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Backpacking Europe: to Eurail or not to Eurail

Backpacking Europe: to Eurail or not to Eurail

Mar 2nd, 2014, 02:25 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 2
Backpacking Europe: to Eurail or not to Eurail

My husband and I are backpacking through Europe for a month from June 15th- July 16th, 2014. We are flying into Dublin, Ireland and would like to spend 4-5 days around Ireland and we plan to rent a car here. We would then like to travel to London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, and throughout Italy (Venice, Rome, Florence and Cinque Terre). We are unsure if we should fly, take trains, buses, etc... and if we should buy the unlimited Eurail pass which is about $1,000. We want to choose the easiest, most cost efficient way to get around. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!
kaweber12 is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2014, 02:38 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,212
You'd need to check point-to-point ticket prices but I'm very sure that the tickets you need won't add up to $1,000. You can buy tickets in advance at discount rates and Italy trains are reasonably priced.

London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris and Venice, Rome, Florence, Cinque Terre are easily accessible by trains. You can fly from Paris to Venice or take an overnight train.

Use seat61.com for info on trains.
adrienne is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2014, 02:53 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,246
You have nine destinations and only 32 days. Minus 1.5 days getting to Europe, minus 1 day getting home, minus at least one day recovering from jet lag, minus 5 days exploring Ireland, minus approx 6 days travel time IN Europe, . . . leaves you about 17 days to actually see/do things outside Ireland. So about 2 days per . . . which is NOTHING for places like London/Paris/Rome.

IMO far too many places in far too little time.
janisj is online now  
Mar 2nd, 2014, 02:56 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,118
Good advice from Jan,

You ought to rethink your itinerary.

Ditto Adr,

Enjoy your slower, more interesting backpack.

ira is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2014, 03:10 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,212
I agree with too many places and too little time. Since you're traveling in warm weather you might want to forgo Italy on this trip and stick to the northern locations. You could add a couple of locations in Belgium that are more interesting than Brussels and do some day trips from London and Paris.

A thought - are you old enough to rent a car in Ireland?
adrienne is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2014, 03:12 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 2
Okay thank you all! I thought it might be a little bit of a stretch to get to all of those places in that short amount of time. We are willing to cut it down to fewer places, but we are still unsure if the Eurail pass is the best deal for our short adventure. In your alls experiences has buying individual train and flights been better or is the unlimited Eurail all that its cracked up to be?
kaweber12 is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2014, 03:22 PM
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 426
Eurail is not all it's cracked up to be.

See the comprehensive guide to rail travel at www.seat61.com
mjdh1957 is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2014, 03:25 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 75,965
The efficacy of a pass depends on various factors besides cost: do you want flexibility to chose which trains to take once there and do you want the significant benefits of first-class train travel - if you are over 25 the Eurailpass automatically comes in first class - large seats - fewer seats per same size train car - sometimes free snacks and drinks in some countries and generally a hot more empty seats for easier to find places to easily store luggage, etc.

The cheapest way for your plans would be to go the discounted ticket route, like in France and Italy and on the Thalys train Paris to Amsterdam (www.thalys.com) - France www.voyages-sncf.com or www.capitainetrain.com - Italy www.trenitalia.com - sites where you can score real nifty discounts but as they are sold in limited numbers must be booked weeks or months in advance to get then typically cannot be changed nor refunded - booked in stone - but if that is fine with you and 2nd class is OK - most find it adequate though the longer the train ride the more advantageous IMO first class becomes - then that is the way to go - www.eurostar.com for Paris to London Eurostar trains taking but around 2 hours now.

Offhand unless you want flexibility and first class then a Eurailpass would be a waste of money for your relatively limited train plans - but if I were you I'd spend some time seeing what kind of prices you can find at the sites I list and then compare to the pass - if at all close go for the first class pass if not do not.

Eurailpasses in Italy incur a 10 euro seat reservation fee so you have to figure that in as well.

great sites to help plan a European rail trip: www.budgeteuropetravel.com; www.ricksteves.com and www.seat61.com.
PalenQ is offline  

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