Trains v Planes in Europe
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Trains v Planes in Europe

So, you want to cut down on flying but are worried about the cost of continental train travel? You don’t have to be. vouchercloud’s research shows that by booking ahead, you’ll find 6 fabulous destinations where the cheapest trains are more affordable than the average flight.

As climate change becomes a bigger and bigger concern, many customers are looking at ecological alternatives to flying. Taking the train is an environmental good bet - but is often overlooked as prices can be high.

But we’ve found that the cheapest trains are often cheaper than the average flights - so if you book early enough, you’ll find saving the planet doesn’t have to cost the earth.

We used Rome2rio to find the cheapest available train seats from London to 23 top European destinations. We then compared this to the average flight price using Google Flights, and found that in six cases, the cheapest train ticket is cheaper than the average flight. Good news for those of you looking for your next holiday without the environmental guilt.

Where could you save the most? Read on…


Save 21.08% by Taking the Cheapest Train to Rotterdam or The Hague

Wowzas. The cheapest trains to both Rotterdam and The Hague are 21.08% cheaper than the average flight (the cities are next to each other so costs are identical). You’d be crazy to fly! Rotterdam is a stunning port city with a legendary summer carnival and beautiful architecture in the historic Delfshaven neighborhood, whilst The Hague boasts palaces, shopping and The Girl With a Pearl Earring. You can get to both destinations more cheaply and reduce your carbon guilt by taking the cheapest train.


The Cheapest Trains to Montpellier and Strasbourg Are 10% Cheaper Than Flying

Sunny Montpellier on the Med comes third with a 14.95% saving - home to multiple Picassos and a botanical garden that’ll knock your socks off. Stunning Strasbourg in eastern France comes fourth, with the cheapest train costing £7 less than the average flight. Kinda French and kinda German, Strasbourg is a gorgeous slice of pan-continental, beer and wine-soaked heritage.

Brussels and the French city of Rennes come 5th and 6th, with cheapest trains costing 8.32% and 4.86% less respectively.


Avoid Baggage

When comparing train and flight prices, it’s worth bearing in mind that most low-cost airfare tickets do not include baggage, so even though Glasgow, Paris and others appear to be more cost-effective to reach by plane, when you consider baggage costs and hefty airport transfer fees, you may find it more economical to take the train anyway.


Trains Can Be Expensive Though...

From a value perspective, it may be harder to justify train tickets to Marseille, Toulouse, Barcelona, Nice and Edinburgh, all of which have their cheapest trains over 300% more expensive than the average flight. Ouch.


Plan Your Next Trip

Got wanderlust yet? Why not head to our Eurostar vouchers and Voyages-SNCF promo codes page to get a discount on your next continental trip.


Methodology

  • The cheapest train prices were found from Rome2rio for journeys on Monday 27th January 2020.
  • Flight prices taken from Google Flights’ ‘Typical Prices’ function for flights on Monday 27th January 2020.
  • Prices are for a single passenger one-way.
  • Cities included had to be in the top 150 most populated in Europe according to Eurostat, and have direct flights available as well as a train journey bookable in a single booking.
  • Data gathered on 12th November 2019

Sources

  • https://www.rome2rio.com/
  • https://www.google.com/flights
  • https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/cache/RCI/#?vis=city.statistics&lang=en

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