I don’t think there is any doubt that flying is more inconvenient than ever – from terrorists to the rude & annoying airline staff that are just as bad as terrorists, it is a real wonder anybody bothers to fly these days. But yes – sometimes you have to. But in Europe, a lot of the time you can actually get around on train. Whether it’s a classic steam train or a scenic mountain railway, this IS the way to travel. Here are five reasons I prefer to go by train:
1. I can use the toilet without paying. Since Ryanair seems to think there isn’t any sacred ground when it comes to in-flight fees, I’ll stick to the mode of transportation where using the toilets is free. I’m not saying that train toilets are always clean and roomy, but you can’t say that for airplane toilets either. Plus you can go to the loo when you need to on a train.
2. Admire the view. There’s nothing like watching the rolling hills go by or seeing the waves crash up onto the shore below the tracks. Train lines often go through some lovely European countryside – any train in Switzerland or Austria, for sure, but even the National Express East Coast here in Britain runs along a beautiful stretch of coastline.
3. Room to breathe. In pretty much all cases, trains have more room than planes. You can’t avoid the problem passengers who take up more than their fair share of the room, but you know? If you aren’t happy with your seat at least you can get up and walk around and stand in the galley for a while.
4. No unwieldy trips to the airport. Most train routes depart from stations that are far more convenient to hotels and local attractions than the airport. Plus the airport experience leaves a LOT to be desired. Many train routes now have security measures in place, such as all the high speed routes in Spain, but it is a quick, efficient, and simple process.
5. Arrive more refreshed. Maybe it’s the air or maybe it’s just the overall experience, but I find I always arrive at my destination far more refreshed than after a disastrous in flight experience.
I hope that you follow my travel tips and enjoy your next trip by train.
Photo by matthew black