Jeff and I have always wanted to travel by train in Europe. When we had the chance to free our work schedules to make way for a 22-day European trip, we grabbed the chance to do what we have always wanted to do. We often fly even when cities are so close to each other and we wanted to let time pass by as we experienced the joys of train travel. It was everything we expected it to be and Rail Europe became our rail partner on that wonderful journey that took us places that are still subjects of our date night conversations five months later. Here are seven reasons why you should travel by train in Europe:
Train stations are located in every small, medium, and large city in Europe. Literally, you can be in the hearts of these cities when you step out of the train station. We're talking about door-to-door, point-to-point service here making travel by train in Europe more convenient. Minimal taxi rides and fares!
My husband is a big man and hates being cramped in an airplane seat. He likes flying business class but I don't want to waste money spending for an extra huge chair and some food (that is honestly not really good) served by flight attendants. Train travel gives you more legroom, you can move around and you don't need to wait for the seatbelt sign to be switched off!
Number three is my personal bias because being in a train reminds me of how people in the past traveled and how creative they were when they traveled. I think of Hemingway and all those great poets and writers who were able to write their masterpieces in a train. It just makes me feel connected to them in that rail kind of way. If that makes any sense....
I live in a country where cleanliness is not really the priority, especially in restrooms. But trains in Europe are just about as spick and span as my grandmother's kitchen. Keeping rest rooms clean is considered a profession in Europe and they take it very seriously. I love it!
5 Friendly Service
Really nice people work on trains from all different nations and pride themselves for being part of the European rail system. We had the most wonderful experience with Rail Europe (raileurope.com) as the train conductor personally assisted us in most of our concerns. The other staff were very helpful too making our travel really smooth and enjoyable.
6 The Euro
The Euro is the currency of 18 of the 28 member states of the European Union (that includes major destinations such as France, Spain, Greece, Italy and Germany). Because majority of Europe is combined under one financial system, you don't need six different types of currencies to travel from say Austria to Slovenia.
7 More Baggage Allowance
I like travelling around with just a backpack but my husband brings with him a monster of a luggage bag because of his clothes so obviously, we need more baggage allowance when we fly. But with train travel, especially when you travel first class, you have plenty of room for yourself (and your companion) and a big space for your luggage. Really convenient!
We had such a great experience travelling around Europe by train that we plan to also try rail travel around the United States. Any thoughts on this plan? Have you tried rail travel in Europe or in the US? What do you think about it?
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