This week, BootsnAll announced our new Europe rail tool. We’re pretty dang excited about, because not only will it allow you to quickly and easily book your Europe train trips in one place, it can also save you up to 30% on tickets for journeys that originate in Italy.
And we don’t think it could have launched at a better time. In case you haven’t noticed, rail travel has been a big topic of conversation in the travel industry lately. Just this week, Gadling posted about how 79% of travelers would pick high speed rail over air based on a recent survey, and Tnooz went on to explain that “A SilverRail consumer poll of around 300 saw three out of five say they would choose rail over air if the cost was same or better, while two-thirds say would add an hour of total travel time to a trip (by rail) if they could avoid airport security lines and baggage fees.”
Why are so many people longing to return to the days when rail was the predominant way to travel shorter distances? The annoyances of air travel would be one reason, but it’s not the only one. Included on this list of 8 reasons to backpack Europe by rail, for example, is the idea that not only does train travel allow more flexibility, it’s also often more convenient as most train stations are located closer to the city than the airports are. Taking the train is also better for the environment, as CO2 emissions can be as much as 70-90% less per passenger for train vs. plane.
All this talk of train travel has gotten us itching to plan a trip by rail, and we’ve rounded up some links to get you started planning your own awesome train journey.
- Train travel in Spain has become more popular than ever thanks to a new high speed rail system that connects Madrid with Barcelona, Valencia, Valladolid and Segovia on various lines. You can take the train from Madrid to Barcelona, experiencing Spain’s two largest cities, in less than three hours.
- Train travel in Italy is easy and often cheaper than flying, thanks to shorter distances between the most visited cities. If you’re hitting the trifecta of Venice, Florence, and Rome, train is the best way to travel around. If you start in Venice and then head to Rome and on to Florence, your average train trip will be less than three hours.
- Train travel in France is equally fast and efficient, with the TGV that whisks passengers from the south of France to Paris in three hours, a journey that would take eight hours by car. Croissants by the sea in the morning and evening cocktails with a view of the Eiffel Tower sounds quite nice, don’t you think?
- Though Australia’s huge distances make flying an appealing option, you’ll miss out on so much of the scenery that you came for in the first place. For an epic train trip in Australia, I’m thinking about the Ghan, which travels the 2979 kilometers from Adelaide to Darwin via Alice Springs over three days.
- Our Canada travel guide writer points out that the breathtaking train trips in Canada come with breathtaking prices. So she suggests you focus on one region at a time. I’d love to take the Rocky Mountaineer from Vancouver through the Rockies.
- Train travel in Thailand is often skipped in favor of the overnight bus, but for budget travelers, it’s still a great option, especially for journeying around the region. Did you know that for as little as $50 USD, you can take a 48-hour train from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur or Singapore?
- Ferries in Greece are the obvious choice for sun-seeking island-hoppers, but when journeying between ancient sites on the mainland, the train in Greece is an excellent choice. I’m partial to the idea of taking the train to one of the lesser-known places in Greece, like the clifftop monasteries of Meteora.
- Our friends at EuroCheapo put together a list of 5 daytime rails journeys to consider. I think the 10-hour trip from Belgrade through Bosnia & Herzegovina to Montenegro sounds beautiful.
- New Zealand has always seemed to me like a country perfect for a road trip, but trains are a great way to get around too. For the sight of the Kaikoura mountains on one side and the Pacific coast on the other, I’ll happily take the journey between Picton and Christchurch on the TranzCoastal.
- I’m not sure I’m up for the Ultimate Train Challenge - Lisbon to Saigon in 30 days – but I admire this group of travel bloggers for taking on the journey and I can’t wait to follow along with their trip this September.
- Rail travel in US may be slower and more expensive than elsewhere in the world, but this writer was able to find 7 incredible US train trips for under $100.
Where do you want to travel by train? Tell us in the comments and then learn more about BootsnAll’s new Europe rail tool and start planning your trip now!
Photo by jonlk