While we gear up for an exciting new year, the world’s leading industry researchers are on their quest to discover the most significant developments and changes travelers can expect to experience moving forward.
Euromonitor, for example, recently released its newest data on the top travel trends of 2024, and the results were anything but expected.
While long-time favorites like duty-free shopping, cultural sights, leisure events, and culinary experiences all made it to the top 5, they were all overshadowed by the surprising shift in the way people are choosing to travel – rail transport is set to see an incredible 35.6% year-to-year increase come 2024.
While seemingly unorthodox, at least for those of us not living in major European hubs, the truth of the matter is that there’s a lot to love about this mode of travel.
The Appeal Of Hassle-Free Travel
The time efficiency of planes, convenience of cars, and dreamy allure of cruises are all undeniable – the latter was even named the most popular type of vacation for American travelers in 2023.
However, there’s a unique set of advantages that come with traveling by train, making stepping out of your comfort zone worth it.
Unlike air travel, for example, where rigid schedules and security protocols can lead to hour-long delays and even longer-lasting stress, with trains, all you have to do is show up on time for your journey and board with minimal lead time.
You’ll also get to enjoy spacious eating arrangements while also having the freedom to move around during the journey, which is more than what can be said for your run-of-the-mill road trip.
Moreover, rail travel is an excellent alternative for those prone to motion sickness or those wanting to take in as many natural and cultural sights as possible while traveling to a new destination – these are all people who would feel unfulfilled or, worse, trapped in a cruise.
Beyond all that, the absence of baggage fees and the ability to board larger-sized items with you further add to the unparalleled convenience of trains.
One Of The Safest Modes Of Transportation
Rail travel is one of the safest forms of transportation you can choose.
Data collected by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) shows that since 1973, there have been an average of 1.3 train accidents per year involving fatalities.
In that same timeframe, you can expect roughly 700 bus accidents and 2,584 aviation accidents – these are both some of the lowest-risk modes of transport, which puts the safety of rail travel even more into perspective.
Beyond fatality rates, trains, as part of a country’s public transport system, are an excellent choice for travelers going somewhere new, where trusting taxi drivers or rental car companies can be a double-edged sword.
Rail Travel: Efficient And Budget-Friendly
If all that hasn’t convinced you to book a train ticket to your next destination, it’s worth remembering that beyond being convenient, rail travel is also exceptionally time-efficient and budget-friendly.
One of the key factors driving this surge we’re seeing in rail travel is the advent and expansion of high-speed rail networks, whose time efficiency is only overshadowed by planes and, well, rockets.
It’s also worth noting that while there’s no denying the allure of a bullet train that goes at 200 mph (320 km/h), your average modern train will also be incredibly impressive in terms of time efficiency.
Most trains travel between 50 to 100 miles per hour (80 to 160 kilometers per hour), which, while easily surpassable by most cars, considering the fact that you won’t have to deal with traffic and serpentine roads, chances are you’ll get to your destination much faster than you would by car.
Last but certainly not least, rail travel is very budget-friendly, especially for what you’re getting in return.
Data from the U.S. Department of Transportation shows that average domestic airfare fees hover around $378, while the average Amtrak rail fee stands at just $77.
Meanwhile, the average cruise cost is currently estimated to be a bit over $200 per person per day, and though that includes accommodation, too, keep in mind that you’ll have to pay extra for each additional day.
In Europe, rail travel is even cheaper, with fees generally ranging between $8 and $70 depending on the specific line and route.
↓ Join Our Community ↓
The Travel Off Path Community FB group has all the latest travel news, conversations, and Q&A's happening daily!
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR LATEST POSTS
Enter your email address to subscribe to Travel Off Path's latest breaking travel news, straight to your inbox.
This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.