Means of transport on a European travel itinerary
Once you have chosen the places of interest, transport is another of the most important points to take into account when planning your travel itinerary, where the choice of a particular means of transport will depend on several factors such as budget, availability and the duration of the trip. In this section we will discuss which means of transport exist in Europe, their main advantages and disadvantages, as well as which companies we use.
Train or bus?
In Europe the railway network is quite extensive and as a consequence not only the capital cities enjoy excellent connections with each other but also any relatively important city is accessible via this means of transport. We recommend trains as they are comfortable, spacious and generally offer wonderful panoramic views. Another good thing about trains is that they are one of the most environmentally friendly travel options, as their carbon footprint is much smaller than other modes of transport such as cars or buses.
As an example, we recommend using the official website of the German state railway company Deutsche Bahn, also known as DB for its German acronym, to organise itineraries around Germany. There you can coordinate your journeys as well as purchase tickets at the most convenient prices. Also, if you want to travel around this beautiful country this summer (2022) we recommend you to read our article on How to travel through Germany for 9 euros, where we tell you all about the new 9 EUR tickets valid for one calendar month available during the months of June, July and August. If your destination is the Netherlands, we recommend using the service provided by the Dutch state-owned railway company, the Nederlandse Spoorwegen, also known as NS. In the case of Belgium the Belgian state company is known as NMBS (SNCB). We also use other trains such as Thalys, SNCF, Eurostar and many others.
As you may notice, it can be a bit tedious to use each company's website depending on the train you want to take and that's why we recommend using tools to compare different transport options automatically. In particular, below you will find a widget that will allow you to find the most convenient option for your pocket and itinerary.
Finally, we are aware that trains can be expensive, especially if they are not bought in advance. Therefore, we suggest you also to travel by bus as they are much cheaper and also offer a wide variety of destinations, although they are generally less comfortable and slower than trains. If you want to use this means of transport we recommend Flixbus, a leading German company. Fortunately, the widget we shared with you above allows you to compare both trains and buses at the same time and is therefore a tool that we strongly recommend you to use.
Is it advisable to rent a car?
We always prefer trains or buses because we know that in this continent the main cities are very well connected although we are aware that there are many incredible places that either require many combinations or are impossible to visit using only these means of transport. In this way, the car allows us not only to access those hidden places that would otherwise be impossible to visit, but also gives us the time flexibility to move around at will. For this reason, we believe that renting a car is practical, comfortable and above all more economical, especially if you are travelling in a group. Our recommendation is to always rent through leading companies, such as Avis and Budget, and also to use the search engine/comparison below to find the largest offer at the best price.
Plane for long distances
We know that for relatively short distances the train, bus and car are the best option, but for longer distances the plane is practically unbeatable. In particular, in this other article we have told you all about this means of transport and which search engine to use to find the most convenient flights at the best price. In any case, it is worth noting that travelling by plane with luggage generally has an additional cost and should therefore be taken into account when planning your travel itinerary.
Adventuring with a camper van
For the more adventurous, our recommendation is to rent a camper van, thus solving both the problem of transport and accommodation at the same time. It should be noted that you will need to evaluate in advance not only where you will spend the night but also whether the places you plan to visit have some kind of ban for these vehicles or whether the roads allow for comfortable driving.
So now you know, there is a wide variety of transport options and in general the convenience of one or the other has not only an objective but also a subjective component. So try to choose the means of transport that best suits your needs, your budget, and above all those that will make your trip a unique experience. Bon voyage!