Hello everyone! Today I would like to talk about something I find quite useful when planning a trip to Europe: low-cost airlines and high-speed trains. There is nothing better than traveling to a new place: making an itinerary, looking for the best food places, getting excited and counting the day until take off.
First of all, if you don’t live in Europe, the tickets to get there are quite expensive, so you have to plan carefully to see as much as you can and visit at least two countries. And this is what we did. To celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary, we decided to pick two countries we would love to see and spend 5 days in each of them. I choose Italy, and Germany was the place my husband wanted to go to. Now, if you met me, you know how much time I can spend reading the reviews, asking locals and finally booking something. So, during our Europe anniversary trip, we took:
Italotreno — to get from Rome to Naples and back (read about our trip to Naples her) Ryanair — to fly from Rome to Berlin.
Deutsche Bahn — a train from Berlin to Warsaw, Poland.
Wizz Air — to fly from Warsaw, Poland to Kiev, Ukraine.
Ryanair is an Irish low-cost airline with the headquartered in Swords, Dublin, Ireland. If you Google them, you will find what I did: negative reviews, bad news etc.
Our experience: tickets for as low as $100 for 2 people with a piece of luggage, and 2 backpacks (if booked at least 2 weeks in advance). The distance between Rome and Berlin is 736 miles. The check-in process and boarding were a little confusing but the plane took off on time. Also, the seats were really comfortable, and we had more legroom than in the planes of regular airlines we fly in the USA.
Wizz Air (Wizz Air Hungary Ltd.) is a Hungarian low-cost airline with its head office in Budapest. According to the reviews, this company is a little better to fly with than Ryanair.
Our experience: $150 for 2 people, a piece of luggage and 2 backpacks to get from Warsaw, Poland to Kiev, Ukraine. The distance is 429 miles by plane. The check-in and boarding process was good, but 2-hour delay ruined it all. There was enough legroom in the plane as well.
Pro tip: make sure to check-in and ALWAYS print your boarding passes. There is a separate fee to print them in the airport.
Italotreno (Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori) is an Italian company which is Europe’s first private open access operator of 300 km/h high-speed trains. Were we excited to take the train? You bet! The round trip from Rome to Naples cost us 40 euros per person. An hour train was recommended to us by a good friend of mine who lives in Italy: clean and comfortable seats, electric outlets, great restrooms, easy and fast service – try it yourself! Pro tip: if you download the Italotreno app, you don’t have to print your tickets.
Deutsche Bahn is a German railway company, headquartered in Berlin. A 6-hour trip from Berlin, Germany, to Warsaw, Poland would cost you 30 euros per person. This is by far the cheapest option. The train was clean, but a little old. We were able to charge our phones and enjoyed complimentary beverages.
Pro tip: always print your tickets as they would have to be stamped several times by DB personnel in Berlin and Warsaw.
The trains and low-cost airlines are a great way to travel in Europe. They are considerably better than any equivalent in the US, so you win anyway.
Thanks for stopping by!