Thursday, 3 December, 2020

Read this in: German

Some do it daily, some hardly ever – train. For me trains and now also public transport of all kinds have become an integral part of my life. As a teenager, I still had luck and had to commute only from the age of 6 years – this luxury had almost no one in my more rural area, so some was happy, if you are 16 years and then 18 years old and only go scooter and could then buy their own car.

My favorite vehicle for traveling

Maybe that’s why I have my own connection to the train. It was so much more practical in my youth to do homework again or to learn for a retreat instead of being stuck in traffic in Cuxhaven. On Instagram, I often talk about traveling by train. And frankly, I’m surprised how little they say they enjoy traveling by train. It is honestly my favorite travel agent. At the airport there are always these long waiting times. By contrast, one is always on the move with a fast train, the landscape rushes past one. A very nice feeling and I love it when I drive to the south after my usual stopover in Göttingen and wonder how fast such an ICE breaks through Hesse.

Picture of train station hall with several trains

One would have to think that I am tired of traveling by train, but on the contrary: I do not only like to travel within Germany – I have traveled by train several times in Switzerland, the Netherlands or the United Kingdom.

Traveling with tradition

Maybe that’s also because, as a kid, I’ve often traveled by train and public transport with the Boy Scouts. At some point we got out and walked the rest of the way. So you had good time, sometimes to recover or just still a piece of train to drive, if then someone made time limp. That’s how I knew it, that sometimes you sat 12 hours on the train. And even for a concert in Cologne, I drove for 1 hour with a cross through the country ticket and a girlfriend, as it stormed on New Year’s Eve, but it took longer than regular. Therefore, I’m really glad that I can afford the luxury of fast trains in the meantime:

Since from time to time a train journey can not be avoided, here are my must haves for a train ride. It does not matter if it’s an hour or a day, you should always be prepared, as the Scouts say.

Picture of a dining car in a train with place setting

Not every train has the luxury of an on-board restaurant. If in doubt, you should always be able to provide yourself with the train.

Compact emergency snack

Everyone around me now knows that I always have them with me: nuts for emergencies. Nuts are just an incredibly practical emergency ration for each of us, not just vegans like me. They are space-saving and energy-rich, so even a small tin or pack is enough to replace a small meal. If you have a delay or the train gets stuck somewhere and you wait for rail replacement, you are very grateful for that.

Never without water

It does not matter if it’s 20 minutes or 4 hours – I always have enough liquid. That has to be easy. Because even here you never know if you will not get stuck somewhere. Not always a snack seller is there or a Bordbistro available, it is better, you cover yourself with drinks. And you do not have to get a coffee to go in a paper cup every time. How to travel with sustainable beverage packaging, I have already described a little in the last blog post.

People on the move on a platform with a train entering

Sometimes it seems to be a lot of crazy, what I take on holiday. However, you are always happy when you have everything ready. I’ve never had a train ride where I needed at least 3 or 4 of these things. Mostly I use all on longer trips.

Noise protection measures

The topic of noise on the train varies from ride to ride. Since I know my Pappenheimer yes with daily Zugfahrroutine, I have after all these years already something like a feeling for which train connection is reasonably quiet and is well suited to work or relax. But every now and then you have even at 7 clock in the morning ICE a bachelor party with Ghettoblaster. That surprises me again and again. That’s why I always have headphones in my pocket.

For a long time I did not really know what I should hear when I’m working, because even music or a podcast would distract me as much from work as a noise level. Fortunately, a few years ago I discovered a White Noise app to hide the noise and to my astonishment it worked and I was able to concentrate on my work. Often, these apps also work offline and we train drivers know how important it is not only to rely on the WiFi on board.

a woman looking out of a train window and a blurry landscape

Sometimes, when looking out the window, there is something exciting to discover. My husband was in Munich for the first time. On the way there he saw hops fields for the first time. But sometimes you only take the train through dark tunnels. So it’s better to have a job opportunity.

Pastimes for every taste

For some, it is the eBook Reader, for the other a portable game console or the smartphone with Sudoku or 2048. And for others, it is the newspaper or magazine – but the main thing, you have something to look, read or play with it. Personally, I am not the type of person who can watch shows on the train, because with all the noise there is always something that distracts me.

You do not always have the luxury of pulling the train, the book or cell phone aside, because you can find a conversation partner or the landscape is so beautiful out there. Therefore, you should also think about longer train travel, if you really only takes the smartphone, because unfortunately not every train has sockets to charge the phone. You really should not forget that! Not only once in the last few weeks have I experienced people who strayed through the train with their power supply. They asked for a socket and I had to confess that there is only one outlet for the cleaning crew in this commuter train.

Electricity and the most important things

This brings us to the next essential part that each of us needs on a train journey. Train driving seems so easy, but with all the stations that you cross, you should not underestimate that it is also a lot of time that you spend on the rail. Basically, there are three parts and while I say in all other things: Okay, you can also read something or forget the emergency nuts, which is next to water probably the most important: power bank, Handdesinfektiomittel and handkerchiefs. Because yes, not every train toilet is a nice or well-equipped train toilet and I’ve been lately on IC toilets that were older in age than me. Therefore, it is good, always with power for mobile phones or other devices, handkerchiefs, because you never know and disinfection geil to be equipped.

Because electricity is essential anyway: my ticket is on the smartphone, during the trip I look from time to time and see if my transition really works via the web site. And for the city I travel to, I can pull a local transport ticket online.

Picture of a newspaper woman reading at the platform

When in doubt, it is always better to be able to take off the coat in good weather at the destination. Definitely better than not wrapped up warm and risking a cold. Because even after an hour’s train ride, it can be much windier or colder.

Prepared for every weather

Some people take these croissant cushions with them on vacation to be able to sit or sleep comfortably. As a kid, I also have something for road trips to Scandinavia and found it terrible. It was everything else, but certainly not comfortable. Especially for a train ride this kind of cushion is not needed. As a former Girl Scout I went the other way with the pillow problem. As a scout, you always have a sleeping bag that you could pad out to the pillow and today it is just like me:

Since I also often have heavy weather changes at the train ride from Oldenburg to Hamburg, I always have enough layers of clothing to make pillows and blankets out of them. Train driving often makes us forget the weather – there it is usually warm and comfortable, no matter if summer or winter. Because nothing bothers more than a cold, because you have no cardigan or scarf with it and it is a few degrees colder than the place where you got in.

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