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How to find routes and destinations

From handy websites to flight-free travel agents, here are our top recommendations for where to find routes and destinations

04 Jan 2023 2 min read

The Man in Seat 61 is the go-to place for flight-free travel. Former British Rail employee Mark Smith, aka the Man in Seat 61, set up his encyclopaedic website in the early 2000s and has been the first port of call for travellers ever since. 

The website includes information on flight-free travel to pretty much every country in the world, with tips for how to buy tickets, details on connections, and suggestions for itineraries and stopovers. 

Spend many happy hours scrolling through the pages while dreaming and planning. Here are a few pages that might be particularly useful for the most popular holiday destinations for UK travellers: 

Spain / France / Ireland / Portugal / Greece

See also: carbon savings of rail travel

Train travel is a more rewarding alternative to flying which reduces our contribution to climate change and brings us closer to the countries we visit.

~ Mark Smith,


Take the stress out of planning your journey by letting Byway do it for you. Byway is a 100% flight-free travel agent, who will book your travel and accommodation and, as part of the package, provide a bespoke itinerary and on-trip WhatsApp support.

Byway was founded in 2020 by Cat Jones, a keen traveller who was constantly frustrated at how hard it is to travel without flying. She set up her own company to meet that need and help others discover the wonders of overland travel. 

You can choose from pre-designed trips or create your own from scratch, and there are plenty of options to get you excited about your holiday on the Byway trip builder. 

Flight Free UK supporters get £50 off a Byway holiday! Just add the code FLIGHTFREE2024 at the checkout. Byway will also donate 3% of the total amount you spend to Flight Free UK.

Byway made the experience so simple and provided great information beforehand. So helpful and accessible before and during the trip. We will definitely use them again!

~ Byway customer, Trustpilot

Rail Europe

Formerly Loco2, Rail Europe is an excellent resource for booking rail travel across Europe. A great feature of the website is that it shows how much carbon you have saved on each journey through travelling by train rather than flying. 

Some route options or rail providers don’t always work with Rail Europe, so some clever searching is sometimes needed. Use in tandem with for best results! 

The train accounts for just 0.6% of carbon emissions produced by the transport sector - while carrying 10% of its passengers.

~ RailEurope

Other booking websites include Rome2Rio (just de-select the ‘flight’ option) and the Trainline. For coach travel, we recommend Flixbus.

For route ideas and accounts of other people’s journeys, head to our Destination Inspiration pages.