There’s nothing quite like a good old-fashioned train-tour, especially when it’s your first time visiting a country (or two!) and you’ve got a lot to see and limited time to do it. Here are a few excellent reasons why you should consider traveling by train in Europe.
1. For one, it’s affordable, especially when compared to the cost of driving. Far too many people end up spending huge amounts of money on lodging and car rentals when they could take a train from destination to picturesque destination. Although the prices of flights are dropping every day, train travel is still affordable and you won’t need to deal with checked bags, flight delays or long layovers. Furthermore, train fares are generally fixed. You don’t have to deal with fluctuating airline tickets and gasoline prices.
2. It also gives riders the benefit of being able to see large swaths of landscape. You can sit comfortably while dining and sipping on amazing wine and coffee while taking in all of the incredible sights. You’ve even got time to dip into a travel guide and learn about the next destination. This is something you won’t have time to do if you’re driving, since you’ll more than likely have your nose in a map instead.
3. Trains add flexibility to your schedule. If you miss a train, you can just catch the next one.
4. You can sit back and relax instead of feeling stressed about getting to the next destination.
5. You’ll meet other travelers, make new friends, and be able to do some great people-watching during your ride.
6. You can pack more. There’s no need to worry about weight restrictions on a train.
7. You can fly into Europe almost anywhere to start your trek. Furthermore, you can stop at anytime and stay for a few nights at different locations along the way.
8. If you’re a tech traveler, there’s no need to worry about unplugging. Ipods and laptops are more than welcome on any train.
Here are a few other things that you should know about taking a train through Europe so you know how to embark upon your journey the right way.
What To Expect:
Riding the train allows you to people watch and take in the culture. Trains are very spacious and offer a lot of seating but if there’s ever a situation where a train is full, you don’t have to worry because there’s usually a seat in first class. It is best thought to keep a close eye on your belongings so you don’t risk finding yourself without your passport. There’s also no need to worry about the language barrier, as most signs are marked in English and there is generally someone on staff that speaks English.
Passes Versus Point-To-Point Train Tickets:
When buying a ticket with Eurail, you have two options, and your decision will rest on how much you plan on using the train. Getting a Euro Pass or Flexipass is a good way to go if you don’t plan on putting in a lot of train travel. You can stop and get off at any stations along the way and stay as long as you wish. You don’t have to worry about sticking to a schedule and it gives you a lot of freedom. If you’d like to maximize how much you can see then getting a point-to-point ticket will allow you to reserve sleeping quarters and give you a schedule to stick to. You’ll be able to get off and explore areas wherever the train stops and you’ll be able to take in far more.
Stations In Europe:
Every major city in Europe has a train station. Trains are still widely used in the country and allow an excellent freedom of movement throughout the heart of some of the largest, and smallest, cities in the continent. You’re not likely to find yourself lacking in anything at most of these major hubs. You’ll find banks, eateries, luggage storage, and pretty much anything else at these places. Don’t worry about finding a place to eat or mail a letter.
Taking these train tours is, more than anything, about sitting back and taking in the culture and landscape. Have fun during one of these trips and don’t feel stressed to see absolutely everything. The benefits are many and you’re going to save far more money doing one of these tours. Don’t worry about the language and just sit back, take it all in, and lastly make sure that you enjoy yourself.
Guest Post by Brandy O.