Your ways of travelling around Europe include air, water, road and rail. Which combination you choose depends on your budget and how much scenery you want to take in, as well as how much time you have. On the Internet it is a fairly easy task to book your transport in advance. Indeed, it’s wise to do so if you are travelling in high summer season. If you are travelling off-peak, you might like to book your plane and car rentals before you leave, and then sort everything else out once you are travelling.
Travelling by air
A quicker way to travel from country to country is by plane. It’s probably best to book your planes before accommodation. You can be more flexible with your dates. Check out various dates because prices vary considerably day-to-day.
There are a number of budget airlines where you can get some excellent deals, but be aware that they usually have baggage restrictions. You often can only take one piece of hand luggage, up to a certain size, and there can also be weight restrictions, of up to 10 kg, for example. The cost of your plane ticket does not include checked in luggage.
Travelling by rail
This is perhaps the most scenic way of travelling. Eurorail/Interail passes represent a good deal and can often be used on local transport. Trains are slower than planes, but you see much more of the country you are travelling through. Travelling by train is far more relaxed. It’s probably better to do shorter journeys by train time wise, when you take into consideration two hour before take-off check-in times at airports.
Look for rail deals on the Internet. Sometimes it works out cheaper to buy ordinary train tickets rather than a pass, because the different rail companies quite often do special offers on off-peak travel.
You can also choose a night train and leave one country, sleep in a couchette, and wake up in another country. Then you don’t “waste” daytime hours travelling.
Travelling by road
If you enjoy driving, or don’t mind sharing some of the driving, renting a car could be your answer to travelling around Europe. Most car rental operators let you drive the car between countries.
Remember, in the UK and Ireland, they drive on the left and in each country you have to get used to their traffic signs!
If you and a number of friends travelling together, sharing the cost of a hire car can work out economical for you. You can combine your ways of travelling about. For shorter journeys, public transport may well be your answer – local buses or tourist buses/coaches, for example. If a number of you are sharing a taxi, that can also be cost effective.
Travelling by water
Perhaps a cruise takes your fancy, where you can combine accommodation and travel. You can enjoy life on board and participate in online excursions when the ship docks. You are restricted to a timetable, but you are well taken care of.
For another interesting way of travelling, you may consider a leisurely cruise along the European waterways on a barge, going at your own pace and following your own itinerary.
Picture: sogmiller – Fotolia