I spent 11 hours with 3 strangers in a shared cabin on a sleeper practice in Europe. 6 surprises made me remorse my alternative.

Insider's reporter tried out a sleeper cabin on a train in Europe traveling from Vienna to Venice, Italy/

Insider’s reporter tried out a sleeper cabin on a practice in Europe touring from Vienna, Austria, to Venice, Italy.Joey Hadden/Insider

  • I booked a shared sleeper cabin on an in a single day practice whereas touring from Austria to Italy.

  • I believed a sleeper practice could be one of the simplest ways to maximise my days whereas exploring Europe.

  • A couple of surprises alongside the way in which modified my thoughts, from an absence of privateness to a stressed evening.

I just lately traveled on an in a single day practice from Vienna, Austria, to Venice, Italy, throughout a two-week journey via 4 European international locations.

The author exits a train in Venice, Italy, in October 2022.

The writer exits a practice in Venice, Italy, in October 2022.Joey Hadden/Insider

Once I determined to go to Germany, Austria, Italyand Switzerland for the primary time in simply two weeksI needed to maximise my time exploring every nation.

Once I realized that my experience from Vienna, Austria, to Venice, Italy, could be 11 hours lengthy, touring by practice via the evening appeared like one of the simplest ways to depart my days completely free, and sharing a sleeper cabin with strangers was the most affordable approach to do it.

I purchased a Eurail go for $477, which supplies entry to most European trains for a set variety of days. Some trains solely require a Eurail go, whereas others, together with in a single day trains, incur an extra discounted worth.

My ticket price $44 with my Eurail go, and included breakfast. With out it, it might have been about $84.

I traveled with OBB Nightjet, a practice that operates in a single day routes between Austria, Italy, France, and the Netherlands.

A Nightjet sleeper car arrives in Venice, Italy, in October 2022.

A Nightjet sleeper automobile arrives in Venice, Italy, in October 2022.Joey Hadden/Insider

OBB Nightjet trains in a single day journey to greater than 25 European cities, from Rome to Amsterdam, and may go as quick as 143 miles per hour, in accordance with their web site.

I made a decision to e-book with OBB Nightjet as a result of it is identified for having a few of Europe’s latest and finest sleeper routes, in accordance with Lonely Planet.

Nightjet trains have seating carriages in addition to sleeper automobiles with bunks of three, 4, or six. The latter of which is what I booked.

A sleeper cabin on an OBB Nightjet train.

A sleeper cabin on an OBB Nightjet practice.Nightjet – © ÖBB/Harald Eisenberger

Some routes have non-public cabins, in accordance with OBB Nightjet, however mine did not. So I booked a six-passenger sleeper bunk-style cabin to be shared with as much as 5 different folks.

Two nights earlier than my journey to Venice, I traveled on one other OBB Nightjet practice from Berlin to Vienna in a seating carriage cabin, that are cabins of six common assigned seats that deeply recline.

I discovered the seating carriage to be too uncomfortable to get any sleep, so I hoped the bunk cabin would supply me with a extra restful expertise.

My experience from Vienna to Venice wasn’t my first expertise on a sleeper practice, however it was my first time touring in a shared bunk-style cabin.

Insider's reporter spent 30 hours in an Amtrak bedroom while traveling from Miami to New York.

Insider’s reporter spent 30 hours in an Amtrak bed room whereas touring from Miami to New York.Joey Hadden/Insider

Whereas this was my first time touring in a sleeper automobile in Europe, it wasn’t my first time on an in a single day practice.

I spent 60 hours on in a single day Amtrak trains in October 2021. I stayed of their 20-square-foot roomette different 45-square-foot bed room lodging, the place I had non-public rooms to myself. I loved each experiences, and appreciated it as a sustainable approach to get around the globe with unparalleled views alongside the way in which.

Due to these optimistic experiences, I used to be excited to check out sleeper trains once more whereas in Europe, particularly since touring at evening would free my days.

However a number of surprises alongside the way in which made me suppose that finally, this experience wasn’t definitely worth the time saved.

Once I arrived on the Vienna practice station, I paid $10 to entry the OBB Lounge. I used to be shocked that apart from me, it was fully empty, which was a stark distinction to the crowded station the place I could not discover a seat.

An empty OBB Lounge at Wein Miedling Station in October 2022.

An empty OBB Lounge at Wein Miedling Station in October 2022.Joey Hadden/Insider

My journey started in Austria’s Wien Meidling practice station. I arrived 90 minutes earlier than my 9:35 pm practice, and the ready areas had been so crowded that I could not discover one empty seat. Then I observed a lounge for OBB company.

The lounge is free for first-class OBB passengers touring through the day, and prices about $10 for all different OBB passengers who wish to pay to entry it, which is what I did.

Since I believed the charge was cheap and the station was so packed, I used to be shocked to seek out there was not one different traveler inside.

The lounge had loads of tables and chairs, in addition to complimentary refreshments from espresso to nuts and seeds. It was a smaller choice than I’ve seen at Amtrak’s Metropolitan Lounge, which I’ve visited in new Yorkhowever I wasn’t hungry so I simply acquired a water bottle and settled right into a chair to attend till it was time to board my practice.

Once I went to the platform, I used to be shocked by how complicated it was to board the proper practice.

A platform where the train takes off in Austria (L).  Car two on a Nightjet train stopped in Venice, Italy (R).

A platform the place the practice takes off in Austria (L). Automotive two on a Nightjet practice stopped in Venice, Italy (R).Joey Hadden/Insider

I went to the platform about 20 minutes earlier than my practice’s scheduled 9:35 pm departure, and was shocked to see a display screen that stated my practice was going to Zurich. This made me fear that I booked the unsuitable sleeper practice.

