Planes give way to trains as holidaymakers dodge airport stress

The train to Spain is gezelliger than the plane.

More Dutch holidaymakers are choosing to take the long-haul train route than ever before.

Ticket sales were 15% higher in June, the main month for holiday bookings compared to the year-earlier month, train operator NS International said. Dutch Rail (NS) sells tickets to 3,000 international destinations, the Telegraaf reported.

Ticket sales to London doubled in a year, following the launch of the twice-daily direct Eurostar service to Amsterdam. London was the biggest benefactor of the rise in train travel, followed by Brussels, Frankfurt, Paris and Berlin.

Dutch Rail cited several reasons for the increased popularity of the train. Trains arrive in the city centres, while airports are often far away, and waiting times to board the train are much shorter. Trains are also a more environmentally friendly option and have the advantage of a buffet car, which a NS spokesman said made them ‘very convivial.’.

Camping still popular

Caravans and camper vans remain a popular option for holidaymakers who prefer not to fly or take the train, sector groups Bovag  and Caravan Industrie (KCI) reported.

As of July 1 there were 437,442 caravans and 115,359 campers registered in the Netherlands. ‘If we include light caravans without their own number plate, collapsible trailers and tents, the number of camping facilities rises to 1.5 million,’ KCI spokesman Hans Louwers explained.

Dutch families took 2.5 million camping holidays in the Netherlands last year and 2.7 million abroad. France was by far the most popular destination, with just over one million holidays last year, followed by Italy with 315,000 breaks. Gelderland was the most popular Dutch province for campers, with 509,000 trips made.

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