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Catch Trains, Not Flights

When in doubt, take a train.

By: Angelica Vivas

A person looking out the window on a train to a scenic view of mountains
Graphic By: Alicia Chiang

Traveling can either be a time of stress and anxiety or thrilling anticipation. When I was planning to travel to Europe, I spent a lot of time preparing for my trip. There were many factors — staying budget-friendly, packing light, and traveling most efficiently. I narrowed down my options to taking a plane or train when deciding how to travel from place to place. 

Flights have always made me experience a whirlwind of emotions — and not the good ones. I’ve always worried that no matter how many hours in advance I arrive at the airport, I’ll miss my flight because of the long security checkpoints and not getting to the terminal in time. 

As for trains, I was well-versed in navigating a subway system, but I’d never done it internationally. Nonetheless, the thought of flying in and out of countries for a few days didn’t seem worth it to me. I decided that taking trains around Europe was the best option. I didn’t have to worry about the fast-paced environment of an airport or waste any time getting to an airport at an irrationally early time. 

In Europe, you can travel almost anywhere on a train. This past summer, I went from London to Paris and Paris to Amsterdam. It was a lot less stressful, avoiding the hassle of the airport.

Gazing outside the window and observing the scenic routes to my destinations made me feel like I was living in a movie. I’ll always remember the greenery passing through Belgium, seeing all the beautiful hills and valleys. 

Not to mention, trains are also a more sustainable way of traveling compared to flights. Whether you realize it or not, you are decreasing your carbon footprint. 

Although the traveling portion of a trip isn’t always the best, I recommend taking your next journey by train to make it a bit more enjoyable.

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