Traveling by train is one of the most comfortable ways of travelling. You have the opportunity to gaze at amazing scenery in the company of others or otherwise as the train zooms past different sights. Train travel in Europe is no different. If you are a tourist, train travel in Europe is one of the most budget friendly ways of visiting different cities in Europe. If you are travelling by train in Europe for the first time, we will share some tips below to get you started:
Purchasing Passes or Tickets
If you intend to undertake several long-distance trips, it will be wise to purchase an Interail pass commonly referred to as Eurail pass. You can get an unlimited pass or a pass that is valid for a number of days. No matter the length of your travel itinerary, all Eurail passes cost the same price.
If you will be travelling from city to city while making stops in between, then you might want to opt for individual tickets for each trip.
Booking and Class of Seats
There are options to purchase either first class or second class tickets on the train. The price difference is fair but the significant difference lies in the services provided in both class. First class tickets afford you better service, cleaner compartments and seats that can recline as far as you want. There are fewer people, hence less crowded. You do not get all these in second class.
When purchasing tickets for train travel in Europe, be sure to book ahead. Train travel is a popular mode of transport and seats may become unavailable if you do not prebook your ticket.
Validate your tickets
This will need to be done before you can board the train. It’s a simple process and can be completed by inserting your ticket into validating machines that can be found at the train station. It stamps the ticket so the train conductor can allow you to board. If your ticket isn’t validated, you will be charged a fine. Rail passes require that the tickets be validated at the train station in the ticket office. You will also need to manually fill some required details on the card.
Know your Platform and what station to get off
It’s important to arrive on time so you can conveniently locate the platform your train is leaving from. Be sure to arrive early so you have ample time to check your platform on the departure board. After doing this, find out if the platform is a distance or just a few steps away. You may end up missing your train if you do not observe these precautions.
Also, memorize the names of your departure and arrival stations. You don’t want to miss your stop or get off too early. If you don’t know how it is pronounced, politely ask someone to teach you how it is pronounced. You can ask the train conductor to notify you when you get to your stop while you also keep your ears peeled
Enjoy all facilities provided
For a pleasant dining experience, be sure to have a meal in the dining car. There are multiple sittings and you get the chance to eat and interact with fellow passengers. If you are travelling overnight, you can sleep on the train. You may opt for sleepers (private cabins), couchettes (shared cabins with about six beds), or seats that recline till you are comfortable.
Remember to pack light while you travel for easy navigation. Have a safe trip.