Train Travel

Cheap Train Travel in Europe

Been thinking about taking a trip to Europe and what to see as much as possible? The rail system in Europe is very extensive and more advanced than that found in the States. If you want to see as much of Europe as possible, train travel can be an attractive option. Train travel may be best not only to save money, but to make travel in a foreign place easier all around.

European train travel is usually very quick and punctual. More importantly, the European train network is extensive enough to get you to just about any travel destination on your itinerary. The trains run their routes frequently enough that scheduling your trip around them most likely should not be an issue at all.

Building your trip around the train system also brings with it a number of conveniences. European trains usually travel directly from city center to city center. The areas around major train depots are also usually quite tourist friendly, with a wide selection of hotels nearby to choose from. If you want, you can also opt to stay aboard the train overnight on a long distance trip, thereby saving a decent sum of money. Taking the train also avoids the hassle of having to find a parking spot and dealing with foreign traffic rules.

On the other hand, although the European train network is very extensive, it does not reach some of the more rural towns and villages. If you want to see these places as well, you'll probably end up having to take an expensive tour on a crowded bus. If you are traveling with a group of people, all of those tickets for train travel can really add up.

Renting a car to see the European countryside may be a good option to consider, especially if you are traveling with a small group of people that can split the cost of the car. If you really want to get out there and explore off the beaten path, a rental car is probably the best option for you. Keep in mind, however, that making sense of the local traffic rules can be confusing and even dangerous. You will also have to worry about where to park the car, and in some crowded European cities that is a tall order for a native of the city. Be sure to have a good sense of direction, plenty of maps, and some patience if you are going the rental car route.

If you are going to rely mostly on train travel during your European adventures, then you need to do some research on the various rail passes offered for tourists. In years past it was very simple, as the Eurail Pass offered tourists train travel around Europe without any complications. As the tourism industry has changed, however, there are now a host of passes to choose from. Whichever pass you choose, you must purchase one at least 6 months in advance.

The original all-inclusive Eurail pass is still available in 15 day, 21 day, 1 month, 2 month, and 3 month varieties. Expect to pay a premium for this pass. Eurail is valid in 17 countries, so if you are planning to traverse much of Europe over a period of a month or more, Eurail may still be the best option. The Eurail Flexi Pass may be a better deal if you aren't train hopping all the time. A Flexi pass may, for example, be valid for 2 months, but only allow up to 15 days of train travel. If you plan ahead a little, you can save considerable money on train travel with a Flexi pass.

Train travel in Europe can be a fun and rewarding experience. With a little planning, you can travel flexibly and save money at the same time with a rail pass.