Monday, 12 October 2015

Do's and Don'ts of European Trains


Purchase a Railcard
It costs 30 pounds to buy a railcard for 16-25 year olds, but it pays itself off. Each time you buy a train ticket online and indicate that you have a railcard; it saves you 1/3 on all ticket purchases. If you take trains to and from the airport frequently, that can really add up!

Take trains whenever possible
Taking trains is a super easy way to get to and from places in Europe. They are fast, efficient, and almost always on time. Tickets are relatively cheap, and they will take you to pretty much any big city.

Get there with plenty of time to spare
Sometimes a train will leave one or two minutes earlier than scheduled if it is a smaller stop. Make sure you give yourself enough time to get to the train station and find your platform so you don’t miss it!

Bring snacks
Because who doesn’t like snacks?

Pay attention to the stops
Pay attention especially if your stop isn’t the end of the line. It’s easy to fall asleep on the trains, so make sure to set an alarm when your stop will be close so you don’t miss it!

Book tickets ahead of time
Train tickets tend to go up in price the closer it gets to the date. Booking weeks or even months ahead of time will ensure you the best rates. You could save up to 50 pounds per ticket by booking in advance.

Give yourself at least an hour and a half after your plane lands to book a train home
Missing your train home is the worst feeling after a long weekend traveling. Give yourself more than enough time so you don’t have to end up buying another ticket to get home after an expensive weekend.


Get off at the wrong station
There are almost always several stops in between locations, so make sure you don’t hop off the train at an intermediate location.

Try riding the train without purchasing a ticket
It’s very tempting to hop on a train without a ticket and hope they don’t check for them. If they check and you don’t have a ticket, you will end up having to pay more than what a regular ticket would cost. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Sit at a reserved seat
Most trains have reserved seats on certain tickets. Don’t try to sit at someone else’s reserved seat-they will ask you to move.

Forget to bring your printed ticket
Having your ticket to show the worker is very important so you don’t get charged extra after you stop. Double-check before you leave that you have train tickets for your departure and return trip to save stress and money.

Throw away or misplace your preprinted tickets from the station for your return trip
It’s easy to forget about your return trip when you travel to another country because of the excitement to get there. Make sure to put your return train tickets in a safe place that you will remember when you need them for the ride home.

Panic if you miss your train
This happened to me this weekend because my plane was delayed from Rome to Stansted. I explained to the train worker where I needed to go, and she directed me to a different train route that would get me home in about the same amount of time! Thankfully the trains run all day, about every hour, so you can always catch the next one if something happens! 

Reliable Train Websites:

Written by: Kylee Kaetzel

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