Why Use a Rail Pass to Travel Europe?

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Wherever you’re going and whatever your schedule, there are rail passes that will fit your needs, plans, budget and schedule – well, if you have one. (Heck, if you click this link we can even suggest a pass for you.) And hey, these are European trains, so we’re talking reliable, efficient, comfortable, cost-effective and just a good way to go. Train travel, in our opinion, has many advantages over other types of transport:

  • Especially for large distances, it’s usually faster than bus or car.
  • When you arrive in town, you arrive in town. Train stations are located in city centres, unlike airports, so are close to hostels, pubs, sights, restaurants, public transportation – you name it.
  • You interact with both locals and travelers, so you can meet people.
  • Don’t have to worry about traffic.
  • More comfortable than planes and buses – especially buses (not as cramped, can walk around, snack carts, buffet cars, and toilets that don’t stink up the whole place).
  • Look at towns, at the countryside; the train allows you to comfortably sit back and enjoy the view.
  • Compared to other types of travel, rail passes provide amazing flexibility for your route and cost-effectiveness for your budget.
  • Even for shorter or more focused trips, you can use the train to ‘blitz’ all the places on your travel plan, and still get the most out of your time.

One of the main reasons travelers take the train travel though, is because of the people. Not even a language barrier can keep you from making new friends on the train; all that you need to do is to smile and be open. Which is much of what travel’s all about anyway.

Traveling Europe with a rail pass will bring you into contact with so many new people, will give you the chance to have many new adventures and sidetrips and experiences that you never could have planned. For however long you’re going and whatever you want to do, traveling Europe with your rail pass can make your trip an even better experience.

How do I pick a pass?

Select your countries

Which countries do you want to visit on your trip to Europe? Some travelers want to go everywhere. Some only want to see a handful of neighboring countries (like Italy, Spain, and France). Some want to pick and choose across the entire region. No matter your preference, there is a pass for you.

Determine your budget

Your budget goes a long way in determining which pass is right for you. After narrowing down your wish list, go through your trip budget and figure out how much you can set aside for a rail pass. Remember, the more places you go and the faster you move, the more your pass will be.

Figure Out Length of Your Trip

Some travelers go to Europe for a couple of weeks, like for a spring break during college or a shorter vacation. Some go for the entire summer. Some take months and months to explore the continent, while others travel Europe for as long as possible. There are rail passes available to suit any traveler and pretty much any timeframe.