If you’re heading out into the big wide world to travel, the chances are good you’ll be spending some time on a train. Rail is an efficient, convenient mode of transportation in many countries, and, in certain destinations, it’s also pretty safe. However, even these, well-policed, secure train systems are not completely crime-proof, and it’s always a good idea to have your wits about you, and to take certain precautions. To help you enjoy peace of mind on your journey, I’ve put together a list of 7 tips for safe travel by train.
In order to avoid leaving possessions at home or losing track of where you’ve stowed certain items, make sure you’ve finished your packing in good time. Also, ensure that you’ve got enough baggage padlocks to fit all your luggage. Often, people decide to buy this kind of thing at the station, and the result is invariably disaster: you might forget, the shop may have run out, or the product available might not fit your bag … you get the picture.
2. Keep Your Documents on Your Person
Never put your personal papers into your main luggage. Instead, carry thing like your ID, your driver’s license and, most importantly, your passport, in a rucksack that you carry with you at all times. This way, if your luggage is delayed, or worse, stolen, you’ll still have all your important documentation.
3. Don’t Wander
Train travel, like air travel, often involves long period of waiting. Often, you may find yourself saddled with all of luggage at the station, and this can be annoying, especially if there are shops to look at and comfy benches to nap on. Whatever you do, don’t ever walk away from your bags or go to sleep while you’re ‘watching’ them.
4. Double Check Your Bags
Before stowing your bags, double check that each one is padlocked, that all the zips are fully closed and that everything that needs to be strapped up is secured correctly. Remember that if your bag isn’t properly shut, items will more than likely fall out and get left behind.
5. Bicycle Chains
Once you have stowed your luggage in the racks, it is a good idea to secure it there with bicycle chains or similar. Choose a variety with a combination lock; this way you won’t need to keep track of a key – just don’t forget the code!
6. Know the Layout of the Train
As soon as you get onto the train, take in the layout of your car. If your luggage is in the same carriage as you are, consider whether or not you’ll be able to see it easily from where you’re sitting, and a make a note to check it every now and then if you can’t keep a constant eye on it.
7. Exit Intelligently
When you are getting off the train, try not to take out pieces of your luggage so that some remains on the train and some stands unguarded on the platform. If you’re travelling with a friend, organise a system that ensures your bags are never unattended, and if you are alone, enlist the assistance of a rail attendant.
Train travel is part and parcel of touring so many countries in the world, and, while it is not necessarily a risky business across the board, it is always a good idea to follow certain security guidelines. Hopefully, this list of 7 tips for safe train travel will help you to enjoy a pleasant trip; do you have any suggestions to add to it?
Top Photo Credit: austinevan