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Avanti Travel Insurance blog

19 Jun

Why Train Holidays Are Becoming A Welcome Alternative To The Average City Break


Train Travel – A Civilised And Scenic Way To See The World

Find out why an iconic rail journey such as the Trans-Siberian Express or simply Inter-Railing around Europe is more appealing than the traditional city break.

Train travel in the UK doesn’t get a particularly good press, due largely to expensive rail fares, packed commuter carriages and long delays. So it may be surprising that many of us are choosing to spend our precious allocated holiday time taking a train holiday rather than the more traditional type of city break. Here are some of the reasons why train holidays are on the rise.

World’s greatest train journeys

Each continent is home to some truly iconic train journeys such as the Rocky Mountaineer in Canada, the Trans-Siberian Express from Moscow to Beijing and the Jungfrau Bahn in Switzerland. These are journeys of a lifetime that will allow a train traveller time to fully absorb spectacular scenery whilst relaxing from the comfort of their seat.

Limitations of City Breaks

City breaks can be a convenient way to soak up a city’s sights in a short amount of time, but they also come with limitations. Visitors to a city often find it difficult to plan the correct amount of time to spend in one location, with many travellers feeling like they’ve either had too much or too little time in which to experience all the sights of a city.

Those who travel on a train holiday are able to move on to their next destination when boredom sets in and they therefore find that they have the freedom to take in a greater amount of destinations in a single trip.  Rail passes can be a cost-effective way to travel around certain countries or ‘rail zones’.

Luxury Rail

For those of you that think foreign train journeys equal packed dorm-style sleeping cars, think again. Luxury sleeper carriages are widely available on many train holidays and allow travellers to visit one destination, then board a comfortable private sleeper carriage and wake up in another breath-taking land the next morning.

Sociable Travelling

Train journeys also offer the opportunity to meet and chat to fellow travellers from all different walks of life. On the Trans-Siberian Express, it is recommended that you take a pack of cards and a bottle of vodka with you so that you have chance to interact and socialise with your seat neighbours. Whilst not impossible, you’d probably have to work a lot harder to meet people to talk to on a traditional city break.

Fear of flying

With recent air disasters in Malaysia, the threat of terrorism or just a simple dislike of being parted from solid ground, approximately 20% of us suffer from some form of aviophobia, or fear of flying. For those that flat out refuse to travel by air, driving holidays are of course a possibility, but they do put a great deal of stress and exhaustion on the driver, who needs to get familiar with the road rules and driving styles of the locals in a particular country. Also, the cost of hiring a car can be expensive. For those based in the UK, the Eurostar allows holidaymakers to connect to the rest of Europe in a more civilised and scenic way than the stresses of air or road travel can provide.

If you’re planning on taking a train holiday, it really does pay to do some good organisation in advance. It’s always worth taking photocopies of all your travel documents such as your passport and rail passes. It would also be an idea to have a vague idea of your journey plan and duration in order to take out some long stay travel insurance that covers all the countries you intend to visit.


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