Trends: Summer Travel By Rail More Popular Than Ever - My Family Travels

Summer is the high season for European train travel, but a recent  study by Eurail Group proves the multi-country Eurail Pass is popular all year long; in 2011, 451,227 travelers decided to embark in this type of journey across Europe. Survey respondents told Eurail that they bought the pass because they wanted to appreciate the journey as much as the destination.

Rail Travel Makes Cultural Experiences Easier

The study results reveal a new type of cultural traveler, as families prove they value enrichment as much as theme parks on vacation. The European continent’s rich history and architectural gems appealed to 80% of respondents, the diverse cuisine to 51%, arts and culture to 48%, and the European landscape to 44%.  “Eurail’s success can be attributed to the fact that a single Eurail Pass trip makes it possible to experience all of the latter in multiple European countries in just one trip,” said Ana Dias e Seixas, Eurail Group’s Marketing Director, in summing up the survey results. 

If This is Tuesday, It Might Not be Belgium?

As more Americans travel internationally more often, they are taking more time to explore each country.  The Eurail survey found that passes for fewer countries are becoming increasingly appealing, with 38% of respondents visiting only one to two European countries, and 37% between three and four.  Poll participants ranked France (51%), Italy (37%) and Germany (37%) as the most popular Eurail Pass destinations. (The UK was chosen by 48% of travelers polled, however, this country does not currently participate in the Eurail Pass offer).
While reading the study’s outlines, we found it interesting that the majority of respondents chose to use the pass with family (78%) and friends (44%), strengthening the message that Eurail Pass (and rail) travel appeals to all ages and demographics. As many families have told us, trains provide ease, flexibility, and value while traveling across Europe. The FTF Guide on European Travel Travel answers some of the most common questions about whether the train is the best choice for your family’s needs.

Viva l'Italia! Eurail Italy Pass is Best Seller

The most popular destination for Eurail travel during 2011 was Italy, as Trenitalia carried 68,732 pass holders, a remarkable 8.5% increase over 2010 sales. According to survey respondents, Italy’s railway network is as attractive as the country itself, offering an impressive high-speed system connecting Italy from North to South. As a result, rail travel has become increasingly popular within the country. The fleet of Frecciarossa trains makes the non-stop connection between Rome and Milan possible in just 2h 59m (this is 1h 27m faster than before the high speed line was available).

For more information and some tips:

Not all families would agree with this assessment, as local trains within Italy can be slow and inefficient if you have limited time.  Here’s an account of how one family toured the foodie haunts of this delicious country by train: My Family Learns the Secret of Italian Cuisine.

Or you can read about other viewers' experiences:

Railing Across Europe With Kids In The Caboose
 Europe by Eurail: A Student's Tips
Traveling Through Europe via the Eurail

Dear Reader: This page may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Our independent journalism is not influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative unless it is clearly marked as sponsored content. As travel products change, please be sure to reconfirm all details and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.