on board, in any event.
A padlock for your luggage:
I don’t know about you, but I’m always vaguely uneasy when my luggage is out of direct sight, stashed in those open lockers at the end of the corridor. There’s a veritable conga line of humanity going past it during the journey- to the buffet, the toilet, or just people getting exercise. Most are obviously honest, but don’t give that one-in-a-hundred opportunist even the sniff of a chance. Buy a lock, and secure both your luggage and your own piece of mind.
Your sense of humour:
Please, please- don’t leave home without this. You’ll doubtless need it to a greater or lesser degree at some stage during your journey, and it will certainly help to pass the time in a more amenable way than might otherwise be the case.