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Discovering Europe from Your German Home Base

A Guide for PCS Families in the Kaiserslautern Military Community

Introduction

For U.S. civilian and military personnel who have recently PCS’d to Germany and are settling into their long-term rental in the Kaiserslautern Military Community (KMC), Europe offers a treasure trove of travel opportunities. Exploring new destinations during your off days can greatly enrich your experience working in Europe. Here are some tips on how you can maximize your leisure time with memorable trips.

 

1. Discover Nearby Villages and Cities

Pros:

  • Local Exploration: The KMC is surrounded by picturesque villages, vibrant cities, historic castles, and scenic hiking trails, all within a short drive.
  • Convenience: Easy to plan for short weekend trips or day outings without the hassle of extensive travel planning.

Cons:

  • Limited Range: Driving restricts the range of your exploration to nearby regions

 

2. Utilizing the Deutsche Bahn (DB) Train System

Pros:

  • Extensive Network: The DB train system connects to numerous destinations across Germany and neighboring countries.
  • Comfort and Scenery: Offers a comfortable travel experience with scenic views of the European countryside.

Cons:

  • Scheduling: Requires understanding the train schedules and connections, which might be challenging initially.

 

3. Flying from Regional Airports

Pros:

  • Frankfurt, Luxembourg, Baden Baden: Access to major and regional airports allows for a wider range of travel destinations.
  • Discount Airlines: Airlines like Ryanair and WOW air offer affordable options to explore Europe.

Cons:

  • Scheduling: Requires understanding the train schedules and connections, which might be challenging initially.

     

4. Group Tours with RTT Travel and Explore Europe

Pros:

  • Convenience: Offers organized bus trips to popular destinations, ideal for those who prefer guided tours.
  • Social Aspect: Great way to meet fellow travelers and personnel from the KMC area.

Cons:

  • Less Flexibility: Scheduled tours mean less personal freedom to explore destinations at your own pace.

 

Additional Tips

  • Plan Ahead: Especially for popular destinations or during peak travel seasons.
  • Explore Local Events: Festivals, markets, and cultural events offer authentic experiences.
  • Stay Informed: Keep up to date with travel advisories and local COVID-19 regulations.
  • Booking and Contacts:
    • Deutsche Bahn: www.bahn.de for train schedules and tickets.
    • RTT Travel: Visit www.RTTtravel.com for organized tours.
    • Explore Europe: Check out www.exploreeurope.de for a variety of travel options.

 

Conclusion

Living in the KMC area opens up a world of travel possibilities for U.S. personnel stationed in Germany. Whether you choose to drive to nearby attractions, use the extensive train network, fly from regional airports, or join organized tours, Europe’s diverse landscapes and cultures are within your reach. Embrace these opportunities to make the most of your time in Europe, creating memories that will last a lifetime.