How To Survive A Train Ride

When you hop on the train what you expect is a smooth stress free ride.  

This is what I hoped for when I embarked on my third ever train ride into Toronto to attend an event being held by @PGinsider, PGMom.  Thankfully, because of rude people, delays and food shortage’s on previous trips, this time, I nailed it!

So today I impart on you my wisdom, you know, because after three kinda short train trips (six if you count there and back!) I am clearly an expert!  I offer you my top 7 tips for surviving train travel.

1.Before you even get to the train station make sure your bag is one that meets the regulations for your particular trip.  Thus far I’ve only done fairly short jaunts which means only two carry on size bags.  The problem, I can get an awful lot of crap into those carry on bags.  The trick for me, make sure I can lift those suckers into and onto the baggage racks provided.  You don’t want to pop a rib before you even get out of the gate. 

2.When you are waiting in line in the station, start scoping out your fellow passengers.  Not in a “Ima checkin you out, How You Doin”at the night club kind of way, more in the “If that train is stuffed to capacity who will you be able to stand to sit next to for three hours.”  Then when the crowd starts to move towards the door, move towards said person/people, just in case.  Sounds stalkerish?  Maybe, but it is way better than getting stuck next to the dude who wears his headphones around his neck blaring ACDC and reeking of smoke and BO for the entire trip.  Trust me!

3.Go for the aisle seats.  When the train starts to fill, the windows fill first and the late arrivals sit next to those peeps.  Want  a row of two all to your lonesome?  Aisle seat baby. (are you starting to get the idea that I don’t really like people?  That’s not it, really, I just like my space!)

4.Bring your own snackage.  Yes, there is a trolley that comes along selling you coffee, tea and water for about two bucks a pop, but two out of three trips have seen the snack cart stripped almost bare before it gets to me.  You would like a chocolate bar?  There is only one kind left (not a problem for me, I adore all things chocolate)  You prefer a sandwich, would you like ham or ham.  Hmm Problem. 

5.Ipod and Headphones.  Bring them.  Even though you have scouted out the passengers and carefully selected your seat, you can still get stuck sitting across the aisle from “Girl who must fight with her boyfriend on the phone fro 40 minutes” or a new one for me “The Party Car”  Good grief, I have kids, I know noise, but this last venture had me wondering if I had missed an invite to a bachelorette party.

6.Other smarty pants items to bring:  Laptop! You can not imagine how much work a Mama can get done on an uninterrupted on a train ride.  Book, bottle of water, Gravol (just in case) and gum.  Gum is for you and in case your seat partner had Caesar Salad for lunch.  Yuck.

7. Sit back and enjoy the view and the ride!  Seriously.  I don’t know about you, but I am directionally challenged, and as I mentioned in a previous post have a bad case of backoutitis.  This basically boils down to I don’t love parking.  So knowing that my train is going to get me to my destination on time, and all I have to do is sit back and enjoy the ride is kind of joyful. 

Happy travels!


  1. lovely post enjoyed reading it 🙂 thank you for tips

  2. smiles…some nice tips…i would love to take a train ride again….i love the subway if for no other reason than to people watch…so i always bring a notebook to capture their antics…ha…

  3. Oh I do that train ride a lot with girls living in Toronto and they told me always wear headphones even if they are not plugged into anything as soon as you put them on the person beside you stops talking. I think they were talking about people like me:)
    I would love to sit by you sometime I like the window seat.Imagine the tips we could share:)I love the train you sould do it to Toronto coach fun fun. B

  4. I meant you should do it to Vancouver four night coach. It was fun you would love it. Bring lots of snacks oh you must do it at least once in your life. B

  5. It has been years since I have taken a train – I would love to do it again. sandie

  6. Buttons! That sounds like a fantasitc idea! I am now truly hooked on the train. A longer trip must be added to my life list!

  7. Great ideas! Now, I just need to find some place to take a train trip to. Alone. Because that sounds kinda nice today…. 🙂

  8. The last time I took a train I was 13 years old! Thanks for the good suggestions. Love the gum!

  9. Oh and how about the rowdy group of girls! I always try and stay away from them!! 🙂

  10. LOL. ” The Party Car’!

  11. I haven’t been on a train since I was a kid….sadly, we don’t have them here. 🙂 Glad you worked it all out this time.

  12. Been awhile since I have been on the train, all your tips sound great!

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