Who are we?
Hi! Welcome to our blog at 6 o’clock train. We’re Angela and Paul, we love to travel and ideally we’d spend as much of our time travelling as possible. I started this blog to share my travel tips and advice and show you what it’s possible to achieve with good travel planning. Now, I’ll admit straight away that we tend to take more photos of sights and very few of ourselves. I’m sure you’d rather see photos of the great attractions anyway. However, I think it’s important that we show ourselves a bit on the blog so you know who’s talking to you. So here we are. We’ll pop up again from time to time but rest assured most of the photos will be of the wonderful sights you can see on your travels.
What’s this blog all about?
Firstly, I’m sure you’re wondering, why 6 o’clock train? Is this blog all about trains?
Well, let me tell you straight away that this blog is certainly not all about trains. It’s all about travel and specifically travel planning. The name 6 o’clock train is a bit of a joke really as we always seem to be on the early train, bus, plane etc so we never get a lie in on travels days. Actually, I’m working on that but that’s where the name 6 o’clock train comes from.
To travel is to live
We love travelling. We’ve travelled to more than 65 different countries. We’ve seen some wonderful places right across the globe and visited every continent except Antartica – and it’s on my list I assure you! We live in the UK so we’ve visited more than 20 countries in Europe. We don’t just visit a place, we travel in it and across it. Further afield, we’ve crossed Russia by train, driven all the way across Australia, crossed the United States by road and rail, taken a ferry between China and Japan. We’ve travelled around the world without flying and travelled overland all the way from Singapore back to the UK. We’ve had a fabulous time and we want to pass our expertise on to you so you can enjoy travel too. My favourite travel quote is by Hans Christian Anderson, “To travel is to live”. I totally agree. We should all travel more.
So, what’s our blog all about? It’s about taking back control of your own travel planning so that you get the experience you want. We’ve been doing this for years now and it really has made travelling more fun. It’s not all been plain sailing but we’ve learned a lot and I want to share that knowledge. As a result, you can get great travel experiences too.
When you’re planning do you research a destination only to be really disappointed at what the brochures offer? Or loved the itineraries you find but find it’s just too expensive?
Do you look at the included hotels and feel disappointed? Perhaps you want somewhere cheaper, closer to the action or even more luxurious. Do you prefer somewhere with more leisure facilities? Is a spa or pool essential? I often opt for self-catering accommodation instead of a hotel. Let’s face it, we all have different ideas of what makes the perfect trip.
When you book an organised tour you take pot-luck with their hotel choices. Also, they don’t guarantee to put you in the specified accommodation so you could end up staying somewhere else entirely. That’s always a big concern for me.
Choose your own accommodations
Wouldn’t it be great to be able to design a similar tour and choose your own accommodations?
When we travel we like to mix and match our accommodations to get the best value from our budget. A small boutique hotel in one place, a quiet apartment overlooking the beach in another. First a luxury hotel in the centre of a chaotic city then a beautiful spa hotel in the countryside to relax and rejuvenate. Occasionally, we’ve stayed in a youth hostel because of its great location. Or a family run B&B because its reviews were so fabulous.
Wouldn’t it be great to take a tour that let you choose every element of your accommodation to suit your own needs? To stay in the style of property you prefer, in the location that works best for you. After all, it is your vacation. In essence, this is what 6 o’clock train is all about. Helping you get the travel experience you desire – and deserve.
Add a tour or two
How do you feel about spending your vacation time with a group of people? Have you ever looked at group tours and thought that might be nice some of the time but I don’t really want to spend my entire holiday with the same group of people?
Ordinarily being stuck in a travel group is my idea of hell. However, spending time in a group can really add to the travel experience and you meet some fabulous people. I like to stick to half-day or 1-day group tours rather than committing to a group for my entire trip.
Wouldn’t it be great to add a small group tour to your itinerary as and when you wanted it but still be free to explore on your own the rest of the time? We did some fabulous small group tours on our trip to India last year. I particularly love to add food tours to my schedule as it’s a great way to find out more about a city whilst sampling the delicious local food specialities.
Do you look at brochures and feel you need to comprise all the time? Well, that’s exactly how I used to feel when I browsed travel brochures and websites. There were so many wonderful places I wanted to travel to but my time and my budget were limited. I could never find anything that really offered all the things I wanted to experience in the way I wanted to do them.
Travel your way
So what is the answer? Should you compromise? Spend more of your hard-earned money on that one trip of a lifetime? Don’t know how to start planning a trip from scratch. That’s where 6 o’clock train can help you.
What if you could stretch your budget just that bit further and even tailor-make your trips to do exactly what you want to do? Wouldn’t that be great?
We all know that asking a travel company to do you a tailor-made itinerary is the height of luxury and it comes with a corresponding price tag. I know I could never afford that.
Then I realised that I could cut out the middle men and produce my own tailor-made trips just for me – well and my husband since he gets to come along too! Suddenly, my dream trips seemed possible and better yet, affordable.
I started planning my own trips from scratch. Now this is a whole lot of fun and it produces some great itineraries designed specifically for me but it is time-consuming. Over the years I have spent a lot of time reading travel guides, browsing brochure and destination websites, wading through pages of reviews on hotels, tourist attractions, tour guides, restaurants, travel services – you get the picture.
We can help you plan
That’s great, you say, but I don’t have that kind of time so perhaps independently planning my itineraries is not for me.
Don’t worry. That’s why we’ve started this blog. 6 o’clock train I want to share all my travel knowledge with you. I’ve already done a lot of the hard work so you don’t have to.
On this blog, you’ll find detailed guides on everything you need for travel planning. But more than that – you’ll also find detailed itineraries to some of the most fascinating places in the world.
You can use them as they come or use them as a base for designing your own tailor-made trips. As well as sharing itineraries that we’ve completed, I’ll share alternative options. In addition, I’ll share details of my future travel plans. You might even be able to do one of my trips before I get to.
Not just about trains
As has been noted, 6 o’clock train is not all about trains. On here you’ll find all types of travel ideas, not just train trips. We love all kinds of travel and will use lots of different forms of transport. We particularly like overland travel as it lets us see so much more of a country so expect to see lots of road trips. Additionally, we’ve even been around the world twice, once without flying. Still, we don’t always have the time for such long trips and flying is a useful way of getting around the globe so we do that too.
We called the blog 6 o’clock train because we do love to travel by train and the idea of having a time fits with the blog concept of travel planning. Setting out a schedule and going for it. It’s great to have you onboard.
Join us at 6 o’clock train and enjoy travelling more. Plan your own itineraries so that you can travel independently and get the experiences you really want.
We’ve travelled to over 65 different countries and visited every continent except Antartica. Come with us. Let us share our expertise and experience so you can get the most out of your journey.
Get ready to travel.