My first trip to Europe happened to also be my first actual experience with booking and catching a train. Like everything else associated with my first trip abroad, I made it out to be way more intimidating and daunting than it actually is. After a little bit of adjustment time I was hopping on and off trains and buses with ease.
Traveling Europe by train in the 21st century is actually quite pleasant and not overly confusing for the first-timer. I booked all my train and bus trips with my smartphone and that alone made the experience much easier to organize and keep track of.
Depending on the length and type of trip, you will have to decide if point to point ticket purchases or a rail pass will suite you best. I’ve personally never used a rail pass.
They’re quite expensive these days and point to point ticket purchases have always been the cheaper option for me when traveling around Europe. Point to point tickets can be purchased on various smartphone applications depending on what countries you plan to travel.
I was really self-conscious about not sitting in someone’s reserved seat so I made sure to get seat reservations when I was afforded the option. Depending on the rail line you can pay extra for 2nd class tickets with seat reservations.
Some rail lines will let you purchase a basic 2nd class ticket that allows you to sit in any open seat, but if someone gets on at a stop and you’re in their seat, you’ll have to move. Sometimes the train is full and you’ll be left to stand in the aisle for the duration.
Enjoying The Ride
Once you have found which track, what car you’re in and your assigned or desired seat, it’s time to sit down, relax and enjoy the ride.
I usually have some form of an electronic device with me these days, so staying occupied on train or bus trips really isn’t a problem anymore. Most fast trains I’ve been on offer, some form of free or paid WiFi if you’re into that sort of thing.
I also like to bring a sleeping mask on long rides so I can get a little shut-eye along the way. Earplugs can be your best friend for sleeping or sitting quietly and reading.
However you decide to travel in Europe, always remember there’s more than likely a train going to your destination sometime soon. Traveling Europe by train in 2020 is convenient and in my opinion, the most comfortable way to get around the continent for an affordable fare while more often than not offering an amazing view of the countryside.
Check your applications and get booking a cross country trip today. You won’t regret!