Zaventem, Belgium - Polarsteps

So this whole trip came to fruition because I had about 7 weeks of Garden Leave. For my American friends that don't know what Garden Leave is, it's this wonderful thing that I'm sure Europeans invented where because you're going to a competitor, you are forced to leave your current role & due to contracts being prevalent in Europe, they have to pay you for the remainder of your contract anyway! So, I found myself in a wonderful situation where I was collecting a paycheck but could no longer be in the office, so I decided to take a train trip! I knew the Eurorail was a thing so I began doing some research. I picked a time where John would be away anyway and wanted a route that wouldn't be so interesting that I needed to spend a lot of time there. There purpose of the trip was to unwind since I had gone to the doctor because I had had awful pain in my head & neck for months--turns out it was literally entirely due to stress... So, I spent a few hours researching and planning out my route, I decided that although I could easily start my train trip in Stockholm, I had already done the Stockholm to Copenhagen route a few times, so I could skip that. I instead opted for a route that would allow me to see the most countries while not having to splurge on too many hotel rooms. So, that's how I ended up with this trip that started with a flight from Stockholm to Belgium and went to Luxemburg, France, Switzerland & through the power of a friend, Liechtenstein. The important things to know about the EU Rail pass is that even with the flexibility, some planning is definitely needed. Here's what I'd recommend: 1. Get some idea of where you'd like to go. I paid 237 euros for the EU Global pass with 5 days within one month which allows for transport between 33 countries. One country passes & interrail packages also exist. 2. Go to the train times page on and create a rough itinerary for yourself. This let's you know which routes are possible, how long they will take & how many transfers. It also lets you know which trains require a seat reservation which is an additional fee on top of the pass. 3. Order your pass & give yourself some time for it to arrive. They mail you a physical ticket. Mine took about 1 week to arrive. It can be mailed to a European address but you have to have a non-EU passport to be eligible to use the pass. 4. Buy your seat reservations. I spent 43 USD on additional seat reservations. I only bought the reservations in advance if they were required for my travel since I actually was pretty flexible for this trip regarding time. 5. Download the app to be able to easily keep track of your hopeful routes. 6. Make sure you fill out your transit each day or you'll get fined like I did one day by accident (50 euros!!!) I know it sounds complicated, but it was absolutely worth it! To start off, I flew to Brussels with a brand new convertible rolling bag to backpack combo as my carry on that I had just bought since it was my first solo non-work trip, I knew I'd have to fend for myself. I arrived around 11:30 in the morning and asked the staff for help figuring out my pass. They told me there was a 5 euro fee for taking the train from the airport to I paid and she showed me how to fill out my pass. She was very helpful & knowledgeable as was everyone that worked on the trains on my trip!
  1. ChristineOsazuwa
  2. Solo Train Trip Through Benelux & Swiss Alps
  3. Zaventem