When considering booking a holiday, flying to your chosen destination seems like the most intelligent decision, at least on the surface. If we dig a little deeper into the facts, look beyond the price tag and consider the travel experience as a whole, however, rail holidays begin to make an increasing amount of sense.

If you’re in the process of planning your next holiday, take a look at the pros and cons of rail vs. flight holidays – you may just be a little surprised by which provides the more wholesome travel experience.


Although modern society tends to measure convenience in terms of time, the rail vs. flight debate should be viewed more holistically if we are to truly examine the relative merits of the two options.

The average flight time from a UK airport to Paris, for example, is around the 1 hour and 30 minute mark, while the Eurostar from St. Pancras International takes 2 hours and 15 minutes. On the face of it, the flight seems the obvious choice for speed, but when you factor in check-in times and the need to be at the airport at least 1 hour and 30 minutes before take-off, the flight no longer appears to be quite as convenient.

In addition to a shortened overall travel time, a train from St. Pancras will take you right into the heart of the city, instead of depositing you at a distant airport, where you will be forced to take local transport into the city centre.

On short trips therefore, rail journeys are, overall, far more convenient than their airborne counterparts.

Reduced carbon emissions

Lowering our carbon emissions should be a very real concern, as small individual actions translate into far reaching, positive macro-level changes. In this regard, there is no contest between rail and flight holidays, with rail travel proven to reduce carbon emissions by as much as 90 per cent, when compared to a London-Paris or London-Brussels flight.

The comfort factor

Airline companies appear preoccupied with finding ever more innovative ways to maximise space, which inevitably leaves customers with far less room to move and subjects them to greater levels of discomfort.

In contrast to the small seats, cramped aisles and restrictions on moving during flights, train holidays offer customers relatively luxurious travelling conditions. Passengers on rail holidays are free to roam the cabin at will, have more spacious and comfier seats and have access to tables, which act as genuinely feasible work stations during their trip.

The upshot of these more comfortable conditions is that you are more likely to get the rest and relaxation that you crave on your journey, which helps ensure that you can begin your holiday feeling refreshed and ready to explore.

Open your mind to possibility

Great things happen when you open your mind to possibility. On your next trip, instead of assuming that a flight is your only option, consider the merits of train travel. In addition to greater convenience, a more environmentally friendly form of travel and superior comfort, Great Rail train holidays also offer you the opportunity to take in the awe-inspiring, lesser seen, scenic views of countries as diverse as India, the United States and mainland Europe.

Flights were once the savvy choice for holidaymakers, but train holidays are now very much back in the spotlight, enjoying a thoroughly deserved renaissance.

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