A few of my friends have a slight problem going travelling with me. They want to shell out big money at fancy restaurants and on expensive experiences. I don’t share that desire. Personally, I find that when I am in a country, city, or region, for a period of time, there is always plenty to keep me busy without breaking the bank. Besides, keeping a little thrifty ensures that I can spend longer in these places and enjoy them that much more!
Admittedly, I find road tripping to be the cheapest way to travel, should you have a car at your disposal. Sure, petrol and insurance do cost a pretty penny, but having the ability to sleep on your back seat or go to a campsite certainly keeps costs low. When I was younger though, I didn’t have the luxury of owning a car. That’s why I took a lot of night trains.
Particularly across Europe, although there are sleeper trains elsewhere, a number of routes allow you to roll accommodation and travel costs into one healthy bundle. I have personally taken routes from Budapest to Prague, Paris to Venice, and London to Fortwilliam. Of course, London to Fortwilliam is a relatively expensive route and you would definitely want to book well in advance; however, a route such as Budapest to Prague can cost as little as £25 and that’s not to be sniffed at.
So, my Fortwilliam example does show that cost is not my only consideration. In fact, most of these journeys were more costly than taking a coach; however, time is money. Taking the train is much quicker and, if you reserve a bed, infinitely more comfortable than coach travel. Knowing that you can lock the door to your sleeper carriage, stash your bags under the bed, and travel reasonably comfortably on rails, can make your night’s sleep fairly pleasant.
When you’re wandering around a European city feeling well rested and with an extra day on your hands, you will be grateful for having compromised on price a tad and taken the train. I am, of course, not doing away with coach travel, and I will write on its benefits in upcoming posts; however, sleeper trains can be a fantastic option for the thrifty traveller!