Let’s face it traveling through Europe by rail is pretty romantic, but it’s also incredibly sensible for those on an educational tour. Trains are very punctual, few or no security lines, stations that are positioned directly in the center of town, reasonable prices, and the chance to see the ever-changing landscape up close. It’s also eco-friendly! Traveling from London to Paris on the Eurostar creates 1/10th the carbon dioxide per passenger than a plane traveling the same route. How great is that?!

It’s definitely my favorite way to travel!

You may be asking yourself where do I start? Well, I’m here to help.

First off, decide what countries you plan to visit.

Second, you need to purchase tickets. Now there are several options out there. Rail Europe specializes in single tickets as well as the major multi-trip passes. BritRail passes are great for North Americans who are interested in unlimited travel throughout Great Britain. Be sure to purchase these before your trip as they’re not sold in the United Kingdom. Eurail passes are for all of Europe. They include the Global Pass which is valid in twenty countries. Eurail Select Pass is great for those who plan on traveling to three or five adjoining countries. Whichever option you choose, don’t wait until your arrival into Europe to procure your rail tickets. They’ll be well near 20% more expensive.

The third thing you need to think over is whether to go first class or second. While first class tickets are about 50% more than a second class one, it could make the difference on a long train journey. First class tickets entail more comfortable/reclining seats, a meal, more luggage space, and an overall more quiet train car. Second class seats are great however for those trips that are only a few hours. Choose this option to save money for you to use when you arrive to your destination.

Traveling by train for a student tour can be very relaxing as you have front row seats to Europe’s most beautiful sites. Students and teachers will enjoy the break from airports as they experience a new way of travel that’s just as educational.

Have you traveled Europe by rail? What were some of your favorite rail journeys? Let me know in the comments.

Until next time,

Kate.