One of the questions I get asked about a lot is transportation around Europe. I know everyone has their preferred way to travel, but I wanted to give my opinion on the three major ways to travel around Europe.
1. Train- Before I moved to Europe I thought I'd be taking the train a lot. Not so. Train travel has it's advantages, you don't have to show up hours before in order to check in, you can take large bags on the train without having to worry about weight restrictions or liquids. However, I find train travel incredibly expensive, unless I'm going a short distance. I take the train to Venice a lot, because it's a mere 4.00 Euro from my nearest stop, but taking it to Rome or even Florence can be quite pricey. Not to mention if you're taking it country to country, I just couldn't justify the price of most train rides to make it my regular mode of travel.
In case you didn't know, use this website for train travel in Italy: www.trenitalia.com
2. Plane- Probably my favorite way to travel around Europe. For our upcoming trip we spend around $500 for a total of seven flights for 2 people. That's ridiculously cheap in my opinion. I normally use EasyJet or RyanAir to travel, but I will say that EasyJet is my favorite of the two. On our trip we are also going to be using Vueling, so I'll have to give my opinions on that airline after the trip. If you book far enough ahead of time for one of the cheaper airlines like EasyJet you can score some amazing deals. The longer you wait the more expensive it is and can also sell out. I'm not a fan of the restrictions on bags on the cheap airlines though. On EasyJet you are limited to one item only. That means no carry-on and a purse. It's strictly one item.
3. Car- I love exploring Europe by car. I recommend avoiding the large cities if you are driving by car though. It's way too crazy for this girl to drive in European large cities (minus Munich, I found it quite easy). For the countryside and smaller towns, driving is perfect. You get to see a bit of the land, haul as many bags as you want and in our case, take Boomer. Another plus is if you drive in Italy you have the delicious AutoGrills to stop at. Seriously, I wish AutoGrills existed in the States, they are soooo much better than truck stops. The downsides to driving are of course the ridiculous gas prices and the tolls. Italy has expensive tolls. Austria has the toll vignette you must buy, plus tolls. Slovenia has a vignette, but it's probably the best bargain of all. I've been told that some countries look for you to have an International Driver's license, but I've yet to see one required.
If you have any questions about anything I mentioned in this post, feel free to e-mail me!