However on the info desk, I realized that in contrast to Amtrak, the practice’s automobiles detach at varied stations to go to totally different places. I needed to board my assigned practice automobile with the intention to attain my ticketed closing vacation spot; every has a quantity.

When my practice arrived, I did not have time to examine the practice automobile quantity earlier than boarding. I simply went to the closest automobile and requested an attendant to information me to my automobile and room.

I knew that my cabin was going to be small however as soon as onboard, I used to be nonetheless shocked once I noticed it for the primary time.

Inside the Nightjet cabin

Contained in the writer’s shared Nightjet cabin.Joey Hadden/Insider

In response to OBB Nightjetmy cabin was constructed to suit six folks inside a 74-square-foot house.

I anticipated it might be small, however seeing it in particular person made me understand that 74 sq. toes is smaller than I believed.

One traveler was already there once I boarded and two others arrived inside an hour. Two acquired off round 5 am, and the opposite stayed previous my cease. We stated hey to one another upon arrival, however apart from that, the room was quiet. A few of us watched units, whereas others went to sleep.

I used to be shocked by how little private house I had even when it was nonetheless only one different passenger and me. I could not think about six folks squeezing in there, and was grateful that we weren’t booked to the max.

However I nonetheless felt cramped when there was 4 of us, particularly with everybody’s baggage round.

I anticipated every bunk to have a curtain for privateness, however the beds had been fully uncovered. This made me really feel much less comfy.

The author felt she had no privacy without curtains at each bunk

The writer felt she had no privateness with out curtains at every bunk.Joey Hadden/Insider

For the reason that house was shared with strangers, I used to be anticipating to seek out curtains on the entrance of every bunk to make sure privateness, however there was nothing to dam the house between myself and different passengers.

This made me really feel extra uncomfortable than I anticipated. Whereas one other traveler modified their garments in entrance of me contained in the room, I favor to vary in non-public, and selected to as an alternative go to the shared lavatory on the finish of the sleeper automobile.

I did not suppose I might need to get up different passengers to make use of the lavatory. However the room’s lock was solely accessible from a high bunk the place somebody was sleeping.

Lighting and lock controls in the sleeper cabin.

Lighting and lock controls within the sleeper cabin.Joey Hadden/Insider

Once I first entered the cabin, I realized the bunks had been first come, first served. I opted for a backside bunk since I’ve beforehand discovered high bunks on Amtrak trains to really feel bumpier via the evening.

However I did not understand that the particular person on the highest bunk could be the unofficial controller of the door lock because it was solely accessible from their mattress.

Once I went to the lavatory to clean up and alter round 10:30 pm, the top-bunk passenger had simply arrived and was nonetheless awake. However at round 2 am, I discovered myself laying awake with a full bladder as a result of I did not need to disturb her. Ultimately, I could not maintain it anymore and reluctantly woke her up.

It was a little bit awkward, and I felt unhealthy for disrupting her sleep. The entire expertise made me suppose I’ll have most well-liked the highest bunk anyway. I might fairly have somebody wake me than wake another person up.

I believed I might get a good quantity of relaxation within the sleeper cabin with a lie-flat mattress, however the experience was so bumpy and uncomfortable that I struggled to go to sleep.

The author watches TV on an overnight train from Vienna to Venice, Italy, in October 2022.

The writer watches TV on an in a single day practice from Vienna to Venice, Italy, in October 2022.Joey Hadden/Insider

Since I had a lie-flat mattress within the cabin, in addition to mattress sheets and a pillow offered by the practice, I believed I might get a good quantity of sleep.

However when bedtime got here round, I used to be shocked to seek out the mattress and bedding did not matter a lot.

I solely acquired a pair hours of sleep and wakened a number of instances through the evening on account of different vacationers coming into and exiting the room or the bumpiness of the practice, and located the mattress to be uncomfortable. For a lot of the evening, I watched TV on my iPad since I had such a tough time sleeping.

“Providing our passengers a excessive stage of journey consolation is a vital concern for us,” a consultant for OBB Nightjet informed Insider.

An OBB Nightjet train.

An OBB Nightjet practice.Nightjet – © ÖBB/Harald Eisenberger

The assertion continued, “We’re consistently engaged on enhancements to our product and in addition consider the necessities of our clients.”

Subsequent 12 months, the rail line is upgrading its in a single day trains, in accordance with a press launch from OBB Nightjetwith new, extra spacious sleeper cabins that can embody a seating space along with beds, in accordance with the press launch.

Once I acquired to Venice, I noticed I used to be unsuitable about my expectations round a shared sleeper cabin. I did not really feel rested, which was your entire cause why I booked it.

The author before (L) and after (R) having coffee during her first morning in Venice.

The writer earlier than (L) and after (R) having espresso throughout her first morning in Venice.Joey Hadden/Insider

Once I acquired off the practice in Venice, I used to be exhausted from the dearth of sleep. I believed it made my first day within the metropolis much less gratifying, which was maybe probably the most shocking aspect of my experience for the reason that whole cause why I booked this practice was to really feel rested.

By means of these surprises, I realized {that a} shared cabin on an in a single day practice wasn’t the appropriate alternative for me.

Whereas generally it is concerning the journey, not the vacation spot, on this case, I might fairly arrive feeling refreshed so I can take pleasure in the place I am going. So subsequent time I am in Europe, I will both journey through the day or e-book a personal sleeper cabin.

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