Train travel can be one of the best ways to do business travel. It's usually comfortable, isn't as restrictive about liquids and other items you can bring as an airline is, and can be a touch more glamorous.
Depending on your destination, trains may even be quicker than driving or flying. I know there have been times when I've gotten to the destination faster than my colleagues who decided to fly to a conference. And I didn't have to worry about complying with TSA regulations or stress about connecting flights and delayed or even canceled flights.
Here are a few reasons to not only take advantage of train travel but also how to do it well so that you remain productive and helpful to your business.
1. It saves you time, giving you more time to focus on productivity.
Think about it. You have to get to the airport, usually a few hours early. Then you must get through the check-in process (especially when checking a bag), get through security, and finally, you can wait until your plane boards and is ready for takeoff.
Once you land, you have to wait for everyone to grab their luggage and deplane. If you've checked luggage, you have to wait for your luggage as well. Then, if the airport is on the outskirts of the city, you have to wait to travel to your destination.
That's a lot of waiting around time that you can't really use to get work done.
On a train, you have to wait for it to open so you can board, then you must wait for it to depart. That's about it. Once you are seated, you can open your laptop and get to work. There's no need to wait until you hit a certain altitude to use your electronic devices.
Additionally, it's easier to get and keep your internet going, sometimes for free. While some airlines do offer WiFi, it is usually at a cost. Plus, you can only use it when your devices are allowed to be used.
Finally, trains usually (but not always) arrive at a central point in a city so you don't have to worry about taking a coach or finding additional transportation to get into the city so that you can make it to your final destination pretty quickly.
2. It can be cheaper.
If you plan ahead and plan right, train travel can actually be cheaper than flying or renting a car, especially if you use the trains abroad.
Though it wasn't as cheap, one of the best train experiences I've been on was the train service in Japan. It's clean, convenient, easy to use, and comfortable with plenty of room to stretch your legs. Many business people packed lunch and worked on their laptops as the train zipped through the terrain between Tokyo and Kyoto.
Note that if you do have to drive or rent a car at any point, shop around to find the best rates. Car insurance guides and resources can help you compare rates, note the criteria they use for fees, and see how they differ from place to place.
3. It's more environmentally-friendly.
Whether you try to do your part to care for the environment or you've been plane-shamed, know that taking a train is better for the environment. Train travel doesn't release as many carbon emissions as a plane nor does it contribute to the traffic jams of stop-and-go, bumper to bumper traffic.
4. You have more room and better light, which may help you feel more energized.
Trains usually have large windows that invite travelers to take in the different landscapes they are traveling through. They also usually have more legroom and wider seats than some of the airlines, especially the budget ones. By giving you more room to move around and not subjecting you to high altitudes, you will (hopefully) arrive at your destination refreshed and energized.
This will help you get started on work much quicker, without all of the after effects of plane travel.