Rail vacations FAQ’s


Will I have enough time in each place?

Railway vacations are as much about the vacation as the rail. They are designed for people who relish rail travel but also want to get off the train and explore more than on your average coach tour, for example. So, in general, railway vacation suppliers are proponents of slow travel, giving you a couple of days in favourite spots along the way. Transits are organised when necessary from the train station and back again, and unless it is a very independent style railway vacation, you will often be met by a local guide at the railway station.

Will I be traveling with a group?

Quite a few of our rail vacations are tailor made to suit your timing, but some, like the Reunification Express in Vietnam, Trans-Mongolian Express and the Moorish Spain to Marrakech by rail vacations are in small groups with maximum group size of 16 travelers. However, this doesn’t mean that you will feel ‘chaperoned’ – it is your vacation after all, but it means that a group leader will be on hand to assist with anything you need during your time in the places you visit along the way. And it means you can totally chill when it comes to connections and reservations.

Will I be in a first class carriage?

Again this depends on the trip. It’s first class all the way on the super luxurious “El Transcantabrico” train that shimmies its way rather sleekly across Northern Spain. Or the Maharajas’ Express, which takes you to all points on India’s Golden Triangle in award winning luxury. As part of the Scotland Luxury Rail Vacation, you travel first class on the Jacobite steam train from Fort William to Mallaig, over the equally first class Glenfinnan viaduct and top notch highland scenery, as well as a first class Scotrail service back down through the Highlands to Pitlochry.

Do we always sleep on trains?

On most of our rail vacations, you get off the train at night and stay at locally owned accommodation. There are sleepover parties to be had, however, especially on the long distance journeys such as the Tran-Mongolian Express or the Reunification Express in Vietnam. Traveling by night means that you often have the whole day free for sightseeing as well, such as on the Maharajas’ Express.

How will the food be?

In general, it is always good to stock up on snacks before you board a train. There are exceptions, of course, but food and trains do not usually a happy marriage make. You will have an adventure, however, on board the likes of the Trans-Mongolian Express, where the buffet cars change according to the country you are in: Russia, Mongolia and China. So, lunch is chicken or meat borsht in Russia, with vodka flowing freely, rice and mutton in Mongolia, and a proverbial Chinese cacophony once you cross that border.

Are there luggage restrictions?

The joy of not flying is that you don’t have the luggage restrictions. However, you really don’t want to be hauling big, cumbersome suitcases on and off trains, especially if they are crowded and there isn’t much time at one spot. Try and pack lightly, and have all your immediate requirements in a daypack that is kept by your feet, or overhead.
Photo credits: [Enough time in each place?: Dave Sizer] [Traveling with a group?: shankar s.] [First class carriage?: karendesuyo] [Sleep on train?: Benjamin Vander Steen] [Food?: Jorge Láscar] [Luggage restrictions?: Alberto Fava]
Scotland by railway vacation

Scotland by railway vacation

Experience authentic Scotland independently and car-free

From £1025 8 Days ex flights
West Highland Line railway vacation in Scotland

West Highland Line railway vacation in Scotland

Take the "The World's Best Rail Journey" to the Isle of Skye

From £685 4 Days ex flights
Ireland vacation by train

Ireland vacation by train

Discover contrasts of Dublin, Galway and Belfast, car-free.

From £820 8 Days ex flights
Thailand by rail holiday

Thailand by rail vacation

Get a real taste of Thailand by traveling the local way

From £1048 13 Days ex flights
Complete India by rail, 6 weeks

Complete India by rail, 6 weeks

A 6 week trip that circles India by train

From US $4207 46 Days ex flights
Trans Mongolian express rail tour, Beijing to St Petersburg

Trans Mongolian express rail tour, Beijing to St Petersburg

ride the rails on this once-in-a-lifetime trip

From US $3690 21 Days ex flights
Japan small group vacation by bullet train

Japan small group vacation by bullet train

Japan's must-see cities and beautiful, rural countryside

From £3595 14 Days ex flights
Photo credits: [Page banner: Belur Ashok]
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