I love train travel in Europe.
As a digital nomad family, we move around and live in different countries. When we’re deciding whether to fly or take a train, from one country in Europe to another, we lean toward train travel.
I think it’s such a cool way to travel. I love walking on the platform, looking for our coach.
Train travel has a more relaxed atmosphere, overall, experienced by both passengers and employees. There’s not much rushing and security doesn’t seem as intense. You never feel cramped. I’ve yet to hear a baby cry on a train, or be forced to sit with my arm brushing up against a sweaty stranger who’s hacking his lungs out.
But, isn’t train travel longer?
Although train travel can seem like it is longer than traveling by plane, that’s not always the case. Some train journeys can actually be shorter when you compare the actual door-to-door time for each. Train stations are located in city centers, easily accessible by taxi or Uber. Airports are usually outside of the city center, adding time and expense to get there. Then, factor in the time needed to get to an airport an hour or more before the flight, go through security, wait in the boarding area, fly, arrive and wait for baggage (if you checked baggage). That all adds up.
For trains, you don’t have to arrive nearly so early before departure! I love this. Some train rides have security (and immigration), but in our experience, the lines have never been as long or unpleasant as when flying. The trains we’ve taken within the same country have no security check, so you literally just show up and walk on. It’s wonderful.
Another time saver is that your luggage stays with you on the train, so there’s no need to check it beforehand or wait for it after you arrive. That’s so much easier. In the back of each coach, there’s a rack where you stow your large luggage. Then, take your carry-on with you to your seat, where you can put it by your feet or stored above in a rack. You can easily keep an eye on your large suitcase if you like, and no items mysteriously disappear from your luggage like they sometimes do when you check bags at an airport.
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