January 20, 2017

If you (are going to) travel frequently, it’s nice to know some travel rules and hacks. Even if you are a non-conformist like me, you can’t escape from (security) rules even if they seem ridiculous. Just stick to this list and everything will be fine. I even added some advice concerning traveling and transportation in Europe.

Travel by plane

transportation in europeChecking out different airlines and different days is really worth it. The prices can different enormously even if you book one day later or earlier. I use Skyscanner a lot. Sometimes I just pick the cheapest flight, no matter what the destination is. That’s how I ended up in Sofia for a €29 flight from Eindhoven.

Even two one-way lickets can sometimes be cheaper than a return ticket. Choose wisely and check airline rules before you book. These are the rules of cheap airlines in Europe:

  • Wizzair: cabin baggage maximum size is 42 x 32 x 25 cm
  • Ryanair: cabin baggage  maximum size is 55 x 40 x 20 cm + one small bag 35 x 20 x 20 cm
  • Transavia: cabin baggage maximum size is 45 x 40 x 25 cm

Be wise and check-in online. Checking in at the airport can cost you an additional €35 (Wizzair) and €45 (Ryanair). This is probably more than the cost of your ticket. Use the airline app so you have the QR code as boarding pass. You can always print it out ofcourse but if you trust your phone and the battery is full, then why would you bother.

Travel by bus

When I went to Berlin for a couple of days, I took the night bus with Flixbus. They have destinations all over Europe. From Rotterdam to Berlin costed me €19, which is really a bargain. You can take a lot of baggage with you but remember to take your own food and drinks and most buses don’t have sockets and WiFi.

Travel by train/metro

transportation in europeThis is one of my favorate ways of traveling. You have in general more space than in a bus or on a plane and can go for a walk. Unless it is an underground, can have nice views of landscapes passing you by. If you take international trains you sometimes have a whole compartment for yourself. Sleeping on trains is very comfortable. Much better than on buses and planes.

Travel by boat

Traveling by boat is not fast ofcourse but if you take night boats you can just (try to) sleep and that saves time. Ferries are usually cheap, especially when you don’t book a cabin but just sleep on benches.

transportation in europeSeveral times I took Hurtigruten (Norwegian ferry) because in the Arctic roads and planes are not very reliable when bad weather comes in. Hurtigruten never failed me. It’s a simple ferry, not a luxurous cruise ship. So if you ever consider to spend a lot of money on a ship, I would not advice you to take this cruise from Bergen to Kirkenes. You will be bored to death …

If you ever consider crossing the Baltic Sea from Sweden to Finland and you book – by accident – the Friday or Saturday night ferry, then you will be trapped between teenagers who just take the route to party. Therefore it’s called the party boat. There is an age limit of 23 but neverthelesse it can be a horror trip if you just want to sleep on board. It’s a nice ship with lots of bars, restaurants and shops.

Transportation between Athens and one of the other Greek Islands is a simple ferry, a Hurtigruten look-a-like. My experience with the Anek Lines was not very good (uninterested and rude personnel) but I have heard better stories about Minoan Lines.

When you are driving a car and would like to go from Germany to Denmark by boat, I would suggest you just take a detour because it’s pretty expensive. I think that counts for more or less any car on a ferry but here you have an alternative. Take that one; it’s a pretty road.

Transportation in Europe

Almost everywhere I have been in Europe, transportation is at least okay. I don’t know about buses in the countryside of Bulgaria and there are definitely no train in northern Norway but in general, public transportation in Europe between big(ger) cities is pretty good.  Apart from the Netherlands, Germany and the Scandinavian countries it’s also very cheap.

Ofcourse you can also travel by car. Your own car, hitchhiking or use services like BlaBlaCar. Use GoEuro to find out what your most attractive way of transportation is. Hitchhiking is officially forbidden and you need to know that in Czech Republic you are really getting fined for it.

Happy travel!

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