Guest post by Steph King
After the pandemic, and a long period of remote working, many of us may have managed to avoid the train thus far. Public travel is stressful at the best of times, but after spending extended time isolated from the rest of the public, jumping back on the train for your morning commute can be nerve-wracking. It’s natural and normal to want to remain safe, but in a small enclosed indoor space, you may worry about the potential transmission of Covid-19 and other colds and diseases. After all, the pandemic has certainly made people more aware of personal and public hygiene / health. Acknowledging all the above, here are our top tips for having an enjoyable and straightforward commute on the train.
Practising good train etiquette is the same as having good manners and using your common sense. Try to remain as quiet as possible, even if it’s the middle of the day. It’s often hard for train workers to govern the actions of others, so do your bit and don’t contribute to the problem. If you enjoy listening to music on the train or have scheduled a work call or catch up with your friend, do everyone a favour and don’t sit in the quiet coach. Additionally, try not to loiter for too long as you will block up the carriageway and most likely infuriate some impatient travellers. Have everything prepared from the get-go; store away your luggage immediately and have your tickets ready so everything can flow quickly, making for a stress-free trip. Likewise, if someone is bothering you, do not be afraid to speak to them and say your piece (politely, of course!).
If you have a long commute, you may consider doing something to make the most of your time. You could bring along some relatively low-stress work like some admin, or work on a personal project such as knitting a scarf. Likewise, you may use this free time to read or catch up on your favourite series. Sleeping is even a great option if you know you’re busy afterwards – just make sure you don’t miss your stop! If time is of the essence, consider booking a ticket on a fast train. For example, the Gatwick Express is an excellent option if you are travelling to the airport and are looking to cut out some hours of an already very lengthy journey. If you find the train particularly stressful, why not invest in first-class ticket which will definitely ease your nerves.
Currently in the UK, it is mandatory to wear face coverings on all public transport unless exempt. Although there are no social distancing rules enforced, if there are enough seats available you can space out from fellow passengers. If the face mask mandate is eventually scrapped, it is still good practice to continue wearing one to keep yourself and others safe. That way, everyone will feel more comfortable about travelling. There should also be available hand sanitiser on board, so you can stay clean and reduce the spread of germs.
Hopefully with these handy tips, you’ll become a pro at train journeys. Happy travelling!