Advantages And Disadvantages Of Traveling By Train

If you’re planning your next big trip and considering whether to travel by train, you need to know the main advantages and disadvantages of traveling by train.

Traveling by train might not give you the same sense of freedom you’d get when traveling by car, but it can be a good experience too. Think about the scenic trains in the European Alps – there’s a lot to see when you’re on a scenic train.

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When you travel by train, you can enjoy the freedom of not having to find parking or drive, and simply relax, or work.

Before you embark on your train journey, you should weigh the pros and cons of traveling by train first. You may want to consider other alternatives like airplanes or cars.

Woman traveling by train

5 Advantages Of Traveling By Train

Most of the time, traveling by train makes your life a lot easier.

There are several advantages of train travel including the fact that it gives you more time to relax, sleep, and work when you set out on your adventure.

1. You Have Time To Relax, Sleep, Or Work

When you travel by train, you don’t need to drive or handle difficult parking situations. Instead, you can watch a travel movie, catch up on work, take a nap or simply relax.

You can also use that time to plan your travel itinerary. Basically, use that time to do whatever you want to do because there’s no need to worry about directions and getting lost.

2. It’s Comfortable

Another awesome thing about train travel is that it’s comfortable. You won’t need to stay in your seat. You can walk around if you need during the train journey and you can even take a seat that has a table. This way, you can eat, work, or rest your head.

If we compare trains with buses, we can all agree that trains are more comfortable. Buses tend to be quite packed, and it’s not always comfortable.

That said, many trains have different classes, which means you could get an even more comfortable seat by paying more.

Also, if you decide to travel at night, a train can be more comfortable than a sleeper bus.

Traveling by train

3. It’s Affordable

Traveling by train is usually mid-range transportation. Usually, it’ll be cheaper than traveling by car or by plane, but it could be more expensive than traveling by bus.

Many travelers prefer to choose the train over buses especially if they are seeking comfort. That said, traveling by train can be faster.

4. It’s Often Faster Than Traveling By Bus

Traveling by train is usually faster than traveling by bus. While you may have more stops on the way, trains are usually faster because there are no traffic jams.

While it may not be as fast as a plane, a train is definitely faster than most transport.

traveling by train

5. Trains Are Usually Reliable

Traveling by train is usually stress-free. While trains can face delays, it’s quite rare. You can simply look at the timetable and know what to expect. If we compare trains to planes or even cars, you shouldn’t have to deal with too many unexpected delays.

That said, it’s rare that a train is delayed because of the weather, or because of traffic. We can’t say the same about planes, can we?

5 Disadvantages Of Traveling By Train

Unfortunately, traveling by train comes with disadvantages too. Every transport has its pros and cons.

Traveling by train might be comfortable and affordable, but it’s definitely not a private experience.

Traveling by train

1. It Can Feel Long And Exhausting

Perhaps the biggest drawback of train travel is how tired it can make you feel. Spending hours on a train can be tiring, especially if you’re traveling at night.

We recommend you walk around if you need to stretch during a long train journey. 

What’s more, to prevent boredom, think about downloading movies on Netflix prior to the trip, or make sure to bring a good book.

2. You Might Experience Train Problems

Unfortunately, no means of transport is 100% reliable. Trains can have all kinds of issues, and while it doesn’t happen all the time, it does happen from time to time.

If you’re worried about this, make sure to buy travel insurance. Also, bring a bottle of water and snacks to make sure you don’t go into “hangry mode”.

3. You’re Not Alone

If you prefer to be alone, driving might be a better option for you. That said, not everyone likes to be sitting next to a stranger. We get it, we love our space too. When traveling on a train, you may be sitting with a lot of different passengers, and this can influence your trip.

We all got some annoying neighbors at some point, and unless you’re sitting next to your friend, there’s not much you can do about it.

Traveling by train

4. Traveling By Train Isn’t Always An Option

Train travel is not available in some destinations. We recommend you look for train routes before to see if the journey you wish to take is available. As there are limited seats, some longer journeys require you to book in advance.

For example, in Europe, there are plenty of trains, but some multi-country journeys are not always possible. You’ll need to look in advance to find out if the routes are available.

When trains are not operating in a destination, you’ll need to look for other options such as car rentals or buses.

5. There Is The Risk Of Theft

There is always the risk that your belongings will get stolen while you are sleeping or not watching.

While theft can happen anywhere, if you’re traveling by train through a country with a high theft risk, the chances are much higher. 

Even so, practicing caution will reduce the likelihood of this happening. We recommend you use a padlock to secure your luggage, and that you keep your valuables on you or close by.

Never leave your belongings in plain sight, take valuables with you, and get travel insurance that covers theft.

Final Thoughts On Traveling By Train

As you can see, there are many advantages and disadvantages of traveling by train. If you choose to travel by train on your next trip, prepare well and take precautions to ensure a fun and memorable trip.

Not sure if traveling by train is the right option for you? Read the following guide:

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