Why trains are my favorite way to travel

Trains are my favorite way to travel.

Planes, trains or automobiles? Throughout my travels, my favorite way to get to point A to point B is by train. I went on my first train ride only a year and a half ago and quickly learned what I had been missing. Now I’ve taken a train through seven countries, and the rides are as cool as the magical trips to Hogwarts in the Harry Potter movies. Obviously, sometimes it’s not possible, but when it is, it’s the most relaxing and fun way to travel. Here is what makes train rides great:

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Somewhere on a train.

You see areas you wouldn’t normally get to. On my first overseas trip my travel partner Bri and I went on a two-week Europe trip covering five countries and got around mostly by train. We only spent 24 hours in Germany, and we were able to see more beautiful buildings and scenery from the train we otherwise wouldn’t have seen. Then, we rode through Switzerland and passed amazing view after amazing view. We only had time to spend a few days in Geneva, but on our ride, we got to see more of the fantastic scenery Switzerland has to offer.

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My first sight of Germany.

It’s not very stressful. You don’t have to show up hours in advance. Sometimes you can show up less than 10 minutes before your train departs and hop right on. There’s not the anxiety in the air that fills airports. When traveling, especially by myself, my most stressful times were when trying to catch a flight when check-in and security lines seemed endless. Traveling by train is a much more laidback way to get around. Pack a few snacks in your bag, sit back and enjoy the ride.

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The peaceful journey to Geneva, Switzerland.

There’s something relaxing about the ride. As soon as the train gets moving, I’m put at ease. With views sliding through the windows, it feels like you’re gliding through cities and countries. You never know what you’re going to see next. It’s fun passing through cities until you make it to your final destination. Also, it’s one of my favorite times to get reading and writing done, especially on the longer rides.

On my solo travels in Europe, I began to look forward to train rides to my next destination. Especially after having to fly to a couple places, I realized just how much I loved taking trains. I went from London to Newcastle, then to Manchester. Venice to Rome and Madrid to Barcelona. It was so peaceful gliding through these beautiful areas on my cushioned window seat.

Another train ride is long overdue, but I’ll have to wait until this summer. My plan is to take trains through parts of central and eastern Europe.

What’s your favorite way to travel? What are your best moments while getting to your destination?

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Me and Bri at the train station in Wiesbaden, Germany.

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18 thoughts on “Why trains are my favorite way to travel

  1. I think once my son is old enough, I’m trying this. I fly a lot cause I can’t stand the long hours with the baby on a train. I can’t wait to try the train.

  2. Absolutely agree, I love traveling by train! It’s so relaxing and it’s nice to be able to look out at the scenery instead of watching the road.

  3. I totally agree with this! I love trains. They put me at ease, and I am free to unwind and write/read a book/listen to music. I think trains make me feel more connected to my destination as opposed to when I have flown somewhere or have been driven around.

  4. I LOVE to travel by train. One of my best travel moments was catching a 46 hour train from Seattle to Chicago in the middle of Winter. The scenery was AMAZING! Europe is my next train adventure 🙂

  5. Have to admit that train travel is much better than I expected. We once had to resort to using the train when all our flights were cancelled. It really was wonderful seeing the countryside and having the freedom to get up and walk around was much nicer than flying on a cramped airplane!

  6. I love trains, too! For all of those reasons and another: traveling with kids is so much easier on the train. No one has to sit super still the entire time. You can get up and walk to the next car, or to the bathroom, or switch seats (on some anyway) and there is usually a little tray where you can work on something fun. Easy! Wish we had them in the states. I would never drive!

  7. Trains in Europe are awesome as they are really fast and often cheap when you manage to book in advance or get a good deal! And if you have to, it’s so easy to set up a comfortable desk to do some work!
    Now in Australia, it’s not my favourite option, though. Here, I really like road trips when I’m not the driver, for some of the reasons you mentioned with the train. I can enjoy the landscape and go at a slow or high pace according to what we want and need. I also love the option to be able to stop when we really like the view or are curious about a place.

  8. I always thought train travel was better suited for those taking lengthier trips. After reading this, however, it seems great for short-term travel as well. As you said, with just 24 hours in Germany, you were still able to see more of the country once on the train! I’d love to take the train between Paris and Rome this spring, but I’m not sure we can spare the time. We shall see! 🙂

  9. I used to hate trains for some time, but something has changed recently. I actually like it more than flying! For the reasons you’ve written here. 😉

  10. Trains are also my favourite way of travelling. I love riding bullet trains (I rode them in France, Germany, Belgium, and China), but they do not allow you to admire at the ambiance due to the speed. Great pics of Geneva!

    Svet

  11. Auto is definitely my preferred way to travel. I love exploring wherever, however, whenever I want. Trains, though, have definitely surpassed airplanes, in my travel preference.

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