9 Easy Ways to Be a Sustainable Eurail Traveler
If you’re considering getting a Eurail Pass for your trip around Europe, then you’re already thinking of traveling in a green way. This is fantastic news and it doesn’t need to stop there! These are my top 9 tips for how you support sustainable travel even further – they are all equally important in different ways, so they aren’t ranked in order of priority.
1. Invest in durable plastic cups and cutlery, a couple of plastic boxes and a small cool bag
These are reusable, don’t break or weigh a lot and are easy to wash. The plastic boxes can help you save on packaging by putting your purchases from local shops and markets straight into these and taking them on the train in your cool bag. Hey presto – there’s your picnic.
Not only can this save you a lot of money (food on trains can be expensive!) it will also support the local economy and give you lots of choice. Accompanied by a bottle of local wine or beer, a train picnic can be quite luxurious – just don’t forget the bottle opener like I once did recently.
2. Bring a carrier bag for your recycling and take it with you
In some countries the rubbish from trains is recycled, but not all. When arriving in a new place, take the time to find out what their recycling system is and follow it whenever possible.
3. Rent accommodation from locals
There are plenty of online companies who can help you organize this, such as Airbnb and Housetrip. Not only can this give you a much more local experience, it also injects money straight into the economy of that place.
4. Take regional trains when you have the time
Not only are you less likely to have to pay a seat reservation fee, they are also more sustainable than high-speed trains due to less wind resistance. An added bonus is more time for admiring the scenery and people watching. These are the trains used by locals and they can offer you a fascinating peek into the life of a region.
5. Walk, walk, walk
It’s not only the perfect way to keep fit whilst traveling, but also the footprints you leave are totally carbon neutral!
6. Hop on a city bike
In many cities there are bicycles readily available for hire, either from stands around town or from hire companies. Google is your friend for finding out where to get them and how the system works.
7. Use local operators for day tours and activities in destinations
This way more of your tourist currency stays in the area.
8. Try a segway tour
Segways are electric, sustainable, and a novel way to see a place. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it! I did a tour in Luxembourg and loved it – it’s a really nice feeling to just glide along as you see the sights.
9. Encourage others to use the train and pass these sustainable travel tips on!
As with everything, it’s important to be realistic. Sometimes there isn’t a recycle bin around and you have to use a normal one and other times it just isn’t practical to walk and you need to jump in a taxi. What counts is being aware of what you can do and taking action when possible.
If enough of us can do just some of these things on a regular basis, as well as choosing to travel by train, it’s great news for sustainability.