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Train across Europe or drive across America?

(46 Posts)
TaggieCampbellBlack Tue 05-Mar-13 18:20:23

If I win the lottery before next summer or unearth hidden treasure I'd quite like to do one or the other or both!

I'd take the (teenage) DDs if they promise to be good.

Would it be fun or stressful?

Camp or cheapy hotels?

Or should we go to India? Or drive across Africa?

TaggieCampbellBlack Tue 05-Mar-13 18:21:47

I have no idea why this is in AIBU.

PotteringAlong Tue 05-Mar-13 18:23:55

I got the train across Canada once. It was awesome!

Tee2072 Tue 05-Mar-13 18:25:15

Well, driving across America can either take 5 days or 100+. You can go either straight across or zig zag. You can take an interstate or Route 66.

See, that one I've done.

I'd take a train and a series of boats across Europe. I've never been anywhere except the UK and Italy.


HRH008 Tue 05-Mar-13 19:05:59

Ooh, get the maps out and have a look ... figure out how long you`re going to take for the holiday, then see how much you could see if you went across Europe and how much in the US ... bear in mind that the US is ENORMOUS and interstates are v. boring for teenage girls. On the other hand, how are your languages?
I would camp in Europe and do cheapy motels in the US.
V. exciting either way!

Midlifecrisisarefun Tue 05-Mar-13 19:08:31

I've no idea big is your suitcase?
I am only small

pillowcase Tue 05-Mar-13 19:14:35

I haven't been to America and have no desire really to go. I have travelled around Europe many times and Asia and Australia. Europe wins hands down. A couple of hours brings you to totally different cultures. the scenery, the history, the fooooood;

NorthernLurker Tue 05-Mar-13 19:16:47

I would do the East coast of the USA. I would love to go there. Very in to Civil War stuff atm. It would be fab to actually go.

NuclearStandoff Tue 05-Mar-13 19:42:06

go to India

cumfy Tue 05-Mar-13 20:41:11

1. Get on train for 1-2 hours.
2.Step off the train into history, architecture, cuisine, sun and low homicide rates.
3. Repeat until bored.

Tee2072 Tue 05-Mar-13 21:10:41

Civil war or Revolutionary War, NL? Because East Coast would be rich in Revolutionary, not so much Civil. You'd want to go down south for Civil war stuff.

NorthernLurker Tue 05-Mar-13 22:43:53

Civil war. I guess I really mean sort of south east coast and then in a bit grin I'd love to go to Gettysburg, Antietam, Richmond etc

FatherHankTree Tue 05-Mar-13 22:46:12

I'd choose the American Southwest, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and SW Colorado, purely for the lovely scenery, and staying in cheapy motels is a good option.

Don't drive across Africa - I've driven in a some southern African countries and the roads are shit, especially in Swaziland.

Hassled Tue 05-Mar-13 22:46:23

You're completely unreasonable to make me have to make the choice. I would LOVE to do either of these - but Orient Express to Venice or recreating On The Road (minus the sex and drugs, probably)? It's a bloody tough call.

MooncupGoddess Tue 05-Mar-13 23:36:04

Oh, me too NL! Am currently working my way through the amazing Ken Burns documentary series. Would love to see Richmond and the Virginia battlefields.

On the other hand, I got the train from London to Istanbul a few years ago and it was brilliant.

NorthernLurker Tue 05-Mar-13 23:40:39

That series is fantastic! I need to get some good history books to read on my holiday this year too smile

aldiwhore Tue 05-Mar-13 23:42:26

I would do both, but if I really had to choose (if the lottery win wasn't all that great) I'd probably drive across the states in a massive camper van/lorry and shit myself the whole route as I've watched Texas Chainsaw Massacre more than is healthy. I have a big love/hate relationship with America, but mostly, I'd love to see it all, at my own pace, with no changes and interacting with only the people I choose to.

Though a hectic backpacking tour of Europe via railcard really appeals to me as well, but without children...

tinyshinyanddon Wed 06-Mar-13 03:09:08

Drive Boston to San Diego. Camp all the way. Take 3-4 weeks. Bias as this is the best vacation dh and I had. Just a bit of an issue getting the car home from sd.

FairPhyllis Wed 06-Mar-13 03:22:50

I think there may be a certain bias from people posting at this time because the US is online now ...

I don't know that I'd drive coast to coast in the US. I can't think of a route I'd particularly want to do - although I wouldn't mind seeing Carhenge in Nebraska. I would do southwest US and the west coast - going up the Pacific Coast Highway - BUT I would hate to drive through the Bay area. I hate very busy freeways.

I would do cheapy motels because they are often weird and hilarious.

anonymosity Wed 06-Mar-13 05:05:24

I'm in the USA and I'd say get the train thru Europe. You'll be less knackered as its easier to fall asleep on a train than at the wheel of a car, obviously.
And I went inter-railing in the 80's from the UK down thru Europe stopping in France, Switzerland, Italy, round into Greece and then back up again. The trains at the start were fast and efficient, those nearer the end (going thru Yugoslavia as it then was, for 48 instead of the scheduled 24 hrs) was slow and hot and smelly and crowded and well, arduous. But that was years ago.

KateShrub Wed 06-Mar-13 05:13:37

US is a great place to drive. Cheap fuel, big comfy cars, decent motels at reasonable prices.

Europe is good too, but it's that much more work.

mathanxiety Wed 06-Mar-13 05:16:19

It's pretty easy to fall asleep behind the wheel of a car in Nebraska.

I would go to Europe, all over every single little corner.

Timetoask Wed 06-Mar-13 05:38:18

Maybe if I was 20 years younger. The idea od being stuck in a vehicle or train for so long fills me with dread. If I won the lottery there would be lots of travelling but in first class on a plan (once I got to my destination I could hire a car to do the pretty scenery drive feeling refreshed, one can only dream)

HollyBerryBush Wed 06-Mar-13 05:46:22

I'd take Europe - the history and culture alone.

America has neither.

nooka Wed 06-Mar-13 05:48:29

We drove from New York to Vancouver (well almost - four hours short) almost five years ago when we moved from the States to Canada. With a trip down the coast thrown in so that we could show our children Washington DC and visit Gettysburg and Antietam. Took about 2 1/2 weeks.

It was a bit of a crazy trip, but a great experience (even though I had bronchitis/pleurisy at the time). The battlefields were something to experience, and just the scale of the States is a bit of an experience - the prairies are just incredibly flat .

We've also done a bit of train travel in Europe, and that was great too. We like traveling smile

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