Other Options: Planes, Trains, and Autos

Other Options: Planes, Trains, and Autos

Of course, budget flights aren't the only way to buzz about Europe. Trains, buses, and (dare we say) car rentals are other common ways to get around. How do you choose between these options?

Q: Is it ever faster to take the train?

A: Depending on your departure and arrival points, and your proximity to train stations and airports, yes. Note that very often budget carriers (especially Ryanair) fly into and out of secondary airports. Some of these are as far as 120 km (75 miles) from the cities they serve. Stockholm Skavsta airport, for example, is located 55 miles from central Stockholm and takes about 90 minutes to make the journey by bus.

Q: Is it cheaper to take the train?

A: On occasion, it may well be. Do your research, and double check to make sure that you are taking advantage of any available rail fare specials. Note that many national railways are fighting back at low-cost carriers by introducing very low rates between cities when booked in advance. France has even introduced an entire rail service dedicated to low-cost, high-speed transit, the cleverly named Ouigo. Comb through the railway Websites in order to find Internet-only rates.

Q: Aren't low-cost airlines really bad for the environment?

A: Flying is not good for the environment, although low-cost carriers are no worse than full-fare airlines, and flying is less harmful than driving. See our Carbon Offsetting article for more information.

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