Flying is not the only option
In addition to allowing you to enjoy the scenery, trains are a good option for travelling around Europe, especially for short-distance destinations. If you are going to a more distant place you can also take a night train, combining sleeping and travelling in one.
- InterRail: the pass to travel in Europe by train: if you plan on visiting several different countries, save some money by getting an InterRail pass. Just check the combinations that better suit your route around Europe and hop on and off many of Europe’s trains by simply showing your InterRail pass.
- RailEurope: create your own train itinerary by searching among 50 different train companies around Europe.
- Trainline: Search, compare, and buy cheap train tickets
- Eurostar: comfortable express train connections, especially between UK, France & Belgium a great option to consider instead of flying
Pro tip: check out group ticket options – in some places it’s popular for strangers to team up in order to form groups of 3-6 people travelling on the same connection, with a cheaper shared ticket. Works mostly with local routes. Check out an example from Germany - Deutsche Bahn’s Group Saver Fare.
Look out for youth discounts, sometimes there are great offers for young people out there, such as Belgian Go Pass 10 – 10 travels to anywhere in the country for 52€, valid for a year (for under 26 years old)
Travelling by bus shares some of the advantages of the train, such as the chance to enjoy the view and to travel during the night. Even though it can be slower at some points, it can be your only option to reach a remote location. Usually it’s a very affordable option as well.
- Eurolines: a long distance coach organisation, Eurolines connects all the major European cities. Discover different destinations and timetables.
- Busabout: this bus service identifies itself as an alternative choice with a freestyle form of travel and unique hop-on hop-off flexible coach network.
- Megabus: low cost option for intercity travel around Europe.
- Flixbus: Cheap coach and bus travel throughout Europe
- Polski Bus: budget express coach operator
- Lux Express: international express routes coach operator in the Baltic region
- Ecolines: long distance coach organisation with a transnational network
- National Express: coach travel and airport transfer in the UK
- ALSA: Spanish coach operator
- OUIBUS: Affordable coach and bus journeys in France and around Europe
- Onnibus: if you are ever in Finland
- Swebus: cheap bus tickets in Sweden
- Infobus: Ukraine and around Europe
- Sindbad: international coach transport
Whether you have a car or not, you can still choose the car as your transport method around Europe. Carpooling is flexible and you don't even have to know how to drive. As a driver or a passenger, you share the expenses and meet new people along the way.
- RoadSharing: car sharing and hitchhiking
- Blablacar: connects drivers who have empty seats with people looking for a ride around Europe – a French company, which is now a predominant carpooling platform in Europe
- GoMore – Danish portal for carsharing – check out also other countries, some of them might have local platforms more popular than Blablacar.
- Ridefinder: carpooling and ridesharing across Europe
- Karzoo: carpool in Europe
Renting a car/ motorbike/ bicycle
Driving is not super-environmental friendly, but it’s a good option to consider when travelling in a group of 4 or 5, especially if you are interested in touring around the country, seeing nature, travelling along the coasts – those places are often not easily accessible by public transportation. Airports often have food deals for car hires.
A motorbike or a scooter is a great option if you are going to South-East Asia – it’s a very affordable mean of transportation, which gives you a lot of flexibility and independence, plus it will make you feel a little bit more like a local!
Cycling might seem like a quite demanding way of travelling, but it is definitely a fantastic way of getting around, and something to consider if you want to be independent, see a lot of nature, meet new people, and last but not least, prove yourself that you can do it! Check out this article from a German female solo bike traveller, as well as some tips on how to prepare and what to do before venturing out on your 2-wheeled adventure. Not ready for a crosscontinental bicycle journey yet? Rent a bike to roam around the town during your next city getaway - cycling is a great way of urban sightseeing too!
It may have never crossed your mind, but an overnight ferry can sometimes be your best option, especially if you are around the Mediterranean or Scandinavia.
- Ferrylines.com: search among over 1.800 ferry routes in Europe.
- Aferry.com: over 1200 ferry routes throughout the UK, France, Spain, Ireland, Holland, the Mediterranean and the rest of Europe.
Everything in one place
There is a lot of handy online tools to help you sort out your travel plans, for instance:
Rome2Rio is an absolutely brilliant tool for planning your trip, and is pretty much what its name says – if you want to get from Rome to Rio de Janeiro, or from any place to anywhere else for that matter, this website will show all possible connections, with estimated prices, and different means of transportation: plane, coach, train, car, carpooling, ferry, etc. It also links you to the transport providers’ websites and their timetables.
On Go Euro you can search and compare cheap buses, trains and flights to anywhere in Europe.
Student Agency is another place to look for good deals and compare different offers.
ComparaBUS is an easy way of comparing prices from different coach companies; it prioritises buses, but, alternatively, also advises on rail or plane options.
Stay safe and know your rights
Whatever means of transport you choose for your trip, make sure you are informed about your rights as a passenger.
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