With the world-renowned Orient Express a sought-after holiday for any avid explorer, this in turn has inspired many travel operators to take advantage of this historic form of transport – where from the world’s slowest express journey of Switzerland’s Glacier Express right through to Asia’s infamous luxurious Shangri-La Express, rail holidays are in huge demand amongst holiday-makers.

So what makes travelling the world by train so special? Take a look at the various benefits of enjoying a rail holiday, and see whether you can be convinced to ‘hop on board’:


1. The scenic route

When you’re on the road, your scenery is often limited to concrete roads (as well as being stuck with the usual sounds of nightmare traffic). But by rail, you have the pleasure of being the only train in operation – and occasionally passing by other trains during your holiday.

From having snow-capped mountains on your doorstep to breath-taking views overlooking some of the world’s most beautiful lakes, rail holidays offer the exclusive opportunity to be up close and personal with nature.


2. Environmentally friendly

One huge advantage to travelling by train is that this is by far the most environmentally-friendly mode of transport – giving you peace of mind that you’re choosing to travel in a way that leaves only a trace of a carbon footprint.


3. Socialising

Travelling by plane and by road means you’re restricted to the one area – but with trains separated in several different compartments, you can move around freely along with being able to meet others in the various carriages. 


4. Out of Reach Destinations

Taking the train allows you to visit locations that, if travelled to by road or plane, would be considered out of bounds. With exotic destinations such as Patagonia and Shanghai easily covered by railway, enjoy the best of both worlds by taking man-made transport to discover some of the world’s most stunning sights.


5. Tailor your train journey

You have the option of enjoying one single journey, or stopping off en route – incorporating various legs and designing your own bespoke rail holiday.


6. Comfort

Compared to the tiring jet lag from flights (not to mention the queasy feeling of travel sickness from exhausting coach journeys), rail holidays are comfortable and relaxing.


7. Night Travel

Unless you’re paying an extortionate amount of money for a long-haul business class flight or are willing to shell out money for overnight accommodation, travelling by night can be hugely uncomfortable. With rail holidays, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing you can sleep in a bed – as well as having the option of having your own dedicated cabin. 


Have you been fortunate enough to enjoy a rail holiday? What have been your favourite destinations? Let us know what the highlights of your rail holiday have been – as well as what and where your ideal rail holiday would entail!


By Jenny Ho


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