The first thing that anyone should think of when considering to travel by train is the ride by itself. It’s not about reaching the desired destination as fast as possible, it’s all about enjoying the ride.
You really need to love trains as a mean for traveling. Their unique design that rides on the railway tracks takes us right in the middle of the nature giving us the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful scenery with extraordinary views of landscapes, mountains, lakes and natural surroundings. That makes them the best choice for nature lovers.
When traveling by car you’re simply stuck there on the road and in the traffic. Even if there are some great natural spots on the way you won’t be able to enjoy any of them because you’ll be driving and focusing more on the road, probably preoccupied thinking where is the exit to turn or you’ll be concerned how others are driving thinking Who gave them the license?
Trains provide real comfort and are more social since all the travelers can actually enjoy the trip. Moreover, they’re more spacious in between the seats than cars and buses. You can stretch, nap and freely move on the train since the rail ride is more calm and smooth and you don’t have to worry about turbulences or constrictions on the road. You can take your meal in a more relaxed way and there are even restaurants and bars available on the trains where you can satisfy the gourmet need and have one nice aperitif or a drink. You don’t have to turn off the electronic devices.
With cars and airplanes, this is a big No. You can’t really use your electronics when driving and you’re really gonna get tightened and stiffened in the way after spending some time on the road. You’ll have to make a few stops for food, toilets, to stretch out and make a few exercises.
Family friendly rides
When traveling by car if you want to eat or go to the bathroom you simply have to make stops. This makes trains a great choice for family travel because kids really can’t wait for when they have to use the toilet, are hungry or thirsty. Moreover, they can stroll and walk a little bit on the trains.
Trains can be very interesting and exciting as well, especially when passing through some highlights during the travel when you can experience the endless depth over an extremely large distance while the train passes the bridge. It’s really a one big wow feeling for the kids. Also if you’ve ever experienced traveling by train when you were a kid, you know that one of the best parts is when you stretch your head over the windows. Finally, rail rides are free for kids up to 12 years old.
Trains are stress – free
You don’t have to worry about your luggage or wait in lines for check-in, boarding, booking in advance or hunt the best deals of the tickets. Although you can organize your trip in advance and book online this isn’t quite necessary. You can freely bring your luggage with you with no extra fees, buy the tickets on the station get on board with no controls whatsoever. There will be a control of your ticket on the train and that’s it. The prices of the tickets are rarely changing and this goes for the train routes and schedules too.
However, you should pay more attention to your luggage safety since it’s your own responsibility. Another very important thing is the train cars. If you don’t want to experience waking up in a totally different location than planned, be more careful when boarding on the train and for which car of the train your ticket refers to, since sometimes cars can be split and attached to other routes on other trains.
Train safety and costs
After airplanes, trains are the safest mean of travel. They are very eco-friendly as well since the train emissions of the green gasses are not directly released into the upper atmosphere which isn’t the case with the airplanes. Flying is the best way to travel when considering the time efficiency of reaching the long-distance destinations (especially overseas). Boats and cruises are great providing one very unique and different travel experience, but they are not so time efficient and you really can’t consider them when traveling overseas more frequently since you’ll get a little bit old there on the open sea. It simply takes more time.
Although the carbon footprint of the airplanes is huge and very harmful to the Earth, still airplanes are a necessity of the modern and civilized society. In order to save our planet we should be smarter when traveling and not exclusive of the inventions such as airplanes, that gave us the benefits of traveling to locations hardly reachable in a very efficient way. Being smart in your travels includes flying when necessary to the destinations that are far and hardly reachable and acknowledge the use of other means of transport for other destinations that are more easily reachable. The short rides are the most polluting and less efficient. It’s more about riding your bike for an hour or walking than driving your car for 15 min alone.
Short rail rides are the best way to travel in between the cities including the best price on the tickets as well. I would warmly recommend taking long railway rides as well. They are more expensive than traveling by car or airplane, but when you take into account the quality and enjoyment of the ride, definitely rail travels are a better choice. So, that insignificant difference in the price isn’t so significant when you have the whole picture in mind with the price not being the only factor that is part of your decision-making process. It simply isn’t all about the money.
Your travel should be as good as the desired destination. Instead of feeling relieved that you’ve actually arrived on the spot, you should feel sorry that the journey was over.
Travel in Europe by train
According to Eurostat Passenger Transport Statistics, EU members have a way higher number of rail passengers that travels within the EU borders than outside EU. Although Europe is outstanding for rail explorations of the beautiful surroundings of the European cities, still this isn’t the case for all the destinations in Europe. For instance in Portugal, nearly 90% of passengers travel by car and you shouldn’t count on Iceland, Malta or Cyprus if you’d like to travel by train since these countries don’t have any rail transport at all.
Switzerland uses twice as much rail transport than the EU countries. Switzerland has the best rail transport in Europe and it’s only third country in the world (after India and Japan) with the best-organized rail connections. It’s one of the countries that really takes great care and input of the natural surroundings. Moreover, Switzerland can offer truly gorgeous scenery to be enjoyed.
For those that don’t live in one of the European countries and would like to explore more of Europe and get the best of their trip don’t hesitate to purchase one of the Eurail deals and take one longer vacation to travel through the beautiful European countries by train. Whether you’d like to visit one, two three and even four countries Eurail has it all. With only one pass you can freely change trains, travel intercities, locally, regionally and changing countries, not worrying furthermore for bookings and expenses. Just pick up the route, get on the train and enjoy the ride. In my opinion, the best ticket is the one for Italy, Germany, France, and Switzerland. When you purchase this ticket you’ll be able to travel to these countries and change as much as trains you’d like within a two months period. So, you can visit every country for 15 days, for example, and take advantage of traveling 11 days by train for 405 euros.