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Eurail Pass

Alameda...
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Eurail Pass

My boyfriend and I are going to be traveling around Europe from June-August and were thinking about getting Global Eurail passes. We are both under 26 and I know we are entitled to discounts but I heard that purchasing a Eurail pass doesnt allow for free unlimited travel after purchase. It just offers discounts. Can anyone clarify how it works I know in some countries you have to pay for reservations but aside from that are the trains paid for with the Eurail pass?

Imperia, Italy
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1. Re: Eurail Pass

Read seat61.com/Railpass-and-Eurail-pass-guide.htm

And for extensive coverage of the negatives read tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g1-i12483-k4481489… - though note that under 26 passes do offer somewhat better value than those for older people.

Brno, Czech Republic
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for Czech Republic, Slovakia, Train Travel
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2. Re: Eurail Pass

Another good overview here europetrainsguide.com/Advice/Rail-Passes/Rai…

the negatives generally outweigh the positives, and depends a lot on where you plan to travel - e.g. a pass does not work financially in Italy or most of Central Europe, and it has drawbacks in other parts of Europe, e.g. Pass holder quota of French trains, reservations in night trains are not included, etc., etc.

If you have a general idea of your main itinerary, buy the long-distance tickets in advance on-line from the respective national rail companies (NOT Rail Europe), and then buy locally (many local passes/special offers available) when you get there.

Denver, Colorado
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for Pecs, Budapest
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3. Re: Eurail Pass

Even with the 'under 26' option, there will also be seat reservations (beyond the French, etc ones.) These mat not add up to a lot, but the 'get on and go' feature goes away if a seat reservation is required - so you have to go the RR station and get one anyway.

Also, if you are travelling in Central Europe, the Global pass does NOT include Poland or Slovakia. This can make some desirable routes and destinations unavailable without additional cost.

Brisbane, Australia
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4. Re: Eurail Pass

When I hear comments as to how wonderful a Eurail Pass is and how tourist-friendly the European railway network is, I want to scream out 'but that is manifestly not true'.

If there are two of you and you are back-packing your way around Europe and under 40 years of age, you might enjoy it (that is as long as you remember the nonesense of writing up your daily rail journeys for fear of being fined...or worse still being asked to leave the train). If older than 40+ forget it...there is no where to safely store your luggage and the arbitrary nature of platform levels vis-a-vis carriages make for great difficulties for those with luggage on wheels. And another warning, some trains like the much-vaunted (and hugely overated) fast train between Paris and Zurich have two levels and I have seen older travellers reduced to tears trying to get their luggage up narrow stairs. Oh for the days of porters and luggage vans!

Brisbane, Australia
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5. Re: Eurail Pass

I am posting as David G.

Brno, Czech Republic
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6. Re: Eurail Pass

Eurail and the European railway network are two different things - the former is an overpriced reseller, and the latter is a vast network consisting of several sub-networks, each operated by a national rail operator or a private rail operator.

You are right to say that it is manifestly not true that a Eurail pass is wonderful - I don't think many people would disagree with that. However millions of people, young and old, use the various European railway networks on a daily basis with no problems, without using expensive passes and all the problems that they entail, at a cost which is much less than driving or flying, and quicker and safer as well. Most of the stories about luggage going 'missing' is an urban myth - as long as you don't leave valuables obviously strewn around (and even if you do) while you pop to the lavatory or the restaurant car, you will find that they will generally still be there when you get back. Also the vast majority of stations have either secure lockers or left luggage offices.

Many people treat train travel in Europe as an obstacle course, trying to fit in as many places as possible in as short a period of time, sometimes wanting near-impossible links which would be better done by air. This is not the way to visit the continent. Train travel should be for getting from A to B quickly, cheaply and efficiently, not from A to F, trying to fit in C, D, E and then B, all in the space of 10 days. If you are over 40 (or even over 21) such a stunt should indeed not be attempted.

BTW the double-decker trains also have downstairs seating accommodation, and if people are clearly having problems, the majority of people will offer to help before it gets to the stage that tears are involved.

I'm not sure what you mean by over-rated for the Paris to Zurich train - it fulfils its purpose pretty well as it does the c. 700 km in only 4 hours, which is quicker than the plane, centre to centre, and you can get a ticket for €39. No it isn't the Orient Express, but it doesn't pretend to be either. You would surely be disappointed if you expected something along those lines.

Train travel in Europe doesn't have to be expensive, either, but it will be if you use a Eurail Pass or buy from re-sellers.

Idaho Falls, Idaho
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7. Re: Eurail Pass

We will be going to Europe next year for 6 months. We were thinking of buying a 3 month Global Eurail pass for the first half of the trip and probably one or two Select or Regional passes to make up the difference (all discounted for 2 travelers). After reading all the posts on this site, we're getting a little confused if Eurail passes are the best way to go. We will be going to MANY countries and trying to take a lot in. We're 60 years old and both in pretty good shape, taking only backpacks. However we are not fluent in all the languages, and having to buy separate tickets for all the legs of travel might be tedious. Any advice is most welcome.

Sydney, Australia
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8. Re: Eurail Pass

Definitely my advice still stands, do not buy Eurail passes. If you know that you may travel a bit in Germany or Switzerland, their passes are better value than Eurail pass, otherwise, make use of the special rates that they offer for visitors, such as regional tickets (Laender tickets), or Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket, see

bahn.de/i/…regional-offers-overview.shtml

You did not specify which countries you will be travelling to, but definitely France, Spain, Italy are the countries most unsuitable for Eurail passes.

Oswestry, United...
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9. Re: Eurail Pass

Sharibaby1969,

Not what you asked and not to do with any train travel, but with six months in 'Europe' I trust you are aware of the Schengen agreement and are making allowances.

Wales, United...
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10. Re: Eurail Pass

I think the final decision on whether to buy a pass or not is oen that cna only be made by the individual(s) concerned, based on what it is that they want to do, where they want to go, and the balance between price and convenience that is important to them.

If someone has a pre-planned itinerary, then I would definitely lean towards pre booking advance type rail tickets. Don't use a reseller, but go directly to the rail company of the country involved (or the departure country if an international journey). Tickets are usually released three months or so before the date of travel, and will be cheaper the earlier they are booked. In my experience, this is no more tedious or difficult than pre booking hotel accommodation in advance through an official tourist website.

On the other hand, if someone prefers to enjoy a more flexible experience, with the freedom to wander about as the mood takes, then i would suggest considering a pass (although many point to point tickets can be very reasonably priced if fast trains can be avoided). This may not be cheapest option, but it could be the most convenient, depending on priorities.