The countries of Europe have long been a favorite destination for travelers from around the country and around the world, and for good reason. Europe has so many things to offer visitors, from historic palaces and magnificent museums to natural grandeur and wide-open spaces.

Whether you have always longed to see the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower or just stroll through the Spanish Countryside, you can find it all with a European holiday. And getting around in Europe could not be easier. While many parts of the United States are all but inaccessible without a car, the entire continent of Europe is crisscrossed by train tracks.

High speed passenger trains make ample use of that great infrastructure to shuttle tourists and locals alike to virtually every city in Europe. When you add the fact that train passes have remained quite affordable, it is easy to see why so many visitors choose to see Europe by train. What Type of Pass is Right for Me?

There are of course many different types of European train passes to choose from, so many in fact that choosing the right one can be quite a challenge. When deciding what type of train pass to choose it is generally helpful to consider a number of factors, including: How long will I be traveling in Europe? Will my trip last a week, a month, an entire summer, or indefinitely?

Train passes are available in a number of different lengths, so be sure to choose the one that best meets your needs. Be sure to choose a rail pass that includes the number of travel days you will need to complete your journey. 2 Will I be staying in one country for an extended period of time, or do l want to travel to many different countries in a short period of time?

While a traditional European rail pass offers travel throughout the entire continent, many European countries also have their own passes which are good only within the borders of that Country. Visitors who will be focusing on a single country may want to opt for a country pass. These single country passes can be a more cost-effective choice for those who are planning to visit multiple cities and towns within a single European country.

Do I have any must see destinations in mind, or do I plan to play things by ear once I arrive in Europe? If you are the type that plans months ahead and maps out every detail, it makes sense to buy your European train pass well in advance of your journey. If on the other hand you are a spur of the moment traveler it may make more sense to purchase your passes once you have arrived. Purchasing the passes while in the country can offer a greater level of flexibility for last minute travelers. 2 Will I be traveling alone, with a small group or with a large group of tourists?

If you will be traveling with a large group be sure to ask about possible group discounts. European train passes and single country passes are also a great choice for solo travelers and smaller groups. There may be discounts available for students, members of the military, AAA members and others. Be sure to ask about any discounts for which you may qualify.

There are many discounts available for both multiple and single country train passes. Finding and taking advantages of those discounts can save you a bundle on your dream holiday. What Should I Pack for My Trip? Packing for an extended vacation is always a tricky proposition, but seasoned travelers have learned to pack as light as possible.

This advice is even more important when it comes to seeing Europe by train. After all, the last thing you want to spend your time doing is lugging a bunch of suitcases rom one rain platform to another. Also keep in mind that European cities have some of the best and most comprehensive public transportation systems available anywhere in the world.

Using public transportation to get from the train station to your hotel or hostel can save you a bundle, but it can be difficult to take the bus or train when you are loaded down with excess baggage. So, leave those extra items at home and pack only what you absolutely need. When it comes time to start packing, keep in mind that the tourist centers of Europe will have plenty of laundry facilities available. It is best to pack light and take a few minutes to do the laundry as the need arises.

Do be sure to pack the necessities you will need, including toothpaste, shampoo, soap and other personal hygiene items. This is particularly important if you plan to save on lodging by staying at hostels. Most hostels do not supply these items.