Eurail pass: Is it Worth it?

Apr 7th, 2007, 04:23 PM
  #1  
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Eurail pass: Is it Worth it?

I plan to travel extensively in Spain and was just wondering what the eurail pass covers (can i use the AVE trains?) and if its worth it in Spain? please help
cuenca23 is offline  
Apr 7th, 2007, 04:50 PM
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If one day you're going from Barcelona to Malaga, then a few days later to Bilboa, then down to Sevilla, and a few days later to Valencia, then maybe. You have to do a full comparison, but it will take a lot of travel within Spain to make it cheaper than point to point. Short trips in Spain are cheap.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Apr 7th, 2007, 05:03 PM
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No to Eurail but investigate the Spanish Railpass, a cheaper alternative for travel only in Spain.,

Covers AVE trains but you must pay a supplement/reservation fee of about $10-15 dollars with the pass i believe.

If you are indeed traveling extensively in Spain then yes consider it - the value of the pass is that it can be used on any train anytime - unlike some cheaper online fares you may find on www.rense.es the Spanish Railways web site, where you can easily calculate the efficacy of a pass - compare walk up fares in euros for your trip itenrary with the dollar value of the Spanish railpass. I always recommend calling BETS (800-441-2387; www.budgeteuropetravel.com) for any questions about the pass or for the pass itself). So it's quite easy to examine the efficacy of a pass.
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 8th, 2007, 05:35 AM
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If you are just traveling in Spain (or Spain & Portugal) you would come out a lot cheaper with a SpainPass or an IbericPass.

Does your 'travel extensively' include northern Spain? If so, check out the Ferrocaril Espanol de Via Estrecha (FEVE) website http://www.FEVE.es

Last year they had a 30-day 'hop on, hop off' pass for the incredibly low price of 75 Euro. 60-day Pass is 126 Euros. FEVE's route extends from Leon to Vizcaya (Bilbao), Cantabria (Santander), Principality de Asturias (Oviedo) and Galicia (o'Ferrol).
NEDSIRELAND is offline  
Apr 8th, 2007, 05:47 AM
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I'm hoping this was merely a matter of semantics here. When someone says "I'm thinking of getting a Eurail pass for travel in Spain", I'm assuming he already knows to only get a specific country pass and not a general Eurail pass covering a whole bunch of countries. You can still get a Spain only pass from Eurail, so I was assuming the poster is already with us on that -- at least I hope so.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Apr 8th, 2007, 05:57 AM
  #6  
 
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Advice to anyone reading this thread for other purposes: you can get a partial answer by entering your particulars at railsaver.com/railsaver.asp and selecting "Only if railpasses save me money."

I say "partial" because there are frequently point-to-point tickets that can tilt the balance in that direction. But if Railsaver says that passes are more expensive, you can safely eliminate that possibility and start searching for bargains.
Robespierre is offline  
Apr 8th, 2007, 06:03 AM
  #7  
ira
 
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Robe is correct, "if Railsaver says that passes are more expensive, you can safely eliminate that possibility and start searching for bargains".

ira is offline  
Apr 8th, 2007, 06:25 AM
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I'm not trying to convince anyone to do a pass, but a couple of things that railsaver doesn't do -- it doesn't point out the benefit of free public transporation that often comes with the pass in major cities. It also doesn't allow (unless you fill them all in) for various small day trips you may do while staying in a city. If you have to buy point to point tickets, you are likely to limit an excursion to one town. But if you have a pass, you might hop on a train, go to one town, stay a few hours, and move on to another and yet another, before returning to your home base at night. Whenever I've had a rail pass I end up using it a lot more than I would have guessed and plugged into the railsaver "quiz".
NeoPatrick is offline  
Apr 8th, 2007, 08:37 AM
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Yes, the pass works on some local transport -

The RER (but not the Métro) in Paris.
The S-Bahn (but not the U-Bahn) in Bonn and Köln. (S=street U=underground)

