Flights are one of the most obvious ways to travel when you’re making your way to new and exotic locations, but that doesn’t mean that they’re the most affordable, comfortable, or even the most memorable. In fact, there are many other methods of transportation, and one of the best is by train.
Train travel is the most underrated form of long-distance travel out there; a solution to all of your inter and intra city travels. Wherever you want to go, and however long you want your journey to take, international train tickets might be just what you need.
The following are 5 reasons you should travel by train.
A scenic train ride is often a vacation in itself, and many people take the train because it means they have access to more of the country than they would if they had caught a plane.
Flying between cities means you’ll see nothing of the place you came to see. You’re at 35,000 feet. However riding the train gives you a picturesque backdrop along the way.
Depending on your route, your window seat view may include towering mountain peaks, bustling metropolises, desert vistas, or rolling prairies and plains. Taking the train is is the best way to maximize your sightseeing.
Photo CC by James Wheeler
Keep Your Sanity
One of the worst things about air travel is the actual act of transiting. It involves ridiculously long queues at check-in, security, and boarding, and those lines alone can drive any innocent traveler insane.
But you don’t have such delays with train travel. Most railway services don’t make you check-in, and you certainly don’t have to go through a TSA-style security check.
The only line you’ll ever stand in for a train is the line to board, though this goes quickly. For the most part, you just arrive and walk on to your train. There’s also no take off, landing or seat-belt signs, and you’re not stuck in your seat for endless amounts of time.
Taking the train offers more flexibility than travel by plane. You generally need to book flights at least 8 weeks in advance if you’re looking for a great deal on flights, though if you choose to travel by train instead, you enjoy both flexibility and cost savings with a rail pass.
These passes are fantastic in that you can choose the duration of your trip and the countries you’d like to include, and then jump abroad trains going to and from any location in the countries you’ve selected at your own whim!
One of our top tips for cheap travel is to have the ability to move slowly. A rail pass allows you to do this.
Photo CC by korgmatose
Pro Tip: Take note that some trains do require pre-booking and additional fees for reserving seats.
Still Cheaper Without a Rail Pass
If the idea of purchasing a rail pass is not really your thing or you’re not sure you will use it enough to cover the cost, we’ve still found that booking trains as you go is a cheaper option than last minute flights.
No Hidden Fees
One reason we hate airlines is for the excessive amount of hidden fees. Everything from comfortable seats and WiFi may be worth the extra charges when you fly now, and airlines seem to go above and beyond to charge passengers for everything from the aisle seat to printing a boarding pass.
But when you’re on a train, there are no hidden fees. They’re not picky about how much luggage you bring on, as long as you can handle it yourself, and the fares tend to be the same day to day for each specific route.
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Photo credits: Featured photo by Mariano Mantel.