a train holiday
Hoping a train during our Sundarbans National Park tour

How To Take Your Family On A Train Holiday

Unfortunately, any mode of transportation emits carbon dioxide and other pollutants that create environmental impacts. But if you can choose the lesser evil among them, the rail transport systems have been known to have the lowest emissions per distance traveled. For such reason, it makes it the most environmentally-friendly way to move from one location to the next. So, why not take a train holiday?

If you’re thinking of having a train holiday with your family soon, it would be wise to make early planning and preparation. Riding the train with your family is a lot of fun, as there are more times and opportunities to bond and make lasting memories. If you’re considering going from Sydney to Perth by train, bringing your family on a train holiday is a great decision.

In fact, many destinations around the world are easily and interestingly reached by train! One train trip we can highly recommend is heading from Hong Kong to Guilin for the weekend, but of course, there are scores more.


Before you book your rail tickets, consider the following tips on taking a train holiday with your family.

Decide On Your Route And Destination

When traveling, you usually know your point of origin and your destination, but another important detail is your route of choice. There could be different ranges of points to go from and to, and it’s wise to be familiar with these routes early on. When traveling on a train holiday with your family, choose the most beneficial and enjoyable route for everyone.   

When you consider traveling with small children or elderly family members, choose a route that allows everyone to be comfortable on the train ride. If there’s one train ride that doesn’t require transfers or changing trains, it would be better. You can choose this option even when it takes a bit longer since it’ll ultimately be more comfortable for your family.

However, if you’re riding with an infant or an impatient toddler, you may consider shortening the train ride as much as possible, as they won’t be able to sit still for a long time. The key is to decide the most comfortable route based on who is along for your holiday.

Book Your Train Tickets Early

The early bird gets the worm, and it’s true when booking your tickets early. Often the prices go up if you wait too long to book your tickets. Also, if you want to sit together with your family members on your train holiday, you’ll want to book early to ensure you can get the group of seats you’d like.

Often, you can secure tables or other seat preferences which may otherwise no longer be available if you purchase your tickets late.  

You may also find the best seats nearer to the baggage compartment so you can easily hop in and out of the train. As for tall family members, you can find seats that work perfectly for their long legs. Booking tickets early is one way to get more out of a holiday trip.  

Be On Time Or Better Yet Early

To ensure a train holiday that is as smooth as possible, make it a habit to always be early or on time. It’s good practice to hang out in the terminal than be stuck in a taxi and miss your train because of the crazy traffic. Prepare your bags and locate your platform 30 minutes before your train departs to ensure a smooth trip.   

Also, keep an eye out to see if your departure track changes at the last minute.

Once you’re settled down in the train station, you can quickly check your destination, itinerary, tickets, food, and more details. It gives you ample time to prepare more for the long train ride. There should also be enough time for your children to go to the toilet and for you to refresh.   

By having enough time, you won’t feel stressed and rushed. You won’t be able to anticipate how crowded train stations can be, so it’s ideal always to arrive earlier than your scheduled departure. After all, there are enough seats and lounges for you and your family to stay in while you wait to board your train.    

Don’t Forget To Bring Some Snacks

Going on a long trip would mean you need to replenish everyone’s tummy once in a while. It’s practical to bring snacks that are best for the entire family. Chances are, the food sold in terminals or on the train is limited and often quite expensive. In such a case, it’s better to bring your preferred snacks.  

Keep enough treats to hand to your children so they won’t feel hungry. If you bring a small cooler or insulated lunch bag, you can bring snacks that must be kept cool. We recommend granola bars or granola as they are both nutritious and delicious.


Don’t forget to bring beverages, too. Getting dehydrated on a train holiday, let alone anywhere, isn’t fun.

And if you choose to bring a few special treats, that’s certainly always nice, but we recommend limiting the sugary stuff to a minimum, as you won’t want your kids bouncing off the walls and bothering other people on the train.

Keep Your Children Entertained

Children can quickly get bored when they run out of activities to do. Traveling on a train means they won’t be able to run around or play their favorite games. The best option is to find other activities to keep them busy and entertained. Grab this opportunity to play a family board game. A good collection of portable art supplies is also one of our go-tos.

Another option is to let your kids learn a lot through the windows. You can tell them stories while showing them different flora and fauna views from outside the train. Whether you’re traveling in urban or rural settings, there will surely be fresh sights for your children to appreciate and wonder about.    

While on the train, many passengers enjoy listening to music, playing games, having great conversations, or just relaxing and taking in the scenery. It’s wise to bring some devices and tools to keep your family entertained. Also, for parents who allow screen time to their kids, it’s smart to bring in a power bank if your smart devices need to be charged.   

Be Well-Prepared

When planning a train holiday with the family, it’s important to be well-prepared. This tip applies to every context that you can think of. From packing to itinerary planning, always be well-prepared. If it’s going to be the first train travel for some family members, consider how they’ll react and respond to crowded terminals or full-packed trains. 

As a responsible traveler, always carry a first-aid kit and bring all medicines and necessities to help your family feel better during a long train ride. It’s important to do your research on how to keep your children busy and distracted so they won’t be bored during the trip. And if you’re prone to motion sickness, a good supply of plastic bags is a good idea too.

Avoid Overpacking For A Train Holiday

Travel as lightly as possible. You’re already dealing with tasks such as keeping track of your kids and tending to them. Carrying more luggage will tire you out even more. You need to bring snacks, your personal handbag, and baby essentials in your hands. So, it makes sense to have only a few pieces of luggage for a train holiday.  

Fortunately, there are many tips to pack light and efficiently. Despite traveling with kids, you can make way by only bringing enough clothes and essentials to make the trip successful and productive. There are also alternative options for things that are too heavy to bring. For instance, some baby strollers come with lightweight options that are travel-friendly.   


A train holiday can be a great and memorable experience with the family, so now’s the time to consider planning one. It’s a great time to have some fun with your family on a long-distance train. All you need to do is apply the abovementioned pointers to make your train travel seamless, successful, safe and fun!


  1. Nancy Dyck Reply

    I enjoyed this article…I am thinking I might like to take the train from Calgary to Vancouver through the mountains…

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