Road trips are fun and air travel is fast, but boarding a train is one of the best ways to see the world — in style. Here, 10 reasons to consider riding the rails:
1. The comfort
Airplane seats can get a bit squishy, cars — depending on how many people (and suitcases) you cram into them — are cramped, and buses are bumpy. Perhaps the most significant advantage of train travel is the space so stretch out, curl up, and get cozy.
2. The food (and drink)
Forget brown-bagging it: whether or not it has separate, dedicated dining cars — which are an experience unto themselves — a train offers the opportunity to dine in your seat, in style. While G Adventures Rail itineraries generally don’t include meals on board, most of our train journeys include the opportunity to purchase food and drink: in India, for instance, you can buy a cup of chai from vendors who board the train during stops.
3. The speed
Waiting in line is a necessary evil of travel, but rail travel eliminates much of this inconvenience. There’s no airport security check, shorter baggage claim processes, and a shorter distance between your feet on the station floor and your derriere in your designated seat.
4. The scenery
Rail travel offers a view to some of the world’s most breathtaking scenery, up close and personal. And since many train tracks traverse paths where other modes of transportation simply don’t — or can’t — go, you’ll be getting a front-row view to parts of the world that are basically exclusive to you (and your fellow travellers, of course).
5. The kid-friendliness
Since many trains offer the flexibility to stretch out, get up, and walk around, they’re much better for small, easily bored passengers who might have difficulty sitting still for long journeys. (All that flexibility works for grown-up riders too, of course.)
6. The convenience
Many major airports are located great distances from city centres, meaning that, once your (potentially lengthy) plane journey has wrapped up, you’ve still got a bit more travelling to go before you reach your destination. Train stations, by contrast, are usually centrally located; getting from your seat to the city is just a matter of a few steps.
7. The peace and quiet
Long, meditative train journeys offer plenty of time for reflection — especially since, when travelling by rail, there are generally fewer announcements and security procedures. Combine this with a relative surplus of space, and you get plenty of distraction-free travel time.
8. The cost
Flying from one country to another (to another, to another…) can get expensive, and fast. Taking the train may take a bit more time (though, given all the perks listed above, it’s more than worth it), but it’ll save you big bucks in the process.
9. The environmental implications
According to the Guardian, worldwide, road users (motorists) account for 71% of transport CO2 emissions, air travel makes up 12.3% and shipping comprises 14.3%. By contrast, rail travel claims a measly 1.8% — making it, clearly, the greenest choice.
10. The romance
If the speed, convenience, price, and comfort of train travel still doesn’t have you sold, perhaps the charm will. There’s just something very quaint, old-school, and, frankly, romantic about riding the rails, no matter where you’re coming from or travelling to.
Ready to take a trip by train? G Adventures can get you on board. Check out our full roster of Rail tours around the world here.