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Vacation and Travel Guide » Article Details

Exploring Europe

Date Added: June 29, 2008 04:37:47 PM
Category: Europe

By: olivia

Most people have a certain desire to travel the world, which is why more and more young people decide to take a gap year between finishing school and starting university. Be it a long or short term journey, the benefits are well known – undergraduates starting university more mature, confident and better prepared having experienced life away from home before. This time can be used to learn a new language, consider plans for the future and, most importantly, to have an extraordinary experience that includes getting to know not only different countries, but also cultures.

However, it is often forgotten that to have this experience you do not need to travel as far as South-East Asia or Australia, but can have the same or an even better experience right on your doorstep in Europe. The cultural richness of the countries in Europe is impressive and because the countries are relatively small you can travel across them in short periods of time while having all the advantages of experiencing a variety of cultures without having to sit on a plane for hours on end.

Especially now that the railway network has been developed to such a high standard, it is possible to travel comfortably across the whole of Europe by train. In Europe trains such as the Eurostar allow you to travel from one city centre to another (or even from one country to another!) in less time than using any other method of transport. Also, if you purchase one of the euro rail passes your journey will be cheaper than flying or travelling by car. Travelling by train also gives you the added advantage of flexibility. If you find that you are particularly interested in one city you can stay there for as long as you want; you can decide spontaneously when you want to continue your journey. There is no need to have a detailed plan of your travel dates giving you the independence you wish for whilst on your gap year whether you will be moving to the next town or the next country!

The culture Europe has to offer is often underestimated, when in reality it is the European continent that offers one of the most varied cultures in the whole world. You can experience a completely different way of life travelling as little as 100 kilometres. Even within one country there can be immense differences, for example, between the North and the South. Also, not only are you able to visit vibrant and modern cities, but also historical sites, beaches, mountains, metropolises and traditional villages. Train travel covers journeys throughout all these destination types.

Using the train Europe becomes one of the most fascinating destinations you could imagine without having to stretch your budget too much, which also means that there is plenty of money left for luxury treats, such as a shopping spree in Paris or a night out in the famous clubs of London or Berlin.

A gap year is in any case a useful and exciting experience that should be taken advantage of. Being able to spend this year in Europe, closer to family and friends and with a smaller budget, is especially an advantage for those, who have in the past hesitated to go ahead with taking a year out. It also gives you the opportunity to invite friends to come along for parts of the journey, if they are unable to undertake the whole year of travel with you, as in Europe you are never that far away from each other.

Article Source: is the largest single rail pass outlet in the US. Within Europe, it sells passes which cover a variety of countries including Germany, Italy, Ireland and France. Outside of Europe, it sells passes covering countries such as New Zealand, North America and Japan.

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