How to Survive an Overnight Train Trip With Your Family

When it comes to making a trip enjoyable for your kids, what immediately comes to mind? Is it a road trip? Maybe you’re thinking about taking a plane somewhere on an international trip? But how about a train instead? If you think about it, there’s actually this romantic lure of the railway—there’s something undeniably magical about chugging along in an overnight train, watching the world blur by from the comfort of your compartment. Besides, train travel is way better than it used to be. 

While it still might not be an Orient Express journey, train travel for families has at least gotten better.  But when you’re sharing that small space with the whole family, that charm can quickly turn into a challenge, especially when the hours start to stretch, and everyone’s feeling a bit cramped. Alright, so plane travel can be incredibly cramped, but yeah, there is something even more uncomfortable about having to be on a train for long hours at a time- it’s usually longer than air travel, too. 

But it’s doesn’t need to be terrible, really it doesn’t. In fact, you can turn a potentially stressful journey into a memorable family adventure. So, with that all said, here’s how to keep things smooth and enjoyable on your overnight train ride.

Bring Some Pillows and Blankets

Basically, you want to bring anything and everything you can to make sure that this is a comfortable trip. But at the same time, less is more when traveling, especially on a train. Space is at a premium in sleeper cabins, and clutter can add to the stress. So just be sure you all don’t forget to bring along a lightweight blanket or travel pillows to make your sleeping arrangements more comfortable. The ones that trains provide are usually not the most comfortable. 

Bring Essentials and Entertainment

Be sure to bring along items like snacks, water, toiletries and entertainment. Having essentials handy can make the journey smoother.

Honestly, the only way to make sure that anyone survives these long rides is through entertainment. Besides, long train journeys can be boring, especially for kids, and overnight where there is not much to see, so come prepared with a variety of activities.

What do you find entertaining? What do your kids find entertaining? It might help to load up on apps for your phone and tablet like Solitaire (or just use a browser), maybe a podcast app, music, videos (like downloading movies via the Netflix app), and so on. Headphones can be a lifesaver for keeping noise levels down.

While yes, you could go for the more old-fashioned way of entertainment like travel cards for real solitaire or Rummy, and books too, but why? Again, less is more when it comes to packing and going digital makes it easier. Just make sure to pack some power bricks of course. 

Take Shifts

If you’re traveling with your partner or another adult, consider taking shifts to handle the kids, especially if they’re younger. One can sleep while the other plays games or reads stories. This way, everyone gets some rest, and no one person has to be “on duty” the whole time. Usually, this is only needed for a young child. 

It will help to establish a bedtime routine similar to what you do at home. This might involve changing into pajamas, brushing teeth, and settling in for the night. Routines help signal to your body that it’s time to sleep.

Snack Smartly

While it’s tempting to indulge in train station snacks, try to opt for healthier options to avoid feeling sluggish during the journey. Pack a variety of snacks to cater to the different tastes and preferences of your family members.

Just Explore the Train

If it’s safe and allowed, take some time to walk through the train with your kids. Exploring the dining car or simply strolling down the aisles can break the monotony. Familiarize yourself with emergency procedures and exits on the train, just as a precaution, and remember to supervise your children closely and respect other passengers’ space.

Enjoy the Experience

An overnight train journey can be a unique and memorable experience for the whole family. Take the time to appreciate the journey, enjoy the scenery, and make lasting memories together.

By following these tips and maintaining a positive attitude, you can turn your overnight train ride with your family into a fun and enjoyable adventure!

2020 Kimberly Signature

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