I did remember to use this the first time, but I thought I’d mention it for the sake of it. I purchased a railcard and it’s honestly such a good deal! I hadn’t thought that I would even use it, but I made the money back within the first two trips. I bought a 1 year one, and had discount on it thanks to my NUS card (another staple I’d recommend!) and instead of paying around £40 per ticket I’ve been paying £20-25!
Normally I’m pretty good with planning snacks and meals, but I hadn’t planned my food for my first journey home…and it wasn’t until half an hour into the trip that I realised what a mistake that had been! I had sweets, but they weren’t going to fill me up! The second time I cooked two veggie burgers (by Cauldron), crisps, plenty of water, fruit AND sweets – not JUST sweets!
I’m a big tea drinker, so when the trolley comes around I tend to get a cup to quench my thirst. The mistake I made on that first train was that I didn’t have any change…so I couldn’t get my much-needed cuppa. The second time, you guessed it, I made sure to have some change handy, and I happily enjoyed my peppermint tea. Also, if, like me, you’re starting to become a bit more environmentally aware, I’d recommend bringing a reusable coffee cup too, to save getting a paper one.
When I go home I tend to take some laundry – we’re students! We can’t not! – so when it came to taking it home I found myself lugging a big blue bag of clothes onto the train, as well as my backpack. On my return home though, I pinched the smallest suitcase from home, and chucked everything in there, so it’s a lot easier to handle!
People are SO. ANNOYING. So when I realised that I’d left my earphones in the flat I was devastated – I don’t wanna hear people’s conversations, or the sound of chewing, and when I want to snooze music just helps! So, of course, I packed my headphones… AND my earphones, just in case!
I am a big bookworm, so when it comes to occupying myself on the train I love to have something to read. However, if I’m right at the end of a book then I worry I’m going to finish it on the train – so instead I’ll bring my Kindle, where I can finish a book and then just start another one. Plus, my Kindle takes up much less room than one book, let alone two, and I can always use it to download lecture slides and copy out notes too.
I remembered to take work with me on my first journey home, which was a good shout as it gave me something to do. The downside was that I was pretty tired after a while, and didn’t end up doing much. So don’t bring too much or too little – if you’re going home for a couple of days, just stick to a set of lecture notes, paper, pens and a textbook; you don’t need to bring everything!
Whilst getting work done on the train is great, I found myself longing for something to watch when it got to 9-ish. Downloading a couple of shows or a film onto your phone is such a great aspect of the Netflix app – highly recommended!!
Bits and bobs
There are a couple of things that you might find you need on a train journey – the things you might not think of that your mum always seems to have in her bag! Don’t forget things like gum, tissues, paracetamol and hand sanitiser (for those gross toilets on the train).
After making this list for myself I thankfully had a much more enjoyable second trip home – I saved myself suffering hunger pangs and boredom, and got home much happier! To be fair, I think you’d be alright with a Morrison’s meal deal and a book, but I always like to be a bit more prepared!