Tagarchief: Europe

Five reasons why traveling with a motorhome across Europe is the best holiday

If you hate it to pack and unpack every single day when traveling, a holiday with a motorhome might be just the ideal holiday for you. In May this year, we traveled for the very first time with a camper van all the way through Ireland and here are a few reasons – besides the unpacking – why we think it’s the best type of traveling.

Freedom! Freeeedom!

I think you get it by now what our primary reason is to travel with a motorhome or campervan. A motorhome journey gives you the possibility of going wherever and whenever you want. If you happen to love the place, just stay there for a while.  And if you don’t, get behind the wheel and look for a better place. Not only does traveling with a motorhome give you a lot more freedom, but it is quite more relaxing if you know you have your bed and kitchen with you!

Italië, Tuscany, De Weg, Roadtrip, Landschap

Save money on accommodation

A standard hotel room will cost you easily between 50 and 100 euros. And when traveling with children it gets even more expensive. If your destination is Norway, Sweden or Switzerland, prices  tend to be even higher. Traveling with your own motorhome would save you a lot of money since you would spend most nights on a cheap campsite, aires or free campingspots.

Spend your evenings on the most awesome places

Sleeping in a motorhome instead of a bed in a hotel has even more advantages. In most European countries you can park your motorhome right up on the beach to spend the night. Not only will it be an evening to remember, but you’ll get the best start by waking up with beach front views.

Travel with your bed

Talking about sleeping. What I really love about traveling with my campervan is that I bring my bed everywhere I go. Who doesn’t share the same problem of not being able to sleep in a different bed than your own? Pretty anoying if you’re sleeping in a different bed every single night during your journey. Fortunately, a motorhome rental has the advantage of having your own home to sleep in instead of those random hostel beds that might even give you bed bugs.

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Save money on food

Restaurant visits are a drain on your travel budget, but you gotta eat right? A motorhome or caravan has its own kitchen inside it which makes it possible to do some cooking on your own. Not only are you pretty sure that the meals will be terrific, but you will save tens of euros every day just by going shopping in a supermarket instead of visiting a expensive restaurant. Having dinner with a great view might be an even better experience as well. In Europe, Lidl and Aldi are affordable places to go shopping.

Do you have your mind set on traveling with a motorhome in Europe? Check out Polarus for custom made journeys and rentals.  

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Tips for interrailing in Europe

US citizens, Asians or even South American travelers tend to travel through Europe in one big trip. To do this, interrailing might be one of the best ways to discover the more than 30 countries, hundreds of cities and even more villages. Here are some tips for travelers seeking the ultimate European adventure. 

Maybe you are planning on traveling through Europe on a budget this summer. In that case, chances are big that you’re exploring the continent by railway. You can combine the sunny French Mediterranean coast with culturally rich cities in Eastern Europe or remote wilderness places in Scandinavia. Or what about alpine villages in the Swiss Alps?

DON’T TAKE TOO MUCH LUGGAGE WITH YOU

When traveling with railways it’s better to keep your luggage to a minimum. In fact a simple backpack should do the trick. It’s easiest to carry while traveling across a continent. Just take some clothes, money, your passport  and a tootbrush with you and that’s all you need.

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Paris, easy to reach by railway
CONSIDER YOUR BUDGET DRASTICALLY

Europe is expensive. In fact, it might be one of the most expensive continents in the world. Eventhough there is a difference between traveling in Eastern Europe (cheap) and Northern Europe (expensive). But still.. pretty expensive. The main part of your budget will go to food, transport and accommodation. A tip to find cheap accommodation is using Airbnb. You can find rooms at decent prices AND you’re staying with local folks.

Register via the link above and earn 30$ travel credit.

LEARN A FEW BASIC WORDS OF EVERY LANGUAGE

Europe has a lot of countries and unlike continents such as North America and South America, there are a lot of different languages. It might be wise to learn some of the basic words of every one of them. Just to make sure you’re able to say ‘Hello’ or ‘Thank you’ in their native language.

TAKE THE SCENIC ROUTE

When planning a route the website will most often show you the quickest way to get from point A to point B. But sometimes there’s another route that might take a bit longer, but the view out of the window makes it well worth the extra travel time. Europe has a lot of scenic train journeys to choose from. The Flåm Railway between Oslo and Bergen, the West Highland Line, Fort William to Mallaig or Bernina Express between Chur and Tirano. You can read more in our post about ‘Scenic railway journeys in Europe‘.

