“Traveling by train is a fabulous way to see any country unfold,” Society of International Railway Travelers President Eleanor Hardy tells The New York Times’ travel writer Shivani Vora.
Look for the story’s print version to appear this Sunday, Dec. 4, in the Times Travel section.
The Times shared four of Mrs. Hardy tips: Pick the right train, make sure it matches your budget, pack light and plan wisely.
Her fifth tip — book with an experienced travel advisor — didn’t make the cut. But it’s important nonetheless:
“If you value your time and you want the best value, and the right cabin on the right train — not to mention your piece of mind — book your rail journey with an experienced rail specialist.
“We’ve worked with some of our suppliers for over three decades. They know us. They trust us. That’s especially important when the unexpected happens,” Mrs. Hardy said.
Mrs. Hardy cites VIA Rail Canada’s Canadian and the Rocky Mountaineer as ideal for families with young children. She recommends Golden Eagle’s 21-day Beijing-Moscow Silk Road and Rovos Rail’s 15-day Cape Town-Dar es Salaam tours for a longer, more relaxed rail trip.
Mrs. Hardy’s rail travel luggage recommendations? “Take no more than one small roller bag and one small backpack per person,” she says.
Finally, avoid the three mistakes “rookie” rail travelers make:
- Confirm the station from which your train departs (many cities have several);
- Buy your rail ticket before you leave home (they sell out fast); and
- Allow plenty of time before and after your rail trip, so you’ll have ample time to make your connections.
“Flights can be delayed…trains can be late,” she tells the Times. “And you don’t want to be ruining your relaxing time on the train worrying about making your flight.”
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