Affordable Rail Adventures
Rail travel can be the ultimate luxury--seats are big enough, you can walk around, you can get off at stations to stretch your legs further. On some trains you can also dine in splendour and spend the night in an elegant compartment, but you are likely to pay a lot for the privilege.
A company called GAdventures https://www.gadventures.com provides the chance to take some very interesting rail trips for a lot less money. One such tour takes 28 days and goes from Budapest to Tehran, with stops for sightseeing in Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey and Iran. The cost starts at $4199 or about $150 a day. This includes transportation, some nights in hotels or guesthouses, guides and some admissions and meals.
Another intriguing option is a 17 day trip on the famed Trans Siberian Railway. It lasts 17 days and costs a minimum of $2999, and in addition to the train ride itself there are tours of Moscow and some Golden Ring cities, as well as Yekaterinburg, Irkutsk and Listvianka, Ulan Ude and Vladivostok. The TransSib can be a difficult trip to arrange, especially from abroad.
There are many other rail tours in India, Europe, Africa and North America. In addition, GAdventures has all kinds of other tours such as hiking, staying with locals, and still more possibilities. One of the good features of their tours is that on most of them single travellers need not pay extra, unless they insist on a room to themselves.
Below is a typical Siberian house near Listvianka, a town on Lake Baikal.