The overseas experience starts with a flight to London, but inevitably turns into a booze-fueled joyride around Europe. Such is the ease of world travel nowadays. The questions is, how to get between cities without blowing your liquor budget? Enter Eurail.
Eurail is a fantastic concept whereby non-European residents are able to travel Europe (or at least parts of Europe) by train for a fraction of the normal cost. Pretty neat, huh?
You start by choosing the type of travel you require, whether it’s limited to one country, or traversing the entirety of the continent. The more countries, the more it will cost – but you can trust that it’s still going to be a shit-tonne cheaper than purchasing the tickets individually.
You can also choose the number of days you want the pass to be valid. Again, the less days, the cheaper. Generally, if you want to get a good mix of cultures and check out the party scene across Europe, go with the Global Pass for 15 days. You’ll be able to pop between cities in-between hangovers and live it up in a new destination each night.
If there’s a better way to travel, I haven’t found it. By the time you take into account the time spent checking in at the airport, the unnecessary delay on the runway and the time spent clearing customs and security, you could have been halfway to Paris already. Not forgetting that you also get to enjoy the scenery, rather than cruising overhead at warp speed.
Nothing compares to the sweet, gentle rocking motions as you pass over the Alps or between the small cantons of Switzerland, sipping the home-made brandy given to you by the drunk old man sharing your cabin. Honestly, the amount of alcohol which has been given to me during train travel… Never fear though, if you indulge a little too much on a train, it’s no biggy – as the other benefit of train travel is that there is always somewhere to lie down!
So, forget Ryanair or EasyJet – grab yourself a Eurail pass and live the spontaneity with which Europe should be enjoyed.
Generally speaking, you don’t even need to book once you have the Eurail pass, you simply find the trip you wish to take using their handy online tool, or the supplied timetable, turn up at the train station, get on and ride.
What are you waiting for? Get out there and enjoy.
Jason is a 26-year-old, New Zealand-born-and-bred, compulsive traveller, always seeking to discover new experiences both within New Zealand and further afield. When not on the road, Jason can be found working in marketing for a New Zealand robotics company – providing a whole other kind of adventure.