Traveling around Europe on a budget can be challenging, but taking sleeper trains between cities can be a more affordable alternative to flying. Not only is train travel a great way to explore lesser-known destinations and experience local culture, but a recent report by UK-based consumer magazine Which? also found that it can be cost-effective and eco-friendly.
Budget flights may seem like a cheaper option at first glance, but when you take into account the additional costs of luggage and an extra night’s accommodation, sleeper trains can be a more cost-effective option. The Which? study looked at prices for the cheapest private compartment on a sleeper train in the first week of July 2019 and compared them to budget airline prices for the same routes. They found that for shorter journeys, like Paris to Venice, sleeper trains were on average around £20 cheaper than flying. For longer journeys, like Berlin to Budapest, the savings were even greater, with sleeper trains costing around £70 less than flying.
Not only can traveling by sleeper train save you money, but it can also help reduce your carbon footprint. According to the Which? report, a train journey from London to Berlin can emit around 90% less CO2 than a flight on the same route. Train travel is a more environmentally friendly option, and by choosing sustainable modes of transportation, we can all do our part to help combat climate change.
There are several sleeper train options available in Europe, including City Night Line, EuroNight, and Thello. These trains offer a range of accommodations, from private compartments to shared couchettes, and some even have dining cars for meals on board. Sleeper trains typically depart in the evening and arrive at their destination early the next morning, allowing you to maximize your time in each city.
While sleeper trains can be a more affordable and eco-friendly option for travel between European cities, there are some things to keep in mind before booking your trip. Here are some common questions and answers to help you plan your journey:
1. Are sleeper trains safe for solo travelers?
Yes, sleeper trains are generally safe for solo travelers. Private compartments offer extra security and most trains have staff available to assist passengers if needed. It’s always a good idea to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings, as you would when traveling in any unfamiliar place.
2. Can I bring my own food and drinks on board?
Yes, you can bring your own food and drinks on board sleeper trains. Some trains also have dining cars or offer food and drink for purchase. It’s a good idea to check the train’s policy beforehand and pack snacks and drinks accordingly.
3. How far in advance should I book my tickets?
It’s recommended to book your sleeper train tickets as far in advance as possible, especially during peak travel times. Some trains require reservations, so be sure to check ahead of time. Bookings can typically be made online or through travel agencies.
4. Is it possible to sleep comfortably on a sleeper train?
Yes, sleeper trains are designed to provide a comfortable sleeping experience. Private compartments typically have beds, blankets, and pillows, and shared couchettes offer bunk beds for sleeping. Some trains even offer amenities such as showers and toiletries.
5. Can I use my Eurail or Interrail pass on sleeper trains?
Yes, Eurail and Interrail passes can be used on many sleeper train routes in Europe. However, some trains require reservations or additional fees, so be sure to check ahead of time. Using a pass can be a cost-effective way to travel by train throughout Europe.
In summary, traveling by sleeper train can be a more affordable and environmentally friendly way to explore Europe. With several options for accommodations and routes, sleeper trains offer a unique travel experience that allows you to see more of each city on your itinerary. By planning ahead and taking advantage of cost-saving options like Eurail passes, you can make the most of your journey on the rails.