Why travel by train instead of plane?
Most people would call it a no-brainer. But is it, really? Airplanes are widely regarded as being the more advanced form of travel, and that reputation is duly deserved. The world’s first commercial flight took off in the year 1914. Passenger trains, on the other hand, have been running since 1825.
Being newer, however, isn’t the same as being better. Between trains and planes, which is better, then? Air travel isn’t always faster than traveling by train. In a lot of situations, it’s the train that’s quicker, more economical, enjoyable, and comfortable.
Why Travel By Train, Not A Plane? 7 Compelling Reasons
When people compare trains and airplanes, the first thing they consider is the speed of travel. Between trains and planes, which is faster? Our answer is — trains.
While planes obviously move faster, the actual duration of a journey by air is often longer. Most commercial airports aren’t located at the center of the cities, so it takes at least a little traveling to reach the airport. Once you land, there’s further traveling to do to reach your actual destination.
Factors like early check-ins, security screenings, submitting and collecting your luggage further add to the duration of travel. In many situations, traveling by train can reduce the actual traveling time.
This makes the benefits of traveling by train too good to resist. Here are the 7 travel situations where trains are better than planes.
1. When Your Travel Is Recreational
Whether you’re traveling with friends, family, or by yourself, train trips are the superior option for a variety of reasons. With trains, the actual vacation begins with boarding the train. You’ll have greater legroom and general mobility compared to the typically cramped seating spaces in a plane. Unlike in a plane, you’ll have the freedom to stand up and walk around without disturbing your co-passengers.
Train travel allows you to take in the local scenery in a more intimate fashion than air travel. Also, unlike with air travel, you have access to fresh air, and the view isn’t reserved just for the one in the window seat. The wider view creates greater engagement and if you’ve got a travel companion, interesting conversations.
Another big plus of taking the train is that you can change your seats. On a plane, you’re practically stuck with the seat you’ve got for the duration of your journey. When traveling by train, you can simply move into empty seats, or even switch seats with fellow travelers.
If you’re traveling with kids, the greater space at your disposal and the absence of turbulence makes trains the clear winner. Trains travel also allows you to carry the home comforts that you wouldn’t be allowed on the plane.
When you’ve got little kids traveling with you, the little extra luggage and the home comforts it can hold can come in handy. The kids can have more toys, books, refreshments, and other means of entertainment to keep them occupied and prevent stress. They can also move around more freely, instead of being forced to stay put in their seat for hours.
A lot of trains allow free travel to children up to the age of four if they’re sharing the seat with a grownup. Once you mention the age of the child passenger, the train service automatically assigns you the most suitable seats for your particular needs.
Traveling by train takes you through places you typically wouldn’t head to on a vacation. The sights and sounds of the countryside, mountains, and small towns also present a wonderful learning experience for children.
2. When You Want to Stay Connected While Traveling
Need to say stay connected with your office, family, or friends while you’re traveling? In any train versus plane travel comparison, the scale tilts towards trains on this parameter.
Train travel doesn’t involve restrictions on using your phone, so you can both work and keep in touch with your friends.
Free Wi-Fi is a luxury in air travel. Only a handful of airlines around the world offer the facility, and the coverage is very limited. In most airlines, Wi-Fi is reserved for premium cabin passengers.
When you travel on a train, there are no such issues. Plenty of domestic and international train services offer free or cheap Wi-Fi to passengers. If you find yourself aboard a train that doesn’t have Wi-Fi, you can always use your cellular data to catch up on some work or get in touch with your friends.
3. When You’re Traveling with Pets
Traveling with your pets is easier on a train than on an airplane. A lot of airlines across the world require pets to be carried as cargo. Some airlines allow certain pets to travel in the cabin. The charges, however, are far greater than those you’ll need to pay when taking the train.
Plenty of train operators offer free travel for small pets that don’t endanger fellow passengers. The experience of air travel can also be more frightening and stressful to your pets than a train journey. Plus, among trains and planes, trains are safer for pets, as well as their human owners, because the technology has matured for centuries, instead of decades.
4. When You Want More Comfort
Journeying on a train takes you around some of the most common and dreaded discomforts of air travel. These include the general fear of cramped places, flying, turbulence, and jet lag.
When you choose the train, you get to avoid the stresses of airport security checks. Most airports require passengers to arrive long before their flight takes off. With trains, the check-in time rarely exceeds more than 30 minutes. If the train station is crowded, you don’t have to be part of the crowd for hours, which is a common occurrence at airports.
5. When You Value Freedom of Choice
Train travel offers more freedom to the individual than most other forms of travel. You can carry more luggage than on a flight, or even a car trip. This means that you can carry more clothing for varying weather conditions.
Dedicated to your diet plan, or wary of the taste or quality of food served to the passengers? Most train services allow you to bring your own food and drinks on your journey. A lot of trains serve excellent local and regional cuisines. This allows you to try out new flavors from top chefs at pretty reasonable costs. That sure beats the half-frozen, heavily salted food you’re served by most airlines.
6. When You Want Touristy Freebies
If you’re a tourist looking to take in the local sights, ditching the plane can be quite rewarding. A lot of trains across the globe offer awesome freebies with the train ticket. These can include discounts in select cities and free or discounted entry into popular tourist attractions.
Plenty of train services offer discounted entry into local museums, zoos, and other tourist hotspots with the train ticket. Make sure you inquire about these hidden freebies when purchasing your train ticket.
7. When You’re Thinking Of The Environment
Environmental scientists estimate commercial aviation’s contribution to human-induced climate change to four to nine percent. As such, you’re helping prevent further damage to the environment every time you make the choice to ditch the plane.
Recent research into the carbon dioxide produced by passengers on trains and planes has revealed some startling statistics. When traveling the same distance, passengers aboard a train account for 90 percent less carbon dioxide than passengers aboard a plane.
There are times and situations when flying is a necessity. When it’s not, pick the train over the plane and do your bit for the environment.
A train journey can be vastly more enriching and memorable than air travel. It’s also good for your budget and the planet. If you’re someone that flies all the time, we’d advise you to try the train next time. There’s a big chance you’ll enjoy the change.
Now you know, why traveling by train is so much more rewarding than waiting in airport lounges for your flight’s boarding to finally begin.
3 Bonus Travel Tips, For When You Travel By Train
- If you’re traveling to multiple destinations by train, look into getting a rail pass. In many situations, it can help you save money.
- For the ultimate way to save money, you could consider forgoing the hotel, and sleeping on trains between vacation destinations. It might not be the most comfortable or glamorous, but it can really stretch your travel budget.
- Regardless of your mode of travel, be sure to purchase travel insurance prior to any international journey. It can provide financial protection for a variety of unexpected medical and travel-related issues.
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