For almost 50 years travellers from Britain have been packing their bags and heading for the bright lights of mainland Europe, embarking on what is known as the ‘interrail experience’.
Despite going out of fashion somewhat in the early 2000s, the appeal of such a holiday is back, and for the past decade, prior to the coronavirus pandemic, school leavers and university students alike have made it the to-do thing once again.
Rail connectivity specialists Nomad Digital have been looking at how to make the most out of a rail holiday for when travel restrictions are lifted.
“A right of passage, if you will, backpacking sees youngsters immerse themselves in the culture and lifestyle on offer by the various European countries dotted across the interrail map.
That said, it isn’t just young, twenty-somethings departing on a train-style trek — its popularity has grown drastically among the older generations, and with good reason too.
Here, we take a look at why so many holidaymakers are choosing railroad adventures and how you can prepare for a rail holiday when travel restrictions are lifted.
Did you know that a journey from London to Madrid on a train emits around 43kg of CO2 per passenger while a plane, alternatively, emits 118kg? It has been found that trains produce on average 14g of CO2 per passenger per mile while planes output a whopping 285g.
Therefore, if you want to a more positive impact on the environment via your holiday, you’ll want to climb aboard a train long before you get on a flight!
It must be remembered, however, that electric trains are going to be significantly more environmentally friendly that heavy fuel-powered alternatives.
Despite the fact flights do, occasionally, offer us the opportunity to indulge in stunning landscapes as they make their descent, chances are it’s only a matter of a brief glimpse.
On a train, meanwhile, you are afforded the luxury of continued idyllic backdrops as you meander through hundreds of miles of countryside.
There is nothing more relaxing than gazing out the window of a train sweeping through the hills accompanied by a glass of pinot or two.
There is no denying that flying, on most occasions, is the quickest way to travel. However, it isn’t always — even when you’re crossing country borders.
A flight from London to Brussels, based on the traveller beginning in central London, travelling to the airport, waiting for the flight, flying, and making it to the city centre at the other side, takes 4 hours 50 minutes. On the train, however, your journey will take two hours less.
Why, we hear you ask? Well, alongside simply arriving and hopping on, the beauty of train stations is they all tend to be centrally located in cities and towns, unlike airports which tend to be situated on the outskirts.
No hanging around waiting on buses or forking out extra for taxis.
There’s nothing worse than boarding a six-hour coach knowing that even if you are lucky enough to have internet connection, it’s going to be sub-standard. Perhaps you agreed with work that you’d still pick up emails in order to get that all important time off, or maybe you just want to catch up on all the episodes of your favourite series that you’ve missed.
Travelling by train as opposed to alternative modes of transport offers this luxury — uninterrupted internet signal. Trackside railway WiFi ensures that you, the passenger, aren’t left disconnected for hours on end, enjoy rail entertainment or answer those emails before you get home.
A lack of legroom on flights is somewhat standard across the board on economy flights. Back at the turn of the century, standard legroom would be around 34-35 inches. Now? Well, you’ll be surprised to discover that you’ll be lucky to get 30-31 inches, even as little as 28 inches on short, domestic flights.
On a train, meanwhile, you’re often afforded the luxury of extensive leg room alongside the opportunity to get up, stroll about, and stretch the legs.
We think the reasons we’ve gifted you are more than enough to ensure that you choose rail over road or air on your next holiday, but you will recognise how much better it is once you’ve given it a try.”
Photo credit: Nomad Digital/Shutterstock