Getting Around Once You’re Here.
I thought it would be nice to follow up my story on travel difficulties in Europe with some actual travel advice. While most of us can figure out how to book flight to Europe, knowing the best ways to get around once you’re here may be a bit of a mystery. I certainly don’t claim to be an expert but here are some tips based on my own experience.
Air Travel- Traveling around Europe by plane can be much more feasible than you might think. Discount airlines such as Ryan Air and EasyJet, booked in advance, can be much cheaper and faster than taking the train. A one-way ticket on easyjet from Paris to Barcelona can be had for as low as $30, with a flight time of just over an hour. The downside is that the flights and destinations offered by these companies can be quite limited and the airports they fly out of can sometimes be very out of the way.
Bus- Inter-European travel by bus is frequently your least expensive option. Buses serve most major European cities and there are numerous smaller lines serving more remote areas. Eurolines is the largest provider of inter-country travel and does it for very cheap. A major downside is how ridiculously long it can take. A trip from Paris to the Madrid is more than 12 hours…. 1.5 times longer than a transatlantic flight.
Train- Travel by train is by far the most popular method of travel in Europe. The trains are fast, frequent and usually reliable. Price-wise it is, unfortunately, the most expensive of all the options so far, but if you have the cash its also the option with the least hassle. All you do is show up, hop on and enjoy the ride. If you live in the US and want to book trip in advance Rail Europe is your best bet. They offer a wide variety of rail passes based on how often and how far you’ll be traveling. Once your here you’ll need to book with the rail network of the country your currently in. For France that is SNCF.
Car- Renting a car offers the most flexibility and prices that are comparable to renting in the US. And if you are traveling with a group of three or four, renting and splitting the price can make the trip downright cheap. Cars can be rented in almost every city, usually at the airport. One thing to remember though is that if you can’t drive a manual, you will need to request an automatic. Supplies are very limited though and you still may not get one. Also, if you are under 25 you will be hit with a pretty hefty surcharge.
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