Almost every person with a passion for travelling has The Tran Siberian Express on their bucket list so it is no surprise that it was on mine too. In 2016 I decided to make the leap and do it. I used the Treinreiswinkel which is a train travel agency in The Netherlands to help me put this trip together. I chose them because they have years of experience with this trip and were able to let me customize the trip how I saw fit. I remember walking into their office and sitting with one of the travel agents and discussing what I wanted to see and do and they offered me extra advice because the travel agent herself had also done the trip (can’t ask for any better advice than that!). With the information I gave they put together an itinerary that blew my mind, it had everything I wanted and more.
They made the planning process very easy and provided me with guidance on the visa requests. They recommended using Global Visa Service: GVS to handle my all my visa requests. I chose to do it through an intermediary service since I genuinely did not have much spare time to do the applications myself and it did not cost me a lot more than if I had done it on my own. When applying remember to do this on time! The process for some of the applications can take up to 2 months, so make sure you start on time and also get your health insurance sorted so it is covered worldwide! Be prepared to spend a good couple hours filling in forms as well!
Prior to my trip I took some basic Russia lessons with a friend. Learning some basic words and being able to read the Cyrillic alphabet will help you a lot. I definitely recommend printing out one of those ICONSPEAK diagrams with different universal icons for things like toilet and food to help you communicate easier the more east you go on this trip.