No matter the season, Europe is always a good idea — and even better if you can hit up multiple countries in one go. While budget airlines like Ryanair and Easyjet offer a multitude of affordable connections within the continent, you really can't beat the sightseeing experience on a train: from the snow-capped Alps to Portuguese vineyards, Europe's idyllic landscape slowly unfolding beside you is simply indescribable. Plus, remote villages are much more accessible by rail.
Most people tend to pick low-cost carriers over trains due to the price factor, but traveling by rail can be a lot cheaper — and way less of a hassle — than you think.
Eurail offers passes that allow travelers to take multiple train trips and hop between its network of 28 countries for a fixed price, and they could very well end up costing you less than booking separate flights. These passes can be booked 11 months in advance, and travelers under 27 years old get a pretty good deal. Read ahead for a breakdown on why this might be a great transportation alternative for your next #eurotrip.
If you're looking to do a once-in-a-lifetime grand tour of Europe, this pass is pretty much your dream came true: The period of validity ranges from five days to three months, allowing travel for up to 28 countries. The pass starts at €305 ($360) for travelers under 27, and it's €466 ($550) for travelers 28 or over.
This option covers two to four bordering countries, and is ideal if you want to tour a specific region of Europe. You can pick up to 10 days of train traveling within a two-month period. The prices fluctuate according to which neighboring countries you pick (which makes playing around with the options endlessly fun). Here's an example: A 27-and-under pass for a France-Italy-Spain trip starts at € 257 ($303) for five days of train travel within two months, while a Norway-Denmark-Sweden trip starts at € 223 ($263).
Only have time to explore one country? This pass category allows you to explore one country to its fullest. You can pick from a whopping 22 options. Our top pick is doing a train journey around France, where youth tickets start at € 130 ($150) for three days of travel within a month, and €159 ($188) for adults 28 or over.