When it comes to travelling through Europe, there are many options, you could fly, you could drive or you could take the train. There are certainly cheap flight on offer but many of the airports are quite a distance from the centre of the major European cities and by the time you factor in the waiting time around airports and the travel to the city from the airport, time may be better spent elsewhere. Roads through Europe can be difficult to negotiate, they can be very busy and unless you know the road system, it can be problematic to get around and in addition, parking within many of the major cities can be a huge issue. The train is often a good option as you will be able to avoid all of the delays and the problems and instead, be able to sit back and enjoy the scenery!
If you are new to train journeys through Europe, there are points worth considering to ensure that you make the most of your journey with the following Europe rail guide.
- You should prepare ahead of time. That would mean having an agenda, know what you are planning to see and do, have accommodation booked ahead of your journey, know the train times and trains that you wish to travel on. Planning your journey is important.
- Consider how you will pay for your train journeys. If you are planning to use single journey tickets, understand the limitations of that method of payment and know that it can be a more expensive option and instead consider the EUrail Pass. This pass affords you flexibility as many of your journeys do not need to be booked ahead of time, so if you want to spend a few more hours at a location, you would be free to do that. You will however have to read the terms and conditions associated with the pass, it must be validated and each journey must be documented.
- For those who have travelled by train through Europe before, they will have learned that too much luggage can be a bit of a nuisance when moving on and off trains. Consideration has to be given to maneuverable luggage options. Security is also important as your luggage will be left in the compartments which are usually located near the doors of the trains, although your valuable items can usually be stored at your seat or in the overhead storage compartments. Remember that when you leave the train, you may be travelling around on metro lines or making use of other busy public transport. Your valuable equipment such as laptops and phones should be securely attached to your person, most people are honest but in every large city, pickpockets and thieves do operate especially at a time when you are preoccupied looking at the sights, so a good sturdy backpack could be the answer.
- You will need to make sure that you have all of the necessary travel documents with you and that may mean that you will need a valid passport or ID card.
- You should have Euros with you and you should also make sure that you have access to emergency funds should you require them.