Travelling around Europe and other parts of the world by train can be the best way to enjoy the scenery and truly experience the journey - not to mention often being a much cheaper alternative to flights. But if you've never inter-railed before, you may feel a little intimidated by the idea of going off on your own and dealing with foreign train companies.
It can be disheartening to think that globalisation is eradicating many of the unique features of some countries, but in many ways this makes travel much easier for those heading abroad. In terms of train travel, you're not likely to come across too many surprises when booking and riding in foreign climes, as long as you've done your research beforehand. While the scenery may be more spectacular than you're used to back home, and the local accents very different, the process of buying tickets is usually very straightforward - though you should be aware of what you're paying for.
Just like in the UK, many countries divide train travel into different classes, with First Class tickets typically being more expensive than standard. If you're keen to experience countries like the locals do, buying standard tickets can be a great way to save money, though some journeys - especially sleeper trains travelling overnight - can be much more comfortable if you pay a little extra.
Whether you're heading off on a short holiday or a longer excursion around the world, you also need to carefully consider the things you're taking with you, as you don't want to be too weighed down by heavy luggage every time you get on and off the train. Don't take too many travel books or more clothes than you're likely to need, and similarly try to avoid taking expensive items that would be costly to replace if lost or stolen. While crime rates on board trains are relatively low in many countries, you should still take out single trip travel insurance or international travel insurance to cover your assets.
If you're travelling through Europe, the introduction of the euro has made things a lot easier, but you should try to keep up with the latest exchange rates to make sure you know exactly how much you're really spending. Reading the news headlines for your country wherever possible is also a good idea, especially if you're visiting countries where natural disasters or political uprisings may threaten your travel plans.
The author of this article is a part of a digital blogging team who work with brands like Boots Insurance. The content contained in this article is for information purposes only and should not be used to make any financial decisions.
Paul is a part of the digital blogging team at cashzilla.co.uk who work with brands like Boots Insurance. For more information about me, or to keep up to date with the latest in finance news, check out my posts at cashzilla.co.uk or visit my Twitter account, @cashzilla.
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