Trains are still a great way to get around, even if they’re not always as reliable as we want them to be. If you don’t have a car or you don’t feel like a road trip with the kids, taking a train is a great alternative. In fact, it can sometimes be much faster. And trains aren’t just a form of transport, either. They can be a lot of fun for kids, especially if you seek out fun train journeys. Sometimes public transport with your children can be tough, though, so it’s best to be prepared. If you’re planning a train journey at home or abroad, try these tips.
Book In Advance
When you’re travelling as a family, sitting together is always best. You don’t want to have to stand or sit your child halfway down the carriage from you. Some services aren’t so busy, so you could risk buying your tickets on the day without seat reservations. If there are only two of you, or maybe three, it can be a bit easier to find seats. But if you book your tickets in advance, you can reserve a table if you need one. That gets you four seats (if there are four of you), a proper table, and often somewhere to plug in devices to charge too. Remember that children under 5 usually travel for free, but you need to buy them a ticket if you want to reserve a seat.
There are lots of fun things you can do with the kids by looking out the window or engaging them in conversation. I-Spy and other great travel games are always pretty good for keeping them occupied. But if you struggle to keep them engaged or you want a break, it’s useful to have some other entertainment with you. Long train journeys, in particular, can benefit from a tablet with a safe kids app installed, some colouring books, books to read, and maybe some toys. Just think of other passengers and make sure you have kids headphones for anything that has audio.
Pack Food and Drink
Many trains do have a cafe or catering carriage, especially for long routes. However, it’s not necessarily a good idea to rely on them or on the trolley coming around. Firstly, you don’t want to leave the kids while you go to the cafe or drag them with you. Secondly, anything you buy on the train will be expensive. And if you’ve got fussy kids, you want to make sure you have something they like. So try to pack your own food and drink if you want to save money and prevent the kids from going hungry.
Don’t Just Use Trains to Get from A to B
Trains are great for getting around, but that’s not their only purpose. They’re also good fun. If you’re looking for a fun day out, a trip on a steam train is fantastic for the whole family. You can try trains like the Avon Valley Railway train. But it doesn’t have to be a steam train. Lots of journeys can be a fun experience, from taking a sleeper train to or from Scotland to getting on the Eurostar or riding a double-decker train in Switzerland.
Train journeys can be fun for all the family, even if you view them as a necessary evil. Plan your journey well, and everyone will enjoy it.