Ways to Travel Europe – Which is Best?
If you’re heading out to travel through Western Europe and you’re wondering which way of travelling is best suited for your trip, here’s a little guideline. Wondering where you should start? Check out my article on the best place to start in each continent here.
This is probably the form of transportation that everyone thinks of for travelling around Europe… the Eurorail. This system is incredibly practical in the manner of getting you around quickly and efficiently, especially in countries such as Germany and France where you will hardly ever see a late train. However, the Eurorail is also getting quite pricey, thus discouraging many budget travellers. If you have the cash for it, then this is still a one of the best ways to travel Europe.
Air used to be the form of travel exclusively for the elite, but times have changed. With companies such as Ryanair and Easyjet, flying around Europe has become a reality for many budget travellers. Just don’t expect to be treated as if you’ve joined the ranks of the elite… this is certainly not hassle free, and you’re going to get enough headaches to warrant a daily dose of Aspirin. This is especially true if you are not of the ‘small and compact’ variety. Some (not all) planes don’t even have assigned seating so taller/bigger people may have to shove their way past the injured and elderly to sit in the one seat (the emergency escape) where they actually have enough space.
You will also pay a bucket load for any sort of overweight or oversize baggage. These ultra budget airlines are set up on the premise of hidden charges, so if you’re actually trying to save a dollar, follow the rules… seriously… however ridiculous they may seem.
Buses are a great way to go if money is your main issue and you’re not trying to cover too much distance. If you have a month per large country and at least two weeks per small country then buses should suit you just fine. The systems run logically and you’ll figure your way around them without much issue. You can use the great travelling trick of taking overnight buses to save on the cost of one night’s accommodation to really stretch that budget.
One of the best tricks that you’ll come up with as a traveller is how to sleep on buses… everyone has their own method. In fact, everyone has multiple methods. European buses tend to be pretty good, so you won’t have to worry too much about others sleeping on you or animals kicking around your feet (which happens in half the continents out there)… but you should still be aware of your bags at all times, and keep your valuables close. If you are going to sleep, locking your (small) bag and putting either your foot or arm through the arm hole is a good way to go about keeping your valuables safe in this form of travel.
You can certainly push the budget idea a little too far as you seek cheaper ways of travel. Take a look at when cheap becomes too cheap.
These are the three major and most used forms of travel throughout Europe. If you are looking for a different experience, and don’t mind a bit of extra hassle in order to get away from the other tourists, then check out alternative forms of travel.
Everyone travels Europe in a different manner, and finding the right way to travel is important to getting the most out of your experience.