Save money and see more of Europe
Rail passes are great value for those planning to see a lot of Europe and travelling multiple countries.
Seat reservations are required for select trains that require additional costs and grant you a dedicated seat on your selected departure date and time. Plus, by simply holding a valid rail pass you get exclusive discounts and some ferries and buses are also included in your pass in some countries. Here’s a quick guide to using a rail pass. You must be highly organised and plan in advance to buy point-to-point tickets. It is best to book well in advance (2-3 months) to take advantage of seasonal sales and promotional on sites like Rail Europe.
Border control queues in European airports are longer than ever and coupled with the need to arrive at least 2 hours early for an international flight, air travel takes a lot of out of your available travel time. By travelling by rail in Europe, you can easily arrive just in time for your train, as long as you already have a reservation, and can board immediately. Then when you arrive at your destination, you can get straight off, without waiting at passport control or baggage claims.
No excess baggage charges
Airline baggage charges can quickly add up. So the best way to avoid these hefty charges is to travel by rail in Europe. All train fares include a luggage allowance that is not weight dependent and some railway lines allow you to take as many bags as you like, whereas others, such as the Eurostar and Thalys, have a 2-piece limit. Therefore, by taking the train, you can save a lot of money, which can then be spent on shopping. For more information, check here .
Take the scenic route
You have all heard the saying, ‘it’s not about the destination it’s about the journey’. Well, for rail travel, this saying couldn’t be more correct. Some of our most treasured travel memories have included sitting on a comfortable train, sipping delicious hot cocoa, laughing with friends, and watching the quaint, European rail side villages with snow topped roofs passing by at high speed out of the train window. So, instead of watching the endless sea of white clouds that pass you by when you are up in the air, why not take the more enjoyable scenic route through Europe and travel by rail.
Unlike major airports, central train stations in Europe are located right in the centre of your destination. Therefore, you save money on taxis and airport shuttles by travelling by rail, as you will be able to either walk to your hotel or catch a connecting metro or local bus for a fraction of the cost of an airport transfer.
Trains are a lot less cramped than airplanes and therefore, give you more room to walk around and stretch your legs. Most trains follow a 2-2 configuration, so there are less opportunities to annoy your neighbour for a bathroom break as well. Also, those who suffer from air-sickness can avoid this completely by travelling by rail.
Taking a train instead of a plane can cut your CO2 emissions by up to 90% per single train ride. Plus, companies, like Eurostar, have been doing their own part for the environment such as, reducing its own CO2 emissions by 35% in 2015 and offsetting all its passengers’ CO2 for free since 2007. This means that you are doing your little bit for the environment simply by choosing rail travel over plane travel.
This is probably our favourite reason to travel by rail, meeting locals. Locals are more inclined to take trains between cities to take advantage of Europe’s great rail network. And on many occasions, we have been sat next to or near friendly locals who hear our Aussie accents and will proceed to strike up a conversation. Many of these conservations have led to great local recommendations for restaurants, sightseeing, and current events, and some interesting banter to make the train ride pass faster.
To book your European train travel, choose Rail Europe:
WIN A RAIL PASS WITH RAIL PLUS (2016)
See Europe with Rail Plus
Rail Plus are giving away a Eurail Global Continuous Pass to one lucky traveller! The Global Continuous pass lets you travel by train on every single day of pass validity, but does not require you to take a train every day. Armed with a Eurail pass in pocket, enjoy the freedom of train travel whenever you want. It’s one of the best ways to see the most of Europe.
To enter simply guess which city is shown in the photo below and enter in your contact details using the online form on this page https://www.railplus.com.au/competitions/win-a-eurail-pass/. The first person to correctly guess the name of this great city will win the competition.
Hurry, entries close at noon AEST on 18th March, 2016 to enter.
Can You Guess This City?
Clue: this city was the setting for a famous musical play and film about the von Trapp family.
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