benelux-france rail pass

Jun 9th, 2007, 06:46 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 4
benelux-france rail pass

Hi all, I am a new member and this is my first time to post. I need some advise from all euro trains experienced travellers.
We are a couple going to Europe in September (our 2nd time - we got bitten by the travel bug !! .
We are arriving at Amsterdam - going straight to Brugge(stay 3 nights)-
travel to Antwerp (stay 3 nights) -
travel to Paris (stay 3 nights)- and finally to Amsterdam (5 nights).
I received an estimate from our travel agent who called Eurorail that the pass for benelux-France is around Cad$316 not yet including seat reservation fees. We cannot book yet as it should be at least 3 mos prior to first leg of the trip.
Can someone advise if it is cheaper to go this way or just buy intercity trains and other trains (ex Thalys) and buying these at the station a day or two before we leave the city? Does buying in the rail pass in advance more convenient even if it is not cheaper?
thank you all for your help!!


Hapitrip is offline  
Jun 10th, 2007, 03:41 AM
  #2  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,166
Hi H,

Enter your itinerary at www.railsaver.com and click "only if it saves money".

If it says not to get a pass, you can believe it.

You can look up prices at www.ns.nl and www.voyages-sncf.com

May I suggest 2 nights in Brugge, 4 nights in Amsterdam and 7 nights in Paris?

Enjoy your visit.


ira is offline  
Jun 21st, 2007, 12:22 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2
Hi there,
I'm doing a similar trip for 3 weeks in late Sept with the addition of Normandy. I've done a lot of calculating between point-to-point vs. pass and for my situation it's pretty much the same. I think a pass may be more convenient as long as you stay away from trains requiring reservations. I'm doing a few "long-haul" legs where I'm stopping in between my departure and arrival cities so that's where my pass might save me some time.

I still haven't decided which way I'm going yet as I'm continuing to edit my trip. Good luck.
niadanac_ma_i is offline  
Jun 21st, 2007, 12:36 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 77,686
Hapitrip would not save money on this pass if he/she can get one of the discounted advance purchase Thalys tickets - say the Smilys fare round trip Brussels-Paris-Brussels then regular trains Brussels-amsterdam and on way down to Brussels.

check sites Ira mentions and www.thalys.com for cheapest fares - but if wanting flexibility then the pass could be a great deal as walk up Thalys fares can be astronomical (Thalys is about the only way Paris-Brussels) - then you do have to pay about $20 supplement with pass on Thalys in 2nd class and about $40 in first class but you get a fairly good meal in first.

naidanac's pass viability is much more clear - probably a great deal, especially for flexibile fares - the more days you put on the pass the cheaper per day it becomes. Passes are not sold in Europe and think are a creation of RailEurope in US (www.raileurope.com) - I always recommend Budget Europe (www.budgeteuropetravel.com) for any pass due to their expertise and great service - prices are universal so go for service such as actually speaking to someone knowledgeable - a rarity today. I also fine www.ricksteves.com has great info on rail travel and passes though he will not make reservations such as you may want to make when ordering the pass for your conevenience - with Steves thus you buy your pass and then have to go to raileurope.com for the reservations and that means separate mailing fees, etc. Reservations are a hassle for most agents and Steves can get by without having to do them i guess. But Thalys pass reservations can be hard to get, especially in 2nd class IME on site.
PalenQ is offline  
Jun 21st, 2007, 12:39 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 441
I second Ira's suggestion. You could fly into Amsterdam and out of Paris avoiding the Thalys train between Paris and Belgium.
eurogals is offline  
Jun 21st, 2007, 12:41 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 77,686
Paris and Belgium - Brussels is 1.25 hours and with a Smilys return fare you'd pay less than a one-way ticket.
PalenQ is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2007, 09:21 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 77,686
An 8-day Benelux-France railpass, saverpass, was actually a few bucks cheaper than an 8-day saver France only pass last time i checked - figure that one out!
PalenQ is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2007, 12:16 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 77,686
Par example:

8-day Ben-France Saverpass $468 p.p.

8-day France Pass $462

well prices have changed but still only $6 more for all Benelux added in and the Ben-Fra pass is valid over a 2-month period the France only pass a 1-month period.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 4th, 2007, 02:06 PM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 4
Thanks Ira, PalenQ for all the information you've suggested.
Ira, been to Paris last year for a week, and this time it will be for the remaining places we want to go back to ....a more relax stay.
PalenQ, Ira, i went to railsaver and it was suggested to get the 5 day benelux -france for $380 and intercity trains from Lille to Paris, Paris to Lille for $104 each way. I will be calling budgeteuropetravel too to compare. I really appreciate the help.
Hapitrip is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:35 AM.