Railbookers says travel by train has many attributes
Railbookers Group is promoting what it says is a particularly convenient form of vacation travel that is also kind to Mother Earth.
Railbookers president Frank Marini reports the U.S.-based company offers thousands of FIT itineraries on every continent except Antarctica, all of which feature rail travel.
Train companies used range from particularly upscale options such as the storied Orient Express to ones that are in easy financial reach of travellers careful about their budgets, such as VIA Rail..
“If the train goes there…so do we. Independent travel and rail travel really coincide.,” Marini said during a recent Toronto visit, adding Railbookers can offer guests packages featuring several aspects of travel, including rail transportation, hotels, ferries and sightseeing.
All itineraries feature rail travel, with Railbookers willing to accommodate travellers who ask for a seating arrangement that will give them optimum views of local scenery while on the move.
Railbookers — which bills itself as the largest FIT company in the world — enables families and friends to travel together but won’t arrange trips that have vacationers travelling in groups with people they don’t know.
The company offers some 5,000 itineraries, with clients who are on a holiday able to extend it the very day their booked trip ends by contacting Railbookers, with Marini reporting Railbookers is ready to move quickly to allow clients to continue with their travel, an ability that amounts to “extend on the fly.”
Marini said rail travel has a number of welcome attributes that can give it an upper hand on other forms of travel, among them delivering people from a downtown urban area to another downtown urban area, making it particularly convenient for travellers not wanting to navigate unfamiliar cities in a car or have to work their way between downtown areas and airports.
Japan and many European countries have particularly advanced rail systems, with, for example, the company’s vice-president sales for Canada Cris David citing a Spanish rail system that has trains reach speeds of 225 kms an hour, linking Barcelona and Madrid in 2 hours.
“You can be having breakfast in your hotel at 7 a.m., be on your train at 8 and in your next destination in 2 hours,” he stated.
“People ask us, ‘Are you a 3-star, 4-star or 5-star product. We can be anything,” David continued, noting that Railbookers took an $80,000 booking for India’s upscale Maharajas Express but also works regularly with rail companies that have comparatively modest fares..
There are rail companies Railbookers won’t use, possibly because of cleanliness or safety issues.
Marini said interest in rail travel is on the upswing, adding Railbookers’ own business has doubled since 2019.
The company offers standard 12% commissions and has a call centre that is virtually 24/7.
Packages can be reserved as far as 2 years ahead through a deposit, with rates then locked in. Full payments have to be made 2 or 3 months before actual departures. Railbookers says locked-in rates following a deposit will provide “peace of mind.”
The company adds it’s eager to work with travel agents but doesn’t do in-person agency sales calls, relying on other methods to reach agents, such as webinars.
More information is available through railbookersgroup.com.