If you follow any travel news right now, then you have probably heard that Europe is packed with tourists, more so than normal.
You have also most likely heard that a large percentage of these tourists are American, and travelers from the States are flocking to European hotspots in record numbers this summer.
So, with a wealth of places to see and likely only two weeks to see it, the question arises as to the best way to get around on a European trip. While low-cost airlines have strong control over the European travel landscape, trains remain a popular choice, especially with American travelers.
Recent reports have suggested that American travelers are using trains more than ever to get around Europe on their holidays right now. Downloads by U.S. users for Trainline, Europe’s No. 1 booking site for train tickets, are up 108% this year.
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What’s interesting is that a new report from Greenpeace has found that the price for train travel as compared to flying in Europe can cost up to 30 times more. Data indicated that the UK, Belgium, Italy, France, and Spain are the countries with the highest prices of train fares when compared with plane tickets.
So since it is likely not because of price, why do American travelers prefer trains over flights for their European summer trip this year?
Here Are 5 Reasons Why Traveling Europe By Train Is Trending With Americans This Summer:
Joy In The Journey
One major reason many prefer to travel by train can be attributed to sustainability and travelers now being more aware of their carbon footprint. In addition to being eco-conscious, most just enjoy looking out the windows at the passing landscape.
Of course, if it’s a long trip, you can get up and walk around, stretch your legs, and go to the dining car to meet the other travelers. Train travel is great for solo travelers because of these very reasons, and many traveling by train are happy to be there, as opposed to an overcrowded airplane packed with miserable people who just want to arrive at their destinations.
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No Driving Required
One major benefit of traveling by train is that train stations are more often than not located in the center of a city, getting you from point A to B without having to drive anywhere or figure out the costly public transport to an airport.
It’s been said that American travelers especially are happy to shy away from navigating windy and narrow European roads, foreign traffic signs, and of course, determining which side of the road to drive on.
One further point here is that Americans do not really have the train travel culture that many countries have, with Amtrak being expensive and slow. The fact is Americans must usually drive anywhere if they want to go someplace, so taking some time off from this is a welcome reprieve on holiday.
Avoiding The Skies
It is no secret that air travel is having a moment this year; and unfortunately, that moment is a bad one. Traveling by air right now (no matter which country you are in) can result in delays, lost luggage, cancellations, and more headaches than we can list.
Of course, not all flying experiences are bad currently, but ask anyone who has traveled recently, and they are likely to share a miserable story about rude passengers, cancellations, or long wait times at understaffed airports.
Train Travel lets you avoid this altogether, and what could be better than that?
Views Views Views
One of the main reasons to choose train travel over flying is all about the views, and of course, Europe has more than enough to go around. Climb the Alps from the comfort of your seat, or speed along the Spanish coast with your train clinging to the cliff sides as you try and capture the passing scenery with your camera.
For example, the train from Edinburgh to Aberdeen takes you past some stunning rolling Scottish countryside, with the sea crashing below you, making the journey an experience in itself.
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Ease Of Booking
If you are traveling around Europe by air, you will likely need to download a different app for every airline you fly and then book and show your passes on each respective app. If you are not a savvy smartphone user, this can become quite annoying and cumbersome. By traveling by train, most of your tickets can be booked on one app, such as Trainline.
On an app such as Trainline, payment is in USD, you have QR codes for your tickets, and everything is in one handy location. Of course, there are many other train companies throughout Europe you can use for various countries, but it’s likely many American travelers will be visiting areas that Trainline covers.
Insider Tip: If you are traveling with another person, buy a 2-together rail card from Trainline, it will save you around 30% on each trip, so long as both people travel.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com