The Trans Mongolian Railway, its been on the ‘list’ for quite some time. Now, in May 2014 that trail is finally going to happen. There will be 5 of us on the trip with my parents, sister and brother in law joining me so that should be fun with a group of us going. Certainly a little different for me!
This is not the first time I’ve contemplated the trip however when looking at arranging an independent trip along the Trans Mongolian railway it can seem a little daunting. I kept circling back to how much easier it would be if I went on a packaged tour.
After initial research on the trip I took the plunge and decided to do the trip independently. One great resource, with loads of practical information about the ‘how’ part is The Man in Seat 61
Another great site and where I’ve ended up purchasing the rail tickets for the group is Real Russia
Of course planning has been going on for quite some time but now its starting to get close with the countdown, now at 62 days until we fly out for China, getting low enough that I’m starting to get a little excited. The travel route is now set and wasn’t that hard to decide on.
Mostly we are doing the Trans Mongolian rather than the Trans Siberian because I really want to do a stopover in Mongolia. The other stops on the way were places that came up during research online or other members of the group wanting to go there.
With the route decided on I went onto Real Russia and plugged in our intended route into the really handy rail planner on the Real Russia website to get an idea of the trains, classes, timings and cost we were up for. Now while I ended up booking the train segments with Real Russia it should be noted there are other options so if you are planing a trip yourself do a little research yourself first.
However if you do go with them they say:
- You may reserve a ticket up to 180 days before departure of the train without payment.
- Within 75 days of departure of the train we will confirm in writing the current ticket price(s) for your requested journey.
- Within 60 days of departure full payment at the current ticket price is required to maintain the reservation or your request will be automatically cancelled.
- On day 45 before departure (the day the tickets become available for sale) we will book and issue the ticket and an adjustment of the ticket price paid may be made, that is either you will need to pay or we will refund the difference between the pre-payment and the final price.
- Refunds of pre-payments and cancellation of ticket requests may be made up to the point we actually book your tickets without penalty. All such requests must be made in writing and be acknowledged by us in writing to be effective.
So we’ve paid for our train tickets and now in that little schedule the days are ticking down to when the tickets will start becoming available.
So far, so good!