Thursday, 8 April 2010



Rise of the ‘traincation’ as air travel is set to lose its place as Brits’ preferred holiday transport

BRITS’ LOVE affair with the plane is over as half (51 per cent) of all holidaymakers are considering swapping air travel for train travel; giving rise to the ‘traincation’.

British holidaymakers are tired of travelling by plane as half of plane travellers are put out by time wasted arriving ahead of departure (54 per cent) and queuing (50 per cent), whether it’s for check-in, security, or boarding the aircraft.

Climate conscious Brits also want to ‘tread more lightly’. The survey of 1,772 holidaymakers commissioned by the green lifestyle movement Global Cool reveals 83 per cent of holiday travellers wish they could make a more environmentally friendly journey.

Time spent in the confines of an airport is better spent taking the scenic route with over two thirds (70 per cent) preferring a more picturesque journey.

Fuelled by the popularity of the ‘staycation’, indicated by a 9.3 per cent decline in air travel, and with high-speed rail networks now touching all corners of Europe, rail travel is a more viable travel option with Brits embarking on an increasing number of flight-free holidays, monikered ‘traincations’.

Following in the footsteps of our train-mad European counter-parts, total passenger journeys in the UK in 2008-09 increased by 300 million . Much of this movement is borne from evident benefits of train travel such as flexible routes with quick and easy check-in , no lengthy journeys into city centres from out of town airports and a more comfortable experience .

Eurostar has played a key role in this trend by bridging the UK to the continent. In its 15 years of operation, it has carried more than a 100 million travellers to the continent, 9.2 million of them in 2009 alone.

Mark Smith, the founder of independent train travel website,, comments, “This comes as no surprise to me - visitors to have increased from 4.5m in 2007 to 5.9m in 2008 to 7m in 2009, and the hassle of flying and a desire for more environmentally friendly travel are the most often-quoted reasons for taking the train. They're often mentioned in the same breath!”

“Taking the train turns the journey into part of the holiday, a chance to relax, spend time with your family and watch the Swiss Alps or the Rhone villages or the Rhine castles glide past the window with a glass of red in your hand”

“’Traincations’ offer a different way to see the world,” comments Caroline Fiennes, Executive Director of Global Cool, “and with a new high-speed rail link to Amsterdam and routes under construction into Spain and Italy, and an expected rule change opening up the UK’s access to European high-speed trains, Brits will be able to enjoy quicker, cheaper, further-reaching ‘traincations’”. highlights easy and speedy ways to plan a fantastic ‘traincation’, providing inspiration with an online travel series featuring celebrity ‘traincations’. Rail Europe, Mr & Mrs Smith Hotels and Eurostar have come on board to illustrate the range, ease and quality of ‘traincations’.

For more information please contact Frank PR on 0207 693 6959

- ENDS -

Notes to editors

The research was carried out by TickBox between 27 / 01 / 2010 and 03 / 02 / 2010, with a sample of 1,772 UK holidaymakers

Briton’s Top 10 gripes on travelling by aeroplane
1. The amount of time needed to arrive ahead of departure – 54%
2. Airport queues – 50%
3. Limited leg room on planes – 49%
4. Uncomfortable seats – 43%
5. Having to go through lengthy security checks – 33%
6. Hidden travel charges – 33%
7. Getting to the airport – 29%
8. Restricted hand luggage on flights – 26%
9. Boring journey - 24%
10. Horrible food – 22%

Global Cool
Global Cool is a movement that inspires people to think differently about green lifestyles. Global Cool works with the entertainment and media industries to show people how to live a greener life without compromising on the things they enjoy most.
Most recently Global Cool conducted activity at UK music festivals encouraging people to get out of their cars and on to public transport; inspired people to go easy on their home heating during the winter by filming celebrities showcasing how to wear the latest knitwears at home; and worked with Estethica, the eco-sustainable fashion initiative from the British Fashion Council, to conduct activity during London Fashion Week.

Global Cool Foundation is a UK-registered charity, number 1116673.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the founder of popular train travel website 'The Man in Seat Sixty-One...' (, which provides train times, fares and journey information for train travel from the UK to most European countries, and in many countries, worldwide. A career railwayman, Mark was the station manager at Charing Cross and London Bridge railway stations in London in the early 1990s, and until recently head of the Department for Transport's Fares & Ticketing team. He now runs full-time.

Mr & Mrs Smith
Founded in 2003, Mr & Mrs Smith is an in-the-know boutique hotel booking service representing the coolest, sexiest and most intimate places to stay around the globe. Every hotel in the collection is rigorously researched and visited personally by the Smith team, then reviewed anonymously by an array of taste-makers-turned-travel-detectives. Each month, a new collection of hotels is launched online adding to the highly-curated selection of more than 550 boutique hotels, luxury guesthouses and stylish resorts in the United States, Europe, Caribbean, Southeast Asia, Africa, Australia, South America and around the Indian Ocean.

Rail Europe is the UK’s leading distributor of European rail tickets and passes. With over 100 years experience we can cater for all your European train travel requirements.
Rail Europe can book travel on Eurostar to Paris, Brussels and Lille, and to thousands of destinations on the European rail network. High speed services including the TGV in France and ICE trains in Germany cover long distances in short times, and for even longer journeys, we can also book overnight trains including the Elipsos hotel-train from Paris to Spain and the Artesia from Paris to Italy. If you want to travel with your car, but don't fancy the drive, the AutoTrain service runs from Paris to destinations throughout France. Also available are a number of Rail Passes, including Inter-Rail passes which allow up to one month’s unlimited travel throughout Europe.
Rail Europe - 0844 848 4070, The Rail Europe Travel Centre, 1 Regent Street, London SW1.

1. Eurostar is the high-speed train service linking St Pancras International, Ebbsfleet International, Ashford International, Paris, Brussels, Lille, Calais, Disneyland Resort Paris, Avignon and the French Alps.
2. Eurostar is a founder member of Railteam, a partnership between Europe’s leading high-speed train operators that is developing simpler ways to book and travel on the fast-expanding, European high-speed rail network.
3. Eurostar and Eurotunnel are entirely separate companies. Eurostar operates high-speed passenger trains, while Eurotunnel operates vehicle shuttle services and the Channel Tunnel itself. Eurostar is Eurotunnel’s biggest customer.
4. For travel information, please visit or call our contact centre on 08432 186 186.

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