PLAN YOUR ROUTE…but keep room for adventure
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Get a view at the Matterhorn while traveling with the train

It would be real adventurous to go on an interrail journey without planning anything. It would be expensive too. The internet is a great source to compare cheap accommodation, train fares in promotion, etc…

USE INTERRAIL PASSES

Another reason why you should plan your route at least a little bit in advance is to make use of interrail passes. These let you travel through Europe or some countries with one single (more beneficial) ticket. But it would be stupid to buy a pass for the whole of Europe if you’re only going to end up visiting a few countries.

If you’re a European resident, then go straight for the InterRail Pass – you can choose between a ‘Global Pass’, a single ticket valid in 30 different countries, or a ‘country pass’, allowing unlimited travel in your specified country. However, if you are a non-EU citizen, you’ll need to look out for a Eurail Pass.

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Jacobite scenic train journey, Scotland
DON’T TRY TO SEE TOO MUCH

The huge network of train lines and relatively small distances make it easy to whizz between cities and countries.If you’re in Milaan you could be in Venice, Geneva, Turin or Paris in a matter of hours. It’s tempting to see all these cities. Although it’s a rail trip, you do probably want to see more than the inside of a carriage!

DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE SMALLER PLACES

Paris, London, Barcelona, Geneva, Stockholm, Berlin… and so on. There are plenty of cities in Europe worth a visit. Cityhopping from one main city to another will make you miss alot of beautiful places. Think about places like Chamonix, Bruges or tiny Scottish villages alongside the West Highland Way.

Do you still have some tips for travelers who are planning an interrail trip through Europe? 

 

 

 

 

 

Scenic railway journeys in Europe

Taking the train is one of the fastest ways to travel. Nonetheless not everyone is keen on sitting in a carriage for hours. We do, however, have some arguments to change their minds. Here are some of the most scenic iron highways in Europe, alongside icy fjords, meandering rivers and snow-peaked mountains.

1. Bergen Line with Flåm Railway between Oslo and Bergen (Norway)

Along mountain landscapes you travel straight up on the world’s steepest railway line. This awe-inspiring train journey will show you some of Norway’s very best sceneries.

Distance: 550km

Time: 9 hours

2. West Highland Line (Scotland)

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The Jacobite

Originally this railway takes you from Glasgow to Mallaig. The first part from Glasgow to Fort William takes you on the same route as the West Highland Way, giving you splendid views on Loch Lomond and the surrounding Highlands. Once in Fort William you can catch a glimpse of Ben Nevis, Scotland’s highest peak. However it’s the second part of the journey that is most famous. In Fort William you step on the Jacobite, a steam train better known as Hogwart’s Express in the Harry Potter movies, through rugged Highlands, finally ending in Mallaig.

Distance: 264km

Time: 6 hours

3. Bernina Express between Chur and Tirano (Switzerland and Italy)

This is only one of the many scenic railway journeys Swizerland has to offer. This train has panoramic windows to explore the alpine views. Do we really need to convince you that this is one of the best train journeys you can make?

Distance: 123km

Time: 4 hours

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Bernina Express

4. Glacier Express (Switzerland)

Connecting Zermatt and St Moritz, two of Switzerland’s most reputable ski resorts, you will witnes some of the very finest peaks in the Swiss Alps. Zermatt is most famous for its views on the Matterhorn, world’s most iconic mountain. Price for a ticket is quite expensive though.

Distance: 291km

Time: 7 hours

5. Semmering Line (Austria)

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Glacier Express

Over 100 curved stone bridges, the 4,700ft-long Vertex Tunnel and 16 viaducts are only a few of the highlights to soak in during your journey starting at Gloggnitz and leads over the Semmering to Mürzzuschlag.

Distance: 41km

Time: 1 hour

 

6. Inlandsbanan (Sweden)

This journey takes you across the Arctic Circle in Sweden. It traverses some of the wildest terrain in Scandinavia. Be sure to look out for bears and moose.

Distance: 1300km

Time: 14 hours