Apart from being an escape from our usual hectic lives, travelling is a great way to gain and learn new experiences. My buddy from Germany, Martin, once said, “My grandmother told me that we must learn at least one new thing everyday“. Well, by travelling, you can learn tons of new things.
To travel, some prefer to do it by air, some like to do it overland, either by driving or taking the bus or train. Some even opt for water transportation like boats or ferries. The choice is yours.
Here are 7 Reasons Why You Should Opt For Rail Travel
1. Trust me. It is cheap!
When low budget airlines are having their promotions, you might get $0 fares but you still have to pay for the taxes and not to forget, your luggages and meals. It is always a luck game with airfares. Plus, when you are buying your last minute tickets, the prices escalate like rockets! Whereas, train fares are much cheaper and usually the same regardless when you buy them.
2. The view
If you are driving especially on the long and never-ending highway, you will not get much of a view. Taking the airplane? It might be okay for a short journey but 4 hours of looking at the same old clouds without any in-flight entertainment could be quite torturous. This is when travelling by train takes the cake. Rail travel provides a great deal of different and beautiful views along the way. From the greens to the hills to paddy fields to small undiscovered towns. You will definitely be amazed by the views.
3. More luggage space!
No-frills airlines only allow about 7 kg of hand-carry luggages and the others must be checked-in, with extra payment of course. Other hybrid or premium airlines might allow you to check-in your luggages free of charge if they weigh from 15 kg to 20-30kg. But one day, say you go travelling somewhere and decide to splurge on awesome deals and you realise that your luggage is now over 40 kg?! Try taking the train and see how much do they charge you. It is absolutely F-R-E-E. As long as you can handle your belongings, normally train operators will not charge you a single cent for your luggages.
4. The sounds!
No other mode of transportation can provide you with a variety of sounds during travelling. My experience riding a train in Thailand was an unforgettable one. Apart from the whistle, the moving train and the bells, the sounds of sellers selling their food and drinks on the couch were amazing. Throughout my 18 hour journey from Hat Yai to Bangkok, these vendors went back and forth the coaches speaking in Thai.
5. Meet new people!
Train travel is one of the best medium for travellers to meet new people. Generally, people in trains seem to be more friendly and approachable. Besides, if you do not fancy the person seated next to you, you can walk from coach to coach or spend the whole journey at the cafe. And if you like the person seated next to you, the conversation can be continued at the cafe over snacks and drinks.
6. Unlimited use of gadgets!
When you are on an airplane, you have to turn off your electronic gadgets. Throughout the flight, you are restricted to use only your camera and music player. Try making a phone call, and the stewardess will quickly ask you to switch off your gadget. If you are driving, you know what awaits you if you use your phones. Either a ticket from the police or a ticket to heaven or hell if you are unlucky. With train travel, you can use your gadgets freely. If you have Internet data plans, you can even do your usual selfies and “[Insert Name] checked in at….” posts from your Facebook account!
7. No groping!
A disclaimer from me. I am not encouraging you to smuggle drugs, illegal stuffs or the likes via train. But come on, even on domestic flights, you have to take off your rings, coins, phones, belts, you name it. You can avoid all that hassle by taking the train. Just enter a you please and yes, no groping!
There are obviously other advantages of taking the train but here are my top favourites. For those who are into backpacking, rail travel is the best way to experience the countryside and other secluded parts of a country.
Give it a try the next time you plan your holiday and I am sure the experience will be special. Happy travelling… by train!