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Sustainable Travel: by Train or Bus

The following guide relays information on tips and tricks for travelling by train and bus, and which online tools you can use for sustainable travel and trip planning.

Much of the information found on this page is based on that provided by the Utrecht University Green Office, the original source can be found here.

Travelling by train

On the planning / booking stage: Getting from A to B. Certain websites are available for easy trip planning, which you how to get from A to B and the costs of your trip. You could try:

  • Happyrail: a Dutch search engine for train journeys and train tickets to destinations worldwide.
  • Rail Europe: a British search engine for train tickets to British and other European destinations.
  • Trainline: a search engine for train tickets across Europe.
  • NS International: the official Dutch Railways website also allows you to book certain international journeys.
  • Interrail/Eurail: besides Interrail/Eurail train tickets (and available timetables, even without a Pass), the website showscases tips and tricks for train travel. Including:

Useful resource

Utrecht University has also developed the UU Train Zone Map, which shows whether your destination can be easily reached by train, whether it is a comfortable journey, and how much CO2 you save compared to taking a flight.

UU Train Zone Map

Traveling by bus

At the moment Flixbus is the largest provider of bus travel in Europe. When booking your bus trip you have the possibility to consult the provider's website to see which environmental measures the company applies. According to their website, Flixbus applies strict standards and has an efficient fuel policy. In addition, they work together with ClimatePartner to give travellers the option to fully compensate for their bus trip.

Blablacar also has buses available as an alternative to Flixbus.

Do you want to weigh different travel options against each other? Check out these platforms:

  • Comparabus: compare prices and trips of bus and coach travel providers and list them.
  • BlaBlaBus: provider of options for bus travel and carpooling.
  • Omio: compares bus, train and air travel.

Useful resource

Trouble finding interesting destinations that can be reached by train or bus? Download the sustainable travel guide (in Dutch) by the environmental agency Natuur en Milieu for inspiration for a low-carbon trip.

Natuur en Milieu Sustainable Travel Guide

Tips for cheaper tickets

Want to be sustainable but also save money on the journey?

  • Consider booking your journey in advance. For trains, this can sometimes be done 3-6 months in advance, dependent on carrier and rail company.
  • Booking websites may charge a booking fee. Consider booking on the original site to avoid this fee.
  • Consider travelling in the evening, as booking times are often cheaper.
  • Going away for the weekend? It is sometimes cheaper to book Saturday-Sunday-Monday rather than Friday-Saturday-Sunday.
  • Are you travelling in a group? NS International offers a group discount for groups of six people or more during off-peak hours.
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