How to Survive a 21-Hour Train Trip

train beersI’m about 45 minutes outside of Montreal, so I’ll make this snappy. My whole body is aching from our economy seats, and I’m not sure I’m overly impressed with VIA Rail’s service. For whatever reason, the seats with tables across the aisle from us were marked as “Reserved for Moncton,” yet the people who claimed them apparently had no reservation at all. Then we were kinda scolded by one of the staff for playing cards and quietly drinking beer. Like seriously, we were barely talking. Wtf?

Anyway, the trip didn’t feel nearly as long as I would have thought. But I can’t wait to brush my teeth.

Here’s how to survive:

1. Bring some kind of stain remover because you WILL spill coffee on your pants.

2. Make sure the bathroom door is locked, because when a kid walks in on you peeing, it’s pretty embarrassing.

Train Snuggie

3. Find humour in the very elderly lady reading what looks like a pornographic novel but is actually a Harlequin romance.

4. Avoid creepy dude trying to take your photo.

5. Do not give up hope that the four seats next to you will be actually filled with hot, rich businessmen who don’t mind buying you $6 beers.

6. Ask wait staff when Happy Hour begins, pretend not to be devastated when they reply, “We’re always happy to see you!”

7. Wear a Snuggie, make a tent out of it so others can’t see you sleeping with your mouth wide open.

8. Never have false hope that you’ll find a comfortable sleeping position. Ever.

Onwards to Montreal! Oui oui!

  • May 28 2011

    Why didn’t you kick them out of your seats?

    I’d move seats if Cailin asked (threatened)

    Very funny post though, can see you two laughing at the very old woman.

    • May 30 2011

      Hahaha, thanks Ollie. Some elderly folks and a lady with a kid took the reserved seats, so you know, couldn’t say anything. ;)

  • May 28 2011

    Awesome tips Candice. Glad to hear you survived, & pulled it all off in a snuggie! Genius!

    • May 30 2011

      Snuggie totally made the trip bearable, woot!

  • May 28 2011

    Your snuggie burka prevented me from taking a photo of you and adding it to my ” how to look attractive when sleeping on a plane” post. This could of been the train sequel!! Damn you snuggie!

    • May 30 2011

      I think that fits perfectly, Snuggie burka!

  • May 28 2011

    Sounds like fun. I have always wanted to travel via train.

    • May 30 2011

      It was a pretty crappy train, apparently they reserve the one with the awesome sky dome for peak tourist season, lol.

  • May 28 2011

    I love VIA Rail but yeah the service really depends on who is working. I recommend sucking up to whoever it is because they’ll give you free coffee refills.

    • May 30 2011

      Really? Damn, didn’t try that one!

  • May 28 2011

    haha oh VIA Rail… it’s always a hit or miss with them. And like Ayngelina said, it definitely depends on who’s working. Glad that you had some fun and were able to get a bit of work done though :D

    J’espère que vous avez un temps fantastique à Montréal!

    • May 30 2011

      Hahaha, it was really just that one lady. Everyone else was fine. Quite an experience…

  • May 28 2011

    I doubt the creepy dude photographers are going to let up much, Candice. I suspect this is just one of the hazards of your celebrity taking off. Not to alarm you, but bathroom kid has paparazzi written all over him, too. :)

    • May 30 2011

      Hahahaha, she did pause for an uncomfortable long time before shutting the door again…

  • May 28 2011

    Despite some of your negative experiences, I still want to do a long train ride one day. . . And clearly I will have to buy a snuggie before I do that! ;D
    Glad you’ve survived the first leg of your journey :) How’s ‘working on the road’ working out for you??

    • May 30 2011

      Great, I’m on top of things! Wheee. Will most likely fall behind in these next few days though. Ottawa + Toronto is keeping us busy until we hit northern Ontario.

  • May 29 2011

    Well…now that you’re in Montreal, I’m sure things are looking up. I hope you have a blast!

  • May 29 2011

    $6 beers? Kill me! I think I would be able to handle 21 hours due to being able to get up and walk around – still, transportation days kill me.

    • May 30 2011

      Hahaha I know, but it was surprisingly good. I mean it certainly didn’t feel like 21 hours.

  • June 02 2011

    Making a tent out of a Snuggie. Now there’s a travel tip.
    Great to see you out last night and safe travels to Sault Ste. Marie.
    Hope your liver is intact for TBEX. You will need it!

    • June 03 2011

      It worked like a CHARM, haha. But now it’s taking up too much space in my suitcase. Grr.

  • June 22 2011

    Very useful list! I always make sure to pack a few treats since the food on board is usually really overpriced and not at all tasty! Via isn’t the greatest, but it’s by no means the most difficult trip! 30 hours on a train from Hanoi to Saigon… with only noodles being served and no concept of how long stops will be. Glad I packed some tasty treats from the nearby bakery!

    • June 22 2011

      Yikes! Yeah, train food definitely isn’t the best, hahaha. At least not for economy class…

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