Airplane vs. Train – The Best Way to Travel in Europe

If you are thinking of doing some globetrotting around Europe this summer, how are you planning on getting around? Train or plane? Here are some pros and cons to help you choose.

Traveling On a Budget

Compared to the vast majority of airfares, the cost of a train ticket to escort you from country to country is often a far cheaper option. There are some budget airlines available, who offer flights at extraordinarily low prices, but you have to consider other aspects of the journey when it comes to flights; are the airports located close to the city centre, or to where you’re staying? If not, you’ll have to pay extra money to travel from the airport – with trains, most of the lines go directly to a city centre based station, so this is not an issue you have to worry about. In addition to this, trains don’t charge you for your baggage, whereas planes do – and they limit your luggage too! You can take as much as you like on a plane, and while you might get a grumpy look or two from a fellow passenger if your oversized suitcase keeps bumping into their legs, at least no one is going to charge you for having it there.

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Traveling In Comfort

It is worth noting that European trains are not the same as your bog standard London train. They are far more modern and up to date, with large quantities of space and some even possessing a second level, in the style of a double decker bus! Because of this, journeys on trains are a lot less invasive than plane trips, where you find yourself confined to a seat that measures no more than 18 inches. When it comes to trains, you can also catch a night train which gives you the opportunity to catch up on some sleep before waking up in an entirely new city. Yes, you can sleep on planes too, but never in as much comfort. Some trains even have private cars with proper beds in, some even equipped with double beds. Train guards are ready and waiting at each car should safety be something that concerns you when it comes to sleep.

Traveling With a View

The view from a plane is beautiful; it’s undeniable. Looking out across at sunsets, soft, fluffy clouds and sometimes even epic thunderstorms are all experiences that are irreplaceable. You can get some great photos from up in the sky, too! But trains also offer incredible views from the carriage windows. Rather than seeing the endless sky, night sky and, well, more sky, you get views of different countries and cities as you travel to your chosen destination. You get to see many more places than you do on a plane, sightseeing as you go – at no additional cost to yourself! The train ride feels like a far bigger part of the actual holiday than a plane ride.

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Traveling With Speed

Flight times are a lot longer than train times; that’s for sure! That doesn’t mean just the actual journey either, but the waiting time too! You don’t have to get to a train station three hours early in preparation for your trip. You don’t have to queue to check in, get your luggage sorted and scanned by security, and you don’t need to go through any security checks yourself. Traveling by train is a far speedier process.

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Traveling With Flexibility

There is no denying that traveling by plane is far more flexible than a train. If you miss your flight, you’re in a lot of trouble! But you can opt to take later trains, trains to different locations and from different stations, extending your holiday and changing your plans as and when you please. Yes, you can choose to cancel flights, fly to different destinations and buy one-way tickets but it’s done at a cost and in far more of a complicated way than simply hopping on the next train that comes along (usually in a matter of minutes too!) 

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There are pros and cons to traveling by plane and by train, and obviously, it all depends on where you’re traveling to – but for a relaxed journey, flexibility and lower prices, traveling by train is the way forward!