I have travelled by train in Europe, and in other countries of the world (such as India), and it remains my favourite means of transportation. I simply love it. Train vs. Plane? I would always chose train travel! In fact, I’m planning a major trip to Europe in the near future, where I will only travel by train and make use of couchsurfing predominantly. These are cheap options to travel within Europe and also offers the most authentic way to experience new countries.
So what exactly are the advantages of travelling by train within Europe?
I believe it is the cheapest way to travel within Europe. And also the most convenient (I get to travel right into the city centre as opposed to an airport), comfortable (I can actually stretch my legs and walk around as much as I want to) and the most exciting (hop- on and -off wherever I want – this is how freedom feels like!).
You not only get to see stunning scenery along the way, but you get to meet locals, practise your language skills and who knows what this may lead to, hey? As you all know, I’m a lover of the unexpected. And nowhere else have I encountered so much of the beautiful unplanned as whilst travelling by train. I think it is a gateway to immersion.
It is, after all, how the locals travel.
I also love that I don’t have to worry about liquid restrictions – I can carry my shampoos and my make-up without having to worry that I may have to chuck it away because it holds more than 100ml. And if you are planning to come from far away to embark on your Europe train travel adventure: just simply buy your liquids in your first destination – easy peasy.
Also,.. there is no need to worry about losing time for lengthy check-in procedures. Have you thought about how much time you actually waste at an airport…just to…well…wait around? A 1-hour flight may seem quick…but in fact, it’s not. You need to get up early, be at the airport about 2 hours before, check-in, wait and wait and wait, hop on the plane, wait in a queue until you passed security and passport controls, pick up your luggage….you get my picture. Travelling by train in Europe is often much quicker than by plane. True story.
I also love that I’m actually doing something for my eco consciousness when I travel by train. It is, of course, not as eco-friendly as waking or cycling…but, it is one hell of a more environmentally friendly than travelling by car or plane. Travelling by train, especially in Europe, carries so many advantages with it. Honestly. What are you waiting for?
I was excited to read that RailEurope (the global leader in European rail distribution) offers affordable train travel packages for European long-distance train travel. My favourite is the Eurail Global Pass which affords you unlimited train travel within 28 countries. For more in depth information on their amazing Railpass offers, visit RailEurope.
Let me tell you why, in more detail, I think train travel with a RailEurope Railpass rocks:
- It’s cheap – having grown up in Switzerland, one of the most expensive countries in Europe, I can tell you that even just travelling by train in my own country is incredibly expensive. The Railpasses offered by RailEurope, be it just for Switzerland alone or for a whole lot of countries, makes travelling within any European country, very affordable.
- Unlimited travel – Take 1 train or several – there are no limits on how many kilometres you want to travel per day. As long as there are seats available (and let’s face it…trains don’t book out that quickly), you can travel as little, as much and as often as you want to. Awesome, right?
- Flexibility & Freedom – You get to chose where and when you want to go – your possibilities are endless? Bored of Spain? Hop on a train and travel to Portugal! Check out, RailEurope, where train travel with RailEurope can take you – so many beautiful places to explore! The whole of Europe, pretty much, at your disposal.
- It’s hassle-free – once you decided where to go, expect to most likely be arriving in the city centre. No need to wait for a taxi to take you to the centre. You can start exploring right away!
- Cheap reservation – no hidden extra fees – you pay a small fee for seat reservations on international trains. On regional trains? No need to make a reservation. Just find the ticket officer, have your passport ready and tell them where you want to go. Too easy!
- Discount goodies – discounts on hotels, museum entries, free ferry trips – and much much more. Your Railpass affords you an unbeatable way to discover Europe on a Budget. Click RailEurope to learn more about all the extra perks you can look forward to when using a Railpass from RailEurope.
- Support – confused about how to best travel through Europe by train? Reach out to the guys at RailEurope – they eat, sleep & breathe train travel and can help you plan the best itinerary! How about starting in the heart of Europe, Switzerland? Then make your way over to France – fancy starting your day with a freshly baked Croissant? Make your way down to the South and explore Spain or do it all the other way around. You are in control of your daily adventures. And you always have someone to phone if you feel stuck.
- Environmentally friendlier – Apart from walking or riding your bike, train travel is still a much more environmentally friendly option to travel. Trains require half the energy per passenger per mile than plane travel. The CO2 emission is reduced by up to 90% if you travel by train, than if you travel by plane. Enough said.
- Beautiful scenery – You actually get to SEE how the country you travelling in looks like. Just look out of the window! See the vineyards in France. The beautiful countryside of the Czech Republic. And what about those famous Swiss mountains? A bit more interesting than blue sky, yes?
- Immerse yourself & practise your language skills – One thing I love about travelling by train, is that you are very likely to start conversations with locals. You not only get to learn more about a country through the eyes of the locals, but you also get to practise this beautifully sounding Italian…ciao amore!
And now to the REALLY cool bit…
If you participate in a short survey (RailEurope):
by June 2015, you can win a
Eurail Global Pass, 1st class valid for 2 people
(worth 1662 AUD)!
How cool is that? Spread the word people…you may not win it, but your friend may and they may just take you along on this amazing adventure to experience true culture, fantastic food and incredible diversity. Europe is amazing for train travel.
Don’t miss out on this opportunity!