If you’re thinking about traveling to Europe as a family or group this summer, you might want to consider ditching the plane.
Traveling by train is becoming the transportation choice for eco-conscious tourists, and new research suggests it can be a cost-effective option, too.
Choosing rail also means avoiding airport delays and summer travel chaos.
These are the train routes across Europe that might be better for your wallet than flying.
Traveling by sleeper train saves money
A new study by Who? Travel has found that families and groups can save money by using sleeper trains instead of short-haul flights in Europe.
The research calculated that a family of four could save nearly £100 ($125) by traveling in a sleeper, while a larger family could save over £250 ($313).
Sleeper train routes you can book for a cheap holiday
Which? looked at the travel costs of three European and two UK sleeper routes compared to flights.
In Europe, the company compared the price of the cheapest private coupe in the first week of August for the lines Paris – Vienna, Brussels – Vienna and London to Berlin with the most affordable flight and overnight stay.
Although flights often seem cheaper at first, when you factor in the extra night in a hotel and the cost of luggage, it’s not always a money-saving option.
Services from Paris to Vienna and Brussels to Vienna are part of the Nightjet network, Europe’s leading sleeper train company.
On these two routes, tickets for a couple are not cheaper than flying. But when you are traveling with two to four children, you would save money if you choose the train.
“Groups of four could save £94 ($118), while a larger group could cut their holiday bill by a whopping £267 ($334)” What? found.
The sleeper service from London to Berlin starts on 25 May and is operated by European Sleeper. The ticket for this route is slightly more expensive than the equivalent flight and overnight stay.
In the UK, which one? analyzed the prices of GWR’s Night Riviera from London Paddington to Penzance and the Caledonian Express from London Euston to the Highlands.
A steam train in Cornwall is about the same price as a flight, although you could save around £50 ($62) with a UK rail ticket.
The famous luxury Caledonian sleeper costs more than two people would need to board a plane, while a family of four or six would pay a similar sum.
Rory Boland, editor of Who? Travel, admits that the prices of rail services are still beyond the budget of many tourists.
“Although new sleeper train routes have been launched across Europe, the prices are too high for many passengers,” he said.
“Our research has shown that solo travelers and couples would have to pay significantly more to choose a train over a plane. But the good news is that there are savings to be made for families and larger groups who can share train compartments.”
Forbes – Lifestyle