Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Traveling Europe: Coach or Train?




So you’re about to start planning your backpacking trip across Europe. Eeek exciting!

A crucial thing you have to decide is how you’re going to get around. There are several options, from flying to cycling, but the main way many people travel is by train. I want you to consider another option - coach!

I know coach isn’t the go-to choice for travellers. I know this because every time I told someone I was travelling across Europe they would ask if I’m inter railing, I would say no, they would ask if I was flying, I would say no, they would look confused, I would say we’re travelling by coach, they would still look confused. 

I must admit, I would never have thought of travelling by coach if it weren’t for the boyfriend. Inter railing is the first thing that sprung to my mind when I initially sat down to plan my trip. The boyfriend had previously travelled by coach and he assured me that it was the better option for several reasons. Let’s run through them, then at the bottom of the post I’ll put a little comparison…

Duration

One of the reasons most people might not choose coaches over trains is the amount of time they take. Coaches take so much longer! Or do they? I was so surprised to find out that coaches took roughly the same amount of time as trains, sometimes they were actually quicker! 

Price

An obvious reason to choose coach is the price. With there being relatively little time differences for so many of the journeys, price played a big role in my decision. Coach tickets cost just fractions of what a train ticket will set you back, which is obviously super important if you’re travelling on a budget or if you just want to do everything as cheap as possible. 

Less money spent on travelling = more money spent on food and drink. Think about it. 

Comfort

Coaches have come a long way. Gone are the dingy, small and disastrous coaches you’d expect to see in a Carry On movie. In their place are new, sleek, trendy, modern coaches, showing off with their leather seats and air conditioning. A lot of the coaches I travelled on were fairly empty meaning I could push my seat back and have a good kip.

Entertainment

That’s right, entertainment. Bet you didn’t consider this one. Whether you’re travelling by coach or train, you’re probably gonna be seated for a few hours. We caught a fair amount of Regio Jet coaches and they had TV screens on the back of each seats, just like you’re on a plane, with a fair amount of films choices. I was so shocked and impressed! As if that’s not enough there was also free wifi and phone charging sockets for all.

Ease of Finding

Both stations are just as easy to find as each other. I had no trouble finding the coach station using public transport, a lot of them are actually next door to each other.

Extra Benefits

I just really want to give Rigio Jet a shout out here. They give you a FREE hot drink, including hot chocolate!!! How amazing is that?!?!

Comparisons

So just to give you a better idea of the small duration and huge price differences I decided to look up a few journeys. I’m comparing journeys on the same day (just over one month from day of writing post), with the start of the journey between 9am and 10am.

Berlin to Prague

Coach - Duration: 4hrs 30mins, Price: €15
Train - Duration: 4hrs 23 mins, Price: €34.40

Prague to Vienna

Coach - Duration: 4hrs 35mins, Price €15
Train - Duration: 4hrs, Price: €73.40

Vienna to Budapest

Coach - Duration: 2hrs 50 mins, Price: £16.90 (prices in GBP)
Train - Duration: 2hrs 20 mins, Price: €48.20
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2 comments

  1. I'm thinking about travelling across Europe by train next year - I tried it out small scale this year but want to do something bigger.

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  2. Ah cool, where are you thinking of going? Trains are good for really long distance, but anything close by and I'd choose the coach xx

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