Brooke and Shannon met at a dorm party freshman year of college. That was where their not-so-beautiful, hot mess of a friendship began. Fast forward they now travel the world together, sharing all their adventures on their blog.
I recently spent 2 months backpacking Europe, and my main source of transportation was trains. I had a Global Eurail Pass that I used to hop from country to country with ease. After the first couple of trips, it was so easy to choose a new city, look up the train schedule, and climb aboard. Trains are comfortable, fast, and even fun! I will always recommend that people travel by train when they have the option.
Train travel is my favorite way to get around for so many reasons and here are just a few . . .
Reason #1: You get to see more of the continent
The first, and probably most obvious reason, is that you get to see more of the continent. On a plane, you would be too high to see anything, and on a bus, you would spend most of the time on highways. Trains take you through wilderness, through the center of towns, and past some seriously awe-worthy views.
Reason #2: You get a 2-for-1 on overnight trains
You can take overnight trains instead of booking a hostel! One more way to save on accommodation. If you are going a longer distance, you can book a bed on the train (2-for-1)! We did this when we traveled overnight from Florence to Budapest, and although it wasn’t the most comfortable night’s sleep, it was a fun experience. And, we didn’t have to book a hostel for that night!
Reason #3: Trains can be REALLY cheap
If you plan ahead a bit, trains can be a really cheap way to travel! You can by Eurail and Interrail passes that allow you to travel on the national railways of most countries in Europe for discounted prices. And if you plan your itinerary ahead of time, booking your train tickets a few months in advance can also be significantly cheaper.
Reason #4: Train Stations are more central than airports
Train stations are usually much more central than airports. This makes arriving in each city much easier. You can usually walk to wherever you are staying rather than paying for a taxi or figuring out public transportation when you are exhausted from traveling.
Reason #5: Trains allow for a flexible schedule
Trains are super flexible. You have the choice of planning everything ahead of time, or just showing up at the train station and hopping onboard. There are so many trains heading to all the major cities every day and even into the night. It’s nice to have the option of adjusting your timeline when traveling for an extended amount of time.
On top of these reasons, you never have to be worried about traffic (like on a bus) or cancellations due to weather (like on a plane). There are no luggage weight limits, no early check in times, and no hidden fees. I have seen some of my favorite views from the seat of a train, like heading through the Swiss Alps or the Swedish countryside.
By now you should be convinced on the many reasons to travel by train. Train travel is more of a reality in some destinations than others. Europe’s national rail systems make it very easy to access the entire continent by train. The rail system in America is pretty vast as well. In destinations such as South-East Asia and Central America, train travel is way less common. But when you have the option, make your way to the nearest train station and give it a try for yourself.
What about you, do you prefer train or plane travel? Tell me in the comments below!
Be sure to check out Brooke and Shannon’s blog and follow their adventures on social media: