Although traveling by train may sometimes be the most cost-effective or the easiest route from point A to B, it can also be the most relaxing and the most scenic. Enjoying a train trip, especially in the fall, often comes down to how prepared you are for the journey. If you don’t pack the proper items or forget some of the most crucial luggage items, you may find yourself wishing you’d stayed at the station. Lucky for you, we’ve compiled our must-bring pieces as well as some bits of info!

Because it’s fall, the weather can certainly be iffy. We suggest packing outerwear and layers, so you can wear them or strip them off as needed. Sometimes, the trains can be pumping AC as well, so it’s always beneficial to bring jackets and even a blanket if it’s a longer journey. We also suggest packing for the elements, which most likely means rain gear, but, if you’re venturing into the mountains, you can’t be remiss to prep for some snow fall, especially in the later fall months. Outerwear can also be used to snuggle up on the train for a mid-day or overnight naps.

Just because your train may offer food or beverage services doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pack some snacks of your own. Everyone has their favorite road trip snack, or it may be beneficial to pack food to save some extra money to spend when you’re out and about at your destination. If you’re focused on more health-conscious options, packing your own food also ensures you can have the most nutritious options regardless of what’s available. Hydration is also key, so be sure to bring empty water bottles or even other drinks you may be craving, such as teas or coffee, if you prefer. Coolers may also come in handy for packing items that need to stay refrigerated.

We mentioned outerwear, but what about your first layer. It’s crucial to wear comfortable clothes because train rides, although scenic and eventful, can be long. Just like any long road trip in a car, you will want to wear comfortable, stretchy clothing that you can move around and walk around easily in.

On the topic of comfort, you can also find items that were made for train and long travel days, such as inflatable footrests and seat cushions. Just as if you were sitting at your office desk for an entire day, sitting in a train seat can often get uncomfortable, so ensure you’re ready for a long trip with the proper enhancements.

Some fall train rides may take you to new places overnight. If that’s the case, be sure to pack a travel pillow, a blanket, and even an eye mask to ensure you can get a good night’s sleep. Don’t forget your cosmetics and other essentials for your pre-bed routine, too. You should also think about bringing noise-canceling headphones or ear plugs just in case those around you aren’t as sleepy as you or if the train may be louder than you’re used to. 

Electronics are incredibly useful for those long fall journeys, too. We certainly suggest maximizing the time gazing out the window, but, for when it’s dark outside or for when you need to pass the time, loading up movies onto a tablet or phone can be incredibly easy ways to make the time fly by. Books, headphones, podcasts and music are also great ways to drown out other noise. If you do plan to read, don’t forget about a portable light or headlamp, though. We also suggest portable chargers as well because we all know that low battery notice is the worst when you’re nowhere close to an outlet. For activities outside of screens and devices, there’s also countless ways to keep yourself and your company busy with travel games and even a pack of cards. Because electronics can be pricey, we suggest bringing luggage locks, not only for these small devices, but for your overall luggage and bags as well just for extra measure.

One note we don’t want you to overlook is safety. Although most trains can and should be highly focused on this, especially now, we still suggest bringing sanitizing wipes, hand sanitize and other personal health and safety travel kits to ensure you feel safe and stay healthy while you’re traveling. Don’t forget a bag for dirties as well as something to carry your items with down the hall if you plan to shower or tidy up mid-journey.

And finally, it may seem like no brainer, but don’t forget your travel documents, train tickets, ID, wallet and anything else you may need, especially if your fall journey may be taking you cross-country or even out of the country. For those longer trips, grab your passport, and ensure it’s not expiring during your trip.