Travel Comfortably and Safely by Rail in Europe
Italian FSE 444
If you are traveling in Europe you want to be safe and not get hurt, injured, experience any loss or even have some type of hassle. Much of Europe is probably safer to travel than many of the big US cities, however, big cities like Paris are not as safe as the country side.
Avoiding a bar fight eliminates one half of the injuries that happen in Europe. That does not mean you have to avoid visiting various pubs, but choose a safer area and don't drink more than your limit.
Surely terrorism is a problem based on religious and political differences. There have been bombings as many have been reported over the years. Be alert to your surroundings, and stay out of dangerous areas. There is much available information on lthe internet to check on before your travel to any country.
European High Speed Rail
A great way to see the beautiful scenery in Europe is to travel by train. This is a very affordable option, and there are trains connecting all the major cities of Europe. However, the planing must begin long before you hop of the train.
Proper validation of your ticket is necessary. You simply slip your card into the validation machine at your train's platform for acceptance of your ticket. A rail pass is automatically stamped when purchased, so the validation at the train platform is the second stamping. The flexi passes must be filled in correctly as well, with the day, month and year.
Traveling on a train at night to have a sight seeing day can be difficult unless you have booked a sleeper car. Also, confirm your stop on a map ahead of time if you are not fluent in the language on the country where you travel. You do not want to get out on the wrong stop. Watch your valuables carefully as well.
You can purchase a meal on the long distance train, but you may be better off picking up food before your board the train from a financial perspective and if you have dietary restrictions.
Europeans travel light with smaller suitcases, which may be a consideration for you when traveling as well. In addition, Europeans tend to speak softer, so if the car is very quiet be respectful of this distinction.
London to Paris by Eurostar e320
Specific Choices of Rain Travel
There are also several scenic train journeys, such as the Eastern European rail, which is a nine hour trip starting in Prague and traveling to Krakow, Poland. There is also the Glacier Express, which tours the Swiss alps from Zermatt to St Moritz.
The Eurostar in three hours will get you from London St Pancras to Rotterdam, and if you add Amsterdam it will take just one more hour.
The Bergen Railway travels from Oslo to Bergen in Norway giving travelers a chance to view Norway's beautiful scenery. The French TGV train runs at 200 mph, stating in Paris and reaching dozens of French city, as well as, Bern, Brussels, Zurich, Milan, Venice and Florence, Italy. Many of the high speed rails go 250 kmph and will quickly move you from one country to the next.
Map of Some Train Routes
Planning a Safe, Comfortable Trip
Planning ahead for your trip by purchasing all the items necessary for travel. European trains are known to have comfortable seats and run by the scheduled timetable. If you plan on biking in Europe, trains have a special coach to store bicycles. The bikes should be labeled with your name, address and destination. Use a bike lock for safety as well.
Other ideas to travel safely;
- Label each suitcase or travel bag, then buy a lock for each case. There are also luggage straps that can be purchased to tie your luggage together.
- Check out the different trains in European to learn what amenities are available. For instance, the Artesia Night is a sleeper train. Locate luggage racks. bathrooms and showers, and buffet cars.
- As trains in Europe tend to fill up early it is a good idea to arrive early and stow your baggage on a rack near your seat. Lock you luggage with a chain and lock.
- If you bring a small carry on, make sure you take it with you to the rest room or the buffet car.
- When exiting a train you may get help from a train attendant as necessary.
- It is ideal to pack light to cut down on the amount of baggage. Pack sensible walking shoes and several shirts to match one pair of slacks.
The train stations have yellow posters at the stations that will answer many of your questions. Trains typically take you into the heart of the city of your destination.
How to Plan a European Train Trip
There are different types of rail passes available. Some passes are offered at a lower price for travelers from other countries. Also some passes for seniors and children are also lower priced. The Eurail Select Passes are sold for a particular number of travel days, which shows you how important it is to plan you trip ahead of time.
When traveling from one city to another, you may choose between a city-to-city ticket or a rail pass. A city-to-city you may purchase an open ticket good for a month, so it depends on the flexibility of your travel plans. A rail pass "can be either consecutive (valid for unlimited train travel) or flexi (valid for a fixed number of travel days)".
There is also the Eurail Global Pass, which is available in two forms. One type of pass is flexible and is either for ten or fifteen travel days. The other allows unlimited travel to Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland within 10 or 15 days, or one, two or three months. There are also passes available if you are only going to see two countries that have a common border.
The bottom line is you don't have to have a pass at all, but you may buy a ticket from one city to another. This may be the cheapest way to travel!
Swiss Alps - July Pass
European Travel Tour Summary
Obviously there are some clear reasons to see European by rail. The scenery is spectacular. A little planning can allow you to travel at an affordable price. It is not difficult to see a number of countries with one Eurail pass.
The French train travels at 200 miles at hour which will quickly get you to a new destination if that is your choice. You can also take a scenic train tour to several beautiful counties.
Travel by Train in Europe
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The copyright, renewed in 2018, for this article is owned by Pamela Oglesby. Permission to republish this article in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.