Today I am travelling to Amsterdam to participate in Foodbandits’ workshop.  And – I’m taking the train.

When it comes to getting around the city I’m pretty good at making eco-friendly transport choices – public transport and bike. Apropos biking, I’ve just started again after the (sort of) winter and I am so, so happy riding in the warm spring air, flower scents in my nose, squinting through sunrays reflecting on the glittery blue water of the Rhône. I LOVE IT! It’s so beautiful I’m even willing to take the steep hill back home.

When it comes to city trips, however, all the eco-friendliness goes out the window. Flights, as cheap as possible, as quick as possible. Airport to airport. A couple of years ago, we did an Ecological Footprint test in school and mine came out rather big just because of flying.

So why do I choose plane over train?

  1. It’s quicker.
  2. It’s cheaper.

But is it really? This past year I have found that, at least in/from France, trains can be a satisfying alternative. Let’s look at point 1. Travelling from Lyon, France to Linz, Austria by plane takes me all day including all the buses, trains, planes and let’s not forget all those times waiting around in between. Travelling from Lyon to Linz by train takes me all day too. But without the constant changing of transport it is sooo much more comfortable. Plus, on the train you can stand up whenever you want and bring as many 2 litre water bottles and knives and suitcases too heavy to carry as you want.

Point 2. Costs. Trains can be really expensive. More expensive than planes. How can you save this way? Have a look at what kind of discount railcards your national railway service has to offer. I got a Carte Jeune in France for 50€/year and this way both the train journey to Austria and the one to Amsterdam today are cheaper than flights.

Admittedly, both points depend on how often and how far you travel and where you’re located. If you happen to live in or near a transport hub, though, and regularly visit places less than 12 hours away, why not consider it? Our planet will be grateful!

How do you approach means of transport when travelling? Do you take the eco-factor into consideration?

Follow my Amsterdam trip on snapchat – my username there is ‘bilderbaum’!


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