There are many ways to travel through Europe and the different modes of transport you take can really have a big influence on where you go, who you meet and what you are able to see or do on your travels. Therefore, it’s best to consider all the different options and choose the best means of transport available for your European adventure. Here’s a breakdown of all the possibilities to help you get ready for your travels!
With it being such a good price and able to take you to every corner of the continent, you could consider buying an interrail ticket as your pass to the whole of Europe. Many see this as a rite-of-passage for many young Europeans and Americans in the summer to explore and meet new people as they whizz around country to country by train.
Interrailing is also good value for money in that you can travel over-night in order to save on accommodation costs. Maybe if the hotels and hostels are too expensive or just full, you can simply grab your bag and jump on a nice warm, comfy train.
Many Central and Eastern European carriages even have separate compartments like in Harry Potter, which can surprise many Western Europeans and Americans. You can even make this your own private cabin and many of the seats can be slid down to form beds.
When interrailing, you may notice there are a couple of ferries as well as trains. It might not be as obvious as the roads or rails but rivers were once the highways of trade and travel in ancient Europe. As a result, many of the bloc’s most famous and iconic cities are situated along the banks of rivers such as the Danube, Rhine or Seine.
This could be an option just for a small part of your trip as you could take all the benefits mentioned with interrailing and apply this to river cruising. In addition, a river cruise ship is also a floating hotel equipped with cabins and en-suite showers. One amazing new type of river cruise you may be interested in is “U” by Uniworld which caters specifically to young people. Onboard they give you cool tours of hip cities such as Berlin, Amsterdam and Budapest, and entertain you with cocktail mixing classes and silent discos as you travel down river
For people who are a bit more crazy or strapped for cash, there’s always hitchhiking. A lot of people say it’s illegal but if you look at the rules, you’ll see it’s ok throughout Europe as long as you don’t stand anywhere it’s actually illegal for people to stop and park.
These areas include the sides of Germany’s autobahns and the slip roads of highways, which is pretty common sense. However of course, it’s also sensible when hitchhiking to do so in pairs- especially if you’re a girl.
Despite trashy American movies like Eurotrip and Hostel saying otherwise, Europe is pretty safe but if you make yourself a sitting duck, you’re going to end up in trouble eventually. Aside from that, hitchhiking should get a big thumb up for those with not much extra cash.
It’s free unless you want to pay for some food or drinks for your driver as a friendly tip unless you’re in Ukraine, Russia or Turkey. They see it more like an unofficial taxi service and you’ll have to barter a little bit. Nowadays though, you can even find buddies and drivers for a leg of your trip on social media in advance.
If you don’t like living quite so hand to mouth and on the edge with hitchhiking, a road trip is probably a better option. In a lot of Eastern Europe you can rent a car pretty cheaply for a few days and if every seat is full, it could turn out much cheaper and nicer than getting a coach pass.
There are a lot of budget coach lines throughout Europe connecting the major cities from as little as 1 zloty in Poland (about 20p in the UK) if you book early enough. These can get a bit cramped over long distances and you’ll have to fight for the best seats as most people don’t like queuing!