British Travellers Would Rather be in the Black than Travel Green

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The Telegraph reported today that planes are cheaper than trains for 50% of inter-UK routes, according to their research. UK travellers looking to go green when travelling abroad can also be put off by the prices of getting off the island without taking a plane, making flying a more convenient way to get to a destination. But for passengers looking to reduce their carbon footprint there are ways of making a greener journey not more expensive or much more inconvenient.

Ferry and channel tunnel links to the continent are fantastic for those living in the South of England, but the cost of arriving to the ferry port or to the tunnel may off-set the cost incentives to those living further away from the ports/London to use these routes. The thought of extra transfers is not appealing especially for travellers who are stretched for time, or who are travelling with children. At time of writing, the Eurotunnel was offering £22 each way to France for a car, and DFD Seaways were offering £29 pounds each way from Dover to Calais. On the Skyscanner price comparison site, the cheapest return flight from London to Paris was £56, making it only £12 more expensive than taking the tunnel.

However once on the continent and further away, travelling by train is cheaper than the average train fares that us Britons have come to expect. A train from Paris to Dunkirk could cost £32, a distance of 200 miles. A similar journey in England from Exeter to London, a distance of 199 miles, would cost £43. France is one of the more expensive European countries for train travel, and the further East or South you travel on the continent, the cheaper the trains tend to become. Cheap deals can be found on the Interailnet.com site, especially when travelling across Europe. Unfortunately, the cross-country deals do not usually include travel within your own country, so Britons will have to wait until they cross the channel to achieve major savings.

Cross country coach journeys can be cheaper than flying, and are definitely greener. National Express do some great deals that can be taken from any home town to European cities for a fixed price. Coach journeys are invariably slower than taking the train or plane, and an amount of patience is required when dealing with multiple stops and transfers.

Of course, price isn't the only factor considered when passengers decide to go green; along with a consciousness of environmental impact- some passengers relish the thought of taking a long train journey or a ferry, and taking a train once abroad can be a great way to see more of a country without having to deal with traffic or car fumes.

There are advantages to not flying in the ability to take (almost) as much luggage as you like, which means that presents to friends and family can be larger and heavier without the fear of exceeding tight baggage limits. The security checks on ferries and the tunnel tend to be a lot less stringent than airport checks, removing the hassle of waiting in queues and having to arrive especially early. If you tend to hire a car whilst on the continent then taking your own car can be more convenient and much cheaper. Cash-strapped holidaymakers who are stretched for time may not find a major time or monetary advantage to travelling greener, but if the thought of flying is the downside to your holiday plans then an open mind and forward-planning could make your green journey the same price and less stressful.

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