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Travel Transportation Airs, Trains, Buses, and Boats, what should I do ? What´s a Eurail Pass? How to rent a car abroad ? Is it safe to take the bus?

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Old 03-12-2007, 04:57 PM   #1
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What does everyone here prefer, trains or planes? Me and some buds will be out and about this summer for two weeks, is the rail pass worth it or would it be better to do cheap flights?
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Old 03-12-2007, 05:14 PM   #2
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personally im obsessed with flying, but i did both when i was in europe...trains are fun too
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Old 03-12-2007, 05:14 PM   #3
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It depends on how much flexibility you want and how long you have to travel. Cheap flights generally need be booked a few months in advance, so taking that route will restrict you to a set itinerary. On the other hand though, they get you to your next destination in a fraction of the time and can even be cheaper than taking a train.

Personally I only use flights to get me to the continent and back again, then stick to trains/buses while I'm there, but everybody's different.
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Old 03-12-2007, 05:28 PM   #4
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if trains are more flexibile we will probably go that way. One thing we are kind of wanting is to be restricted to a basic itenerary. So would that unlimited 2 week eurorail pass be worth it?
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Old 03-12-2007, 05:40 PM   #5
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^ Depends. For two weeks, realistically, how many cities are you going to try to see? Maybe you should think about a pass for X number of countries on X number of travel days instead, it would probably save you some money instead of the unlimited (unless you plan on moving from place to place EVERY DAY). For example, on one of my trips a couple of years ago, I had the four-country, 8-day pass for my five-week trip. I ended up really only needing 6 of those days and even that was a quicker pace than I would have liked. And if you can, calculate the cost of point-to-point tickets vs. the pass. Most likely there won't be too much of a difference.

For flights, keep in mind that a lot of the budget airlines use airports outside of major city centres. RyanAir does this the most. So getting to/from the airport adds significantly to your "travel time", as does the check-in, etc. Sometimes, depending on the journey, taking the train ends up being not a whole lot of difference, time-wise. And you get to see more of the countryside, which I always like.
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Old 03-13-2007, 12:45 PM   #6
 
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In general, when time & money is not an issue, I prefer trains.
When time is an issue, but not money, flying...
When money is an issue, whatever is cheaper but if comparable prices between train and flying, I prefer the train.

I think it's probably because I've flown a lot in my life and it's routine to me and not as exciting as it is to other people. In the meantime, I love riding trains, having dinner in the dining car with the scenery going by, drinks in the lounge car and socializing with other travelers. A long train ride allows for more social opportunities than a long flight.
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Old 03-13-2007, 01:18 PM   #7
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i've tried both, but i prefer trains. sometimes i have had to take planes due to the places i've been going to, i.e. dublin to london or edinburgh, toronto to st. john's. trains are by far my favourite way to move around and in europe they don't take that long depending on where you're going. but if i have the time i'll take longer train rides when i'm travelling around canada. i've even taken a 25-hour plus train ride from toronto to halifax. on longer trips the trains here have observation cars where there is a second floor that has windows all around as well as a glass ceiling so you can look around. it's awesome (doesn't work at night though because the lights just reflect off the glass). booking last minute flights in europe isn't all that cheap though. i booked a flight to edinburgh a month in advance at 50 euros for a return ticket and checked back a few days before we left just to see the price. it was about 200 euros (can't remember if that was return flight or one way). if you want to travel without a plan and not travel too far in one go i.e. not going from poland to spain in a day or something, then trains or buses are your best bet.
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