When you think of luxury train travel, what comes to mind? Is it the luxury safari adventure that Rovo’s Rail provides? How about dining on Swiss food while riding the Glacier Express? Maybe even dress up to the nines and sit in the Blue Lounge on the Orient Express? No matter what it is, you can absolutely count on luxury train travel to be, well, luxurious! 

However, with that said, not all first class is created equal. Sure, it’s always going to be better than second class, but just as Qatar Airways first class is different than KLM first class, the same can be said for trains, too. All brands and even routes will vary on how luxurious they are. 

But overall, trains offer the charm of traversing landscapes by offering a unique and nostalgic experience. Traveling in first class on a train allows you to savor the journey in a way that air travel can seldom match. But what can you do to transform your journey from a simple ride to a luxurious escapade filled with comfort, elegance, and memorable moments? Well, here’s what you need to know!

You Need to Choose the Right Train

The foundation of an enhanced first-class train experience begins with selecting the right train and route. So ideally, it’s going to be best to opt for scenic routes that showcase breathtaking landscapes and choose a train known for its first-class amenities. Plus better yet, be sure to research the available services and onboard offerings to ensure a journey tailored to your preferences.

Book What You Can in Advance

One thing you need to keep in mind is that securing the best seats in first class is crucial for a comfortable and picturesque journey. Plus, you would think that seats are immediately included; sometimes they are, but surprisingly, not always, especially during high season. Many train services allow passengers to book specific seats in advance, ensuring you have a prime spot with panoramic views and ample legroom. Again, not all do, but if you’re able to book a specific seat, it’s strongly recommended that you do so. 

Pack the Essentials 

 Unlike air travel, train journeys often afford more space and flexibility. Again, on all trains, the comfort levels in first class are going to vary. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t pack up some items to help you, just in case. Just bring your lovely Delsey Paris luggage and pack up something like a small cozy throw blanket, a travel pillow, and other comfort essentials to make your first-class compartment feel like a home away from home. 

This ensures you can relax and unwind as the scenic landscapes unfold outside your window. Again, you should really look at the train you’re riding because if it’s experience-focused, then you won’t have to be concerned about comfort compared to a standard passenger/ commute train.

Think About How You Dress

Even how you dress can play a part in all of this, too! While train travel offers more leeway in attire compared to air travel, consider dressing in comfortable yet elegant clothing. Honestly, it’s going to be a good idea to also opt for breathable fabrics, comfortable shoes, and layers to adapt to changing temperatures.

Think About the Food

If you can, try to indulge in the food. There are a lot of first-class trains that often include gourmet dining options. For example, on Train Italia and Eurostar, first-class members get a meal included. But if you’re riding Deutsch Bahn, then you’ll have to go to the little cafe to get food. 

But you should really just try to embrace the culinary journey by indulging in onboard meals and, if possible, pre-ordering specialty dishes. Think of it this way: in order to just eat a cheap sandwich you bought from the train station grocery store, you could instead be savoring a delightful meal while the train meanders through picturesque landscapes, adding a touch of luxury to your travel experience.

Bring On the Entertainment 

 It’s really going to help if you can enhance your journey with entertainment and relaxation options. You could go the old-fashioned way and pack a good book, go the more modern route and create a curated playlist, or download your favorite movies. Nowadays, if you’re into slow travel, then you might even want to consider bringing a travel journal to document the scenery and capture your reflections along the way.

Are There Onboard Services?

If you get lucky and you’re on a first-class train that has this, be sure to take advantage! For the most part, first-class train compartments often come with dedicated attendants who cater to your needs (not always, but usually). So it’s really going to help if you engage with onboard services to make the most of your experience. Whether it’s assistance with luggage or inquiries about the route, taking advantage of these services adds a layer of convenience to your journey.

On a Tourist Train? Socialize! 

Usually, passenger-based travel doesn’t offer this, but if you’re on a touristy train that’s more focused on experiences, such as Belmond, then you should absolutely get out of your shell and talk. Honestly, meeting people is what makes this experience so special! 

Train travel fosters a sense of community, and first-class carriages often feature communal spaces. Take the opportunity to socialize with fellow travelers, share stories, and exchange recommendations. Plus, building connections can turn your journey into a social and enriching experience. For some experiences, you’ll be dining next to people you don’t know, and train companies want this to feel like a social experience, too. 

Capture the Scenery

One of the unparalleled joys of train travel is the ever-changing scenery outside your window. So why not bring a camera or smartphone to capture the picturesque landscapes, charming villages, and iconic landmarks that unfold during your journey? Honestly, there isn’t anything wrong with this, and taking trains for your travel is one of the reasons why you get to enjoy the scenery. Don’t be bashful about this, either! These snapshots will become cherished memories of your first-class train adventure.