Trans Siberian Railway Preparation: How Not to Have a Bad Trip
Travelling across vast spaces requires a wee bit of planning in advance especially if that space is Siberia. Let’s take a high-level look at what it takes to travel like a seasoned traveller.
Of all the railways in the world, the Trans Siberian Railway is probably my favourite. The reasons I am in love with these particular railways are two-fold; right off the bat, for a history buff like myself, these railways have served as a centre-pivot in history and secondly they’re just really awesome journeys.
The Trans Siberian railway comes in first because it is absolutely epic: the scenery, the rickety train cars, the sheer length and breadth of the ride, and how old-school it is to travel via such an aging railway.
I’ve taken this trip from Europe to Asia a number of times and I’ve probably written more pages in one of the Trans Siberian railway cars than I have in a year back at home. Second only to Manhattan, I’ve never felt as inspired as I have coasting along the tracks in Siberia.
And do you know why I have been able to sit back, relax, and write my heart’s content in a rail car on the longest railway on earth? Because I always come prepared; I’ve had years to perfect my experience and I’d like to lend a little hand to our readers so you can too.
How to Travel on the Trans Siberian Railway like a Pro
If you’re going to do the Trans Siberian, it’s best to be prepared with a few key travel accessories; let’s break it down.
DO Pack the Right Mobile Applications
I’m not going to list off specific applications because they’re a dime-a-dozen and ever-changing (and I’d like to keep this evergreen) however here are some key things to keep in mind when loading up your smart phone before your journey:
- Does your app work offline? Google Maps is great, however there are other map applications that will allow you to view maps offline. Bear in mind that GPS works without an internet connection, it’s the maps loading that usually require a data package.
- Translation apps. Google oddly likes to always know where you are, that’s why they always require an internet connection but there are a whole selection of language translation applications other than the infamous Google Translate that do not require an internet connection. I hear the latest version might work offline. You might want to investigate that.
DO Pack the Right Tech
- Smart phones and “phablets” eliminate the need for bulky laptops
- USB battery packs are handy-dandy!
- Bring a note pad and some pencils and a sharpener –the world’s first tablet, no batteries required
DO Consider this Other Stuff
Some other noteworthy things to pack include a tin metal cup, a book or two, neck pillow, and I suggest buying snacks along the way. There are plenty of opportunities to pick up some good eats from ladies that line the track at train stops. Heck, even packing oatmeal might be clever.
And about that tin cup? Well, the water provided on the train is warm to hot because that’s the most sanitary way you can get it. I’ve travelled the world, and I never leave home without one. You can cook with it, drink and eat out of it, and it makes a great musical instrument.
- Be in a hurry
- Starve yourself trying to save a buck or avoid getting off the train, you’ll get cranky
- Avoid talking to people; strangers are almost always just friends you haven’t gotten to know yet
- Spend the whole time with your face in front of a smart phone
- Take more selfies than scenic shots; cameras point away from your face for a reason.