I sometimes I have to double check everything. The times. The stations I have to get off. Sometimes I even go as far as trying to work out which platform my trains are on.
It can be daunting but if you're prepared then you'll be fine and it's not the end of the world if you miss your connection.
So I'm going to give you a few tips that may help if you're someone who has to travel alone on a long train journey.
1. Times - Find out when the times of each of your train changes are. From when you depart from the station to the time you arrive to how long you have to wait until your next train. Also find out how long the train journey is. If you've got all the times figured out then you should be fine.
2. Help is always there - If you're standing in the station and have no idea where the platform is or when your train is departing. Don't panic. Help is always around. Just look for a departures board and look for the time of your train. It'll tell you the platform. There's also signs to where platforms are which will definitely help you. If you're really struggling there are train guards about the station. Go up to one and ask for help. They've probably been working at the station for years and know where everything is. Plus it's kind of their job to help. They're not that scary and won't judge you if you have no idea where to go. Even at the ticket office they can help. I went to the ticket office today and asked for a ticket to my station. He of course probably never heard of the station so he looked it up. He printed out for me the route I can take with all the times of all my changes and when they arrived at the station. He also printed out three tickets one for the route to each station which was quite helpful.
3. Don't rely on the internet or the train app. I've been in a situation where I've needed to look up the time of a train on the Trainline app and I had no internet connection. Internet won't always be there when you're travelling so screenshot the times of the trains on your phone. That way you don't have to rely on the internet. It's also right there so you can just open it instead of waiting for it to load. Better still have a paper copy too. I always write the times of my trains paper in case my phone battery does die.
4. Boredom - Believe it or not you may get a little bored. While waiting for your next train or on the train journey itself. Now you probably already know this but bring some entertainment whether it's a book or the best thing for me is a phone or an iPod where you can listen to music. I always love long journeys where I can listen to all my favourite songs. It's kind of relaxing. However, don't have your music too loud or you won't be able to hear the announcement of the next station.
5. Be aware of your surroundings and remember your luggage. Just double check you have everything before leaving or getting on the train.
6. The biggest tip is not to freak out or panic and you'll be fine.
I hope my tips were helpful for you and I'll be back soon with another post.