Aside from the ubiquitous ‘wing shots’ that seem to make up at least one quarter of Instagram, what’s so good about flying? Passport controls are long, airports all look the same and there’s always the fear that you might just lose your luggage. Trains are just so much better than planes and here are eight reasons why.
1.) The ViewsWho wants to look at a bland sky for hours on end? We’d much rather take in the range of vistas from a carriage window as we wind through hills, fields, mountains and even urban sprawl.
2.) Less WaitingIf you want to wait in passport queues and endure shakedowns at the hands of security then by all means travel by plane. Otherwise hop on a train after a quick flash of the passport (and a short wait in departures) and think nothing at all of crossing from country to country as you ride.
3.) SocialisingHonestly, how often do you get chatting to people on planes? Earphones go in, sleep masks go on and that’s that. Not so on a train where talking to your fellow traveler is all part of the experience. Plus, there’s usually a dining cart, which means if you strike a spark with that someone special then you’ve got the perfect date spot just a few carriages away.
4.) Sleeper CarsSure, you can sleep on a plane but if you want a proper bed then you’re going to have to upgrade your ticket and dig out your credit card. Sleeper cars on trains – and yes you can book private cabins as well – are so much cheaper and so much more romantic. Plus the undulating rumble of the train will rock you off to sleep before you can say ‘one sheep, two sheep, three she…’
5.) FreedomBring more luggage, wander the aisles, pack all the grooming products you want in whatever size you want them and most importantly, feel free to move if you’re failing to enjoy the company of your neighbour. Stuck on a long haul flight next to someone who seems to think good personal hygiene is some kind of abstract concept? Wouldn’t happen on a train where freedom of movement reigns.
6.) Less CO2 EmissionsThe CO2 emissions per passenger on a Eurostar train from London to Paris are 22kg. The same journey by plane creates emissions of 244kg CO2 per passenger. Which means travelling by train is, in some cases, 90% more environmentally friendly than travelling by plane. Need we say more?
7.) Stunning StationsWe’ll admit that airports have better facilities but what’s duty free shopping compared to the historic beauty of the train stations of Europe? Antwerp’s Central Station is a favourite of ours.
8.) Train PicnicsBoxes of wine, chilled bubbly, freshly prepared food… your imagination is the only limit on the type of picnic you can take onto a train. On a plane it’s set meals, bad wine and bags of nuts. We know which we’d prefer.
So there you go, trains are better, fact.