According to research from the consumer website ‘Which?’ families can save money travelling by train, when compared to flying.

The study looked specifically at the cost of air travel versus the cost of overnight train travel, which is currently enjoying a renaissance in continental Europe.

Which? Notes that flights often seem cheaper in the first instance. However, once you add in the costs of baggage fees and an extra night’s accommodation, a family of four could save nearly £100 travelling on a sleeper train. For a family of 5 or 6, the savings can increase to £250.

Cost savings when travelling by train

To ensure the comparisons were relevant for families, Which? looked at the costs of travelling in August, during the school holidays.

They compared using the Nightjet overnight services from Paris to Vienna and Brussels to Vienna and the new European Sleeper service from Amsterdam to Berlin.

The train price included the cost of a private couchette and Eurostar fare. The flight cost looked at the cheapest flights leaving between 9am and 5pm, with two items of hold luggage and a night’s Airbnb in Berlin or Vienna.

Smaller carbon footprint by train

Which’s carbon calculations show that the footprint when travelling by train is only a small proportion of flying.

The table below shows that the train footprint is typically around 13% of that of flying:

Find out more about the Nightjet to Austrian ski resorts

You can find out more about the Nightjet service for travelling to ski resorts in Episode 176 of The Ski Podcast, in which Iain speaks with Hannah Zajic from the Austrian Tourist Office (27 mins in).