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11 Reasons to (Occasionally) Choose Trains Over Planes

May 23, 2014 at 10:48 AM | by | ()

We love our air travel, for sure, but every time we go to Europe, we are pleasantly reminded of how enjoyable and relaxing it is to travel by train. The vast distances to be crossed and the cost/time restrictions may prevent us from doing it as often here in the States, but that shouldn’t keep us from overlooking what a great mode of transportation the train industry still provides.

Here's a rundown of what we love most about train travel:

· No Check In or Early Arrival – If the train leaves at 8:10, you can show up at 8:09, no worries. Compare that to flights, where you have to show up at least an hour in advance, probably two.

· No Security – This perk speaks for itself.

· Spacious social seating – Instead of 1) straining your next looking directly left or right when chatting or 2) wanting to knife the person in front of you for putting their seat back, you can face the person you want to talk to and enjoy more personal space. The only thing you have to worry about is stretching your legs without playing footsie.

· Hassle-free Boarding – No lines, no boarding zones, no boarding passes. Pick a car and step on.

· Big Windows and In-Your-Face Scenery – Even if you have an aisle seat, the windows are large enough to clearly see out without awkwardly leaning over someone’s lap. You’re also not 35,000 feet in the air, so you can actually see the landscape in great detail, even on a cloudy day.

· No Seatbelt Sign – No turbulence, no stay in your seat policy. FREEEEDOM!

· Easy Access To and From Your Seat – If you’re by the window, there is typically enough space on long-distance trains to slip out without making your seatmate stand up.

· Very Few Drink Carts – We made it very clear how we feel about the drink cart a few months ago. Plus, it is pretty fun to go to the dining car.

· No Sales Pitches – Hearing the credit card spiel over the loudspeaker has quickly become one of the worst parts of flying.

· Pleasant White Noise – You don’t have to blast the volume on your iPod to hear over the engine noise, and the soft sounds of the train on the tracks has lulled us to sleep many times.

· A Hint of Nostalgia – The thing we love most about traveling by train is that we actually feel like a human being instead of a sardine-esk captive audience. We love our Throwback Thursdays when it comes to air travel, but those days are hard to revisit without ponying up big bucks for business class. Even in the economy class on a train, we can still get a glimpse of what it must have felt like back in the day, exploring new lands as the railroads began to shrink the vast distances between regions.

[Photos: Jaunted]

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