Why Travel By Land & Sea Can Be Better Than Flying

In the wake of even more volcanic ash disruptions to air travel in Europe, and reports that there could be disruptions on and off for the next 12 months in the area, there couldn’t be a better time for people to think about the alternatives to flying! Below I have listed my top 3 reasons why travel overland and sea is so much better than flying!

The Adventure

I’ve said this many times before, but travel by aeroplane has lost that adventurous spirit it once had long before I was born. The whole idea of jumping on a jet plane just doesn’t have that feeling of excitement that you see in old recordings from the 50’s. Travel by cargo ship, long distance train, or cross country in an old banger of a car with a bunch of your mates however, does have something much more appealing to it! All too often people hop on a plane without even thinking of the alternatives or the experience they are missing out on. Why fly from one country to another when you can travel overland through 5, 10, or more? Travel overland really offers that opportunity that many travellers strive for these days, and that is to experience and see what life is out with the tourist packed destinations. Not that there is anything wrong with going to a popular spot, but if you are travelling overland you can stop off in all the little towns, and villages along the way, and more often than not you will find a spot off the beaten track that you would never have experienced otherwise. You open yourself up to so much more spontaneity when out on the road that you just can’t get by destination hopping on a flight!

The Eco Benefits

Eurostar did some research recently, and passengers travelling by plane between London, Paris, and Brussels generate 10 times more CO2 emissions than those travelling by train. I’m sure most people already know that air travel isn’t the greatest thing for cutting carbon emissions, or preventing global warming, but there really is such a dramatic difference to be made if you travel by alternative means than flying. That being said, sometimes a journey is just not practical unless done by plane due to time constraints or budget, especially if you are travelling over an area with large areas of ocean or sea below. However, if you are on a journey RTW for instance, you could do part of it by plane, and then part of it by long distance train, coach, or car? For example, there is no reason why someone can’t travel around the whole of Europe by train. There is an extensive train network and affordable options available with a Euro or Inter rail Pass. If you are particularly adventurous, and budget isn’t a huge problem, then you could go the whole hog and travel by cargo ship around all the main ports. It does cost quite a bit more than a flight, but it’s not an experience you will get every day. In fact, I myself am going to be travelling around the world by land and sea later this year, and cargo ship will be responsible for me travelling from South East Asia to the States, and the again from USA to Europe. There really are endless opportunities to travel and still reduce your carbon footprint.

It’s Easier and Much Less Stressful

I particularly like to travel by train as apposed to flying when the opportunity is available. The reason for this is that travel by train in particular is so much easier and stress free compared to flying! Not only will you be dropped off right in the city centre of where ever you are going (no heavy backpacks to cart from the airport) but you no longer have the stress of strict security procedures, having to unpack your bags/belongings, no random searches, and also (particularly for those with a fear of flying) no bad turbulence or troubles landing to worry about! I also hate the endless queues at airports, and especially hate all the strict protocols and excess charge’s you normally get landed with when travelling by budget aircraft (Ryanair comes to mind!) You don’t have any of that on a train, and you can also get up and walk about as and when you please, as well as having your entire luggage nearby to access as and when you please.

Although travel by plane is sometimes unavoidable in certain situations, and I also realise sometimes budget can come into play (especially with the amount of budget airlines these days.) If you do have the opportunity to travel by land and sea, there are so many benefits to gain from it. Above I have listed the main ones for me personally, but there is so much more to travel when done by land and sea, and I would urge anyone to give it a try. If you are thinking of travelling a long distance by this method but are still a little bit unsure, I will be doing a journey around the world by land & sea later this year, so please check back and I will document everything I have to do as I go along. I know how hard it can be to find information on this kind of thing, so I plan on documenting everything on here for anyone else wanting to attempt something similar.

4 Responses to “Why Travel By Land & Sea Can Be Better Than Flying”

  1. Andrew says:

    Totally agree. Trains and boats are seriously some of the most fun and less stressful ways to travel. I also find that the people you talk to on these slower methods are more willing to share their stories. On planes people just think on their destination and poke their heads in their laptops for a few hours. On a train youve got time, so why not enjoy it.

    I’ve been from one end of Europe to the other on the train, and crossed the Atlantic 3 times by ship. Cruise ship not cargo, but still fun. I posted my cruise experiences last week on my site if you are interested.

  2. jane says:

    Sounds great Andrew! Will head over to your site and check them out 🙂

  3. Anil says:

    It does seem like traveling by land or sea isn’t as rough on your body as even a short flight. I love traveling by train.

  4. The best long journey we ever made was almost exclusively by coach. After a stint back in England working for a few months we planned to make our way back to Turkey as much on land as we could. We flew to Latvia (for 1p each) but then took coaches through Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and then on into Turkey over two weeks. It was an amazing way to travel!


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