“Ladies and gentlemen, please stow your carry-on luggage underneath the seat in front of you or in an overhead bin. Please take your seat and fasten your seat belt. And also make sure your seat back and folding trays are in their full upright position. Prepare for take-off please.”
In a previous article I talked about some methods of transportation while out on the road; walking, hitchhiking, car and bus; check that out here, if you haven’t already. In this post I’m going to discuss trains, planes and boats.
As with the last few articles, this accompanies a video on my YouTube channel, check it out here: A Plane Guide To Travel or alternatively, it’s just below:
The first mode of transport I was regularly using was the train. In some countries it’s actually better to use the train than a coach, especially towards Eastern Europe I have found the train covers more than the long distance buses do, plus the train journeys can be a lot more comfortable that sitting on a bus. The train is a better option in places that can be difficult for the bus to reach, or for when the train journey is more enchanting, such as when I was in Norway touring between Oslo and Bergen as the tracks actually move through the mountains and around fjords.
On that same trip I was using an InterRail pass which offers a select amount of train journeys, or travel over a certain time period for a set price, instead of having to pay for individual tickets. In some situations this can more beneficial, especially for short term trips as it can help you to plan beforehand or if it would actually be more expensive to purchase separate tickets, but do check this before purchasing the pass. Head to the InterRail website for more details, if you need advice on this, please do get in touch. Personally, I have found that the only negative to using the train is that it can be immensely expensive in some places; Western Europe, predominately the UK was probably the priciest I’ve found so far.
Planes are great for getting long distances in a short amount of time; it would take days on a bus to cross from one side of Europe to the other, but in a plane, it is a matter of a few hours. One of the biggest downsides to air travel I’d state is the incredibly long wait before actually getting in the air, firstly getting through check in, through security and then waiting in the lounge to actually board before waiting some more on the actual plane, and then finally taking off. (I do intend to talk about luggage and essentials in another post to not make this too long.) The other downside is that it can be quite costly to buy plane tickets so it’s a really good idea to shop around. The main site I use to find the best flights is Skyscanner, but there’s a whole host of them out there. In my accompanying video I briefly explain how to use Skyscanner so head (t)here if you want a little overview.
I’ve only travelled by boat on a few occasions, from Stockholm to Helsinki, and back again, across the channel from London to Paris and even technically by train from Copenhagen to Hamburg. Most of the trips I’ve taken were on small boats, a seating area in the main hub of the craft and usually a rooftop deck to get a proper look at the surroundings but the times where it was a bigger ship it was different. When I went from London to Paris, the bus boarded a ferry and we had to get off the bus while it sailed across the channel, and similarly when I went from Denmark to Germany, the train pulled onto a boat and took us over the water. Both of these were short trips on the boat and so we only got seating areas, no beds. My trip between Stockholm and Helsinki though, that was a little different. I wasn’t really sure what I was booking when I actually paid for everything so when I found out that I got my own personal cabin for the night I was ecstatic even if it was in the hull of the ship. In all honesty I’ve struggled to come up with some upsides to using a boat to travel, apart from that it’s a step up in terms of luxury and that during the journey you can wander around completely freely, there’s activities on board and you might be able to get a good night’s sleep. The downside is that it can take a lot longer than say air travel, it can be very costly, and that some people can suffer severe sea sickness.
There are of course certain methods of travel I haven’t included in this and that’s solely because I have no experience with them myself and thus I can’t offer any advice on them.
I do hope that has helped in some way; if you’d like any more advice on transport or recommendations for your travels; please do get in touch, all my contact details are listed here.