So you’re planning a long journey… you’ve got four small people (well, you might not have, but I do..), one dog, a couple of cases, and a need to be 200 miles away in a non-stressful manner.
How would you do it?
Ordinarily, we’d take the simple option and head for the car – it’s easy to pack, and we’re responsible for our own timing and not at someone else’s timetable whim.
But of course we’re also at the whim of the winter weather – and dealing with driving on the winter roads (NOT ideal in the UK over the Christmas season), of the smallest bladder in the car, of roadworks… and the M25. Space isn’t exactly roomy, even in our people carrier, and one person doing all the driving means they arrive utterly knackered while the rest of us are bouncing from boredom. Ugh. NOT ideal.
But what are the genuine alternatives?
I have friends in Cornwall who come from Middlesbrough. That’s a 400 mile, 8hr drive – on a good day.
OR they can fly – if they can catch a flight deal, they’ve got home in under 3hrs for £65 each.
But there’s six of us, so the costs always add up that bit more than you think, even with cheap tickets.
And of course then there’s the dog to think about.
And the extra luggage.
And the shopping list of surcharges.
And the whole hanging-around-for-check-in-with-tired-bored-children thing.
Not totally ideal for families either – though I admit the rapid journey time is alluring.
But how about the train?
I admit it – I am very fond of train journeys.
A train journey is all the best bits of a road trip, but without the stressy bad bits. Instead of being confined to a cramped, uncomfortable seat you can get up and stretch your legs and walk around to other parts of the train. That’s not even an option when you fly, ride a bus or drive a car.
I love that you get an ever-changing view that most travellers don’t get to see. That we can take Ms SmallBladder to the toilet whenever she yelps.
And that the coffee is good, and fresh, and hot, just when you need it most.
But I mostly love that we can sit around a table together, allowing us to really enjoy the journey by playing games and chatting. The journey simply becomes part of the adventure, which is perfect.
And if you Travel with Railbookers by train there’s a whole world of possibilities open to you. It’s not just about heading home for Christmas to see the grandparents.
How about a last minute 3 night railtrip to Paris and Strasbourg?
Because once you’ve crossed the channel, the whole of Europe is interlinked by railway networks – and your horizon is only limited by your imagination – and your planning skills…