Why Train Travel is the Best Way to Travel in 2023

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One of the cornerstones of conscious travel is that it’s about the journey, not the destination. Train Travel is a great way to slow down, sit back, relax, and enjoy the experience.

On a train ride, you’re able to fully take in the beauty of the world around you— rather than taking off from one place and jetting to another, skipping the majesty in between. 

During train travel, you can truly relax, with ample space to get up and move around. You can head to the dining car to converse with a fellow traveler or gaze out at the passing landscape in floor-to-ceiling windowed viewing cars. 

While the slow nature of train travel is enough reason to venture via rails, it’s not the only reason that makes this mode of transport so great. Keep scrolling to find out why you should give train travel a go this year. 

Train Travel Is Eco-Friendly

While it’s impossible to have completely sustainable travel, there will always be emissions and impacts of some sort, and traveling by train has one of the lowest impacts. 

It has been well established that traveling by train leaves the smallest carbon footprint when compared to other types of travel. 

To put it in perspective a flight emits around 109 pounds of CO2 per passenger based on a 200-mile trip, by rail the same distance would emit just 26 pounds of CO2 per passenger. That’s a whole lot of CO2 saved just by taking a train. 

It can get overwhelming at first, but if you’re interested in checking your carbon footprint, there are lots of tools that can help you. Websites like Ecopassenger break things down nicely to help you decide what the best options for your trip are.

Train Fare Is Usually Less Expensive

There may be times when train travel is a little more expensive than flying, but more often than not it’s cheaper.

A quick search on Google can find airfare for flights from London to Brussels. A one-way flight in economy class with a carry-on (which costs extra) is €98. A one-way flight in business with a bag is €219.

The train fare for the same day and distance is €58. However, there isn’t usually a baggage limit, or extra cost for baggage on trains. On a plane trip you’ll pay extra for additional baggage if not all your baggage. 

Train Travel Is Convenient

Ask any seasoned traveller what their favourite mode of transport is and I guarantee they’ll say trains— why? it’s simply the most convenient. 

With train travel, there is no need to show up three hours early to board on time. Instead, you can arrive fifteen minutes before it departs and still get your seat with extra time to situate yourself.

The flight from London to Brussels is only one hour and fifteen minutes. But once you include the time you need to spend at the airport, you’re looking at four hours of your time, more than double the flight time.

If the trip is for work, you may not have to interrupt your work day for the trip. When traveling by train, you won’t have to worry about using the internet. If the wi-fi drops, you can use the data on your cell phone. And no one will ask you to turn off your devices.

There will also be more space for work. You won’t have to cram your laptop between you and the guy in front of you— and if you want to get up and walk around, you can do it.

The Scenery Is Breathtaking

Part of conscious traveling is experiencing the entirety of the journey. Train travel offers a unique opportunity for travelers to immerse themselves in the voyage. 

While all train routes offer a view of some sort, there are many train trips that are extraordinary— from the UNESCO World Heritage Site Trains in Austria to the Trans-Siberian Express in Russia there’s no shortage of breathtaking views. You can see mountains, bridges, wild life, castles, endless vista, and so much more, all from the comfort of your plush seat. 

Tips For Train Travel

Bring Your Own Snacks

While there is usually a snack cart or a dining car on the train, it’s always good to be prepared with some snacks of your own. Plus, you’ll save a few extra euro because snacks on the train have prices similar to those on an airplane.

Remember to bring a reusable water bottle and use silicone baggies, these simple swaps can really bring down your trips carbon footprint.

Double-check Your Ticket Before Boarding

Trains run on a very tight schedule, so it can be easy to accidentally get on the wrong train and end up somewhere else. Take a look at your ticket before you board the train to ensure you’re in the right place. 

Besides getting on the correct train, you’ll want to double-check your ticket for your car and seat number— the first couple of times I traveled by train I mixed everything up and was asked to move multiple times before I finally figured it out. 

Consider a Train Pass

If traveling by train is going to be a regular occurrence, it might make sense to get a train pass. These passes function like bus passes and can save you money in the long run.

Enjoy the View

It’s easy to get caught up worrying about where you’re going to stay that evening, or how much longer you’ll be in transit. Try to bring yourself back to the moment, practicing the art of slow travel.

Keep Your Valuables With You

Trains have many stops, so while you might not be getting on and off the train for a couple of hours other people are. You’ll want to keep all your valuables with you to ensure that they don’t leave the train with someone sticky fingers getting off a few stops ahead of you. 

Do you love train travel? Tell us why by leaving a comment below.

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