In addition, using it locally burns a pass day on a flexi ticket. So it's not always a good idea.
Robespierre is offline  
Apr 8th, 2007, 08:50 AM
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I assume when people say Eurail pass they mean exactly that. The advice is very important to tell someone who says that to use the country pass instead, they could be wasting a lot of money, otherwise. I think such responses are very important and shouldn't be dismissed. These other passes are not Eurailpasses, that's a specific name for a specific pass, and I've seen a lot of posts from folks who didn't even know country-specific passes existed or hadn't considered them.
Christina is online now  
Apr 8th, 2007, 08:53 AM
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My recent investigation on another thread led to the conclusion that Railsaver prices cannot be trusted. So I'd use the Railsaver analysis as a starting point, but investigate further.
WillTravel is offline  
Apr 8th, 2007, 09:11 AM
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littlebigshot
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I investigated this a couple years ago and found that the best bargains take some searching and analysis. I found some basic principles though which are more or less true (there can be exceptions.)

The standard Eurail pass is a bargain only if you're going to be traveling fairly long distances every day or almost every day.

The smaller the area covered, the better bargain a rail pass tends to be. Generally speaking, the best bargains in order best-to-worst are 1) regional passes, covering part of a country, 2) single country passes, 3) limited multi-country passes, for instance covering three adjoining countries, 4) all-Europe passes. Not all these types of passes are available through standard Eurail outlets; check for web sites of national rail services.

Most of these passes offer a variety to be used by two people traveling together, and these are almost always the ones to get if you're traveling with someone else.

Youth and senior passes often offer significant savings.

Passes offering x number of days of travel within a period of y weeks or months (often called "flex passes") are often good deals.

Try to use the internet to estimate how much buying single tickets costs as opposed to the pass (and remember the pass may require paying a supplement for reservations or for some sorts of trains.)

Using a rail pass to get from the airport to the city when you arrive can be either a bargain or a waste, depending on the pass and on what other transportation is available.

Two more personal judgments:

I value the convenience and flexibility of the pass. Even if the pass costs roughly the same as single tickets, I like not having to buy them all individually.

Many passes come in first and second class varieties. My own feeling is that if you are going to be taking only short trips -- say, less than three hours -- first class isn't worth it. But if I'm going to be taking one or more very long rail trips, it might be worth paying extra for first class.
 
Apr 8th, 2007, 10:04 AM
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Christina with all due respect, what is it you call a Eurail Pass? I know of no single pass that is called that. If you go to the Eurail site, or even the RailEurope site, you will see dozens of passes listed. They include such things as "Eurail Italy-Spain Pass" and "Eurail select Pass for Spain". All those passes ARE Eurail passes.
I'm not sure what particular pass you are singling out that would be all alone in being called THE Eurail pass.

In other words, I'm telling you that you are wrong to say, "These other passes are not Eurailpasses, that's a specific name for a specific pass. . ."

Just look at this site for example:
http://www.raileurope.com/us/rail/ab..._rail_pass.htm

And while the separate single country passes there don't say Eurail pass, click on any country and then you'll find the option for a "Eurail select pass" for that country.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Apr 8th, 2007, 10:17 AM
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I thought that with Spain (the original poster's interest) that buses are often better than trains, so you're out of luck with a rail pass. But I haven't traveled around Spain, other than Madrid, so I don't know personally.

One main problem I see with multi-country Eurailpasses is that someone will get an unlimited 17-country/21-day pass and decide they need to make full use of it.
WillTravel is offline  
Apr 8th, 2007, 10:23 AM
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You can also go to the following site -- the official Eurail site:

http://www.eurail.com/

Click on "National Passes" and you'll find a complete listing of all the single country passes available. Every one of them has the word "Eurail" in front of it -- for example "Eurail Spain Pass".

Or buy a Spain only pass and check to see if it doesn't have the word "Eurail prominently displayed as part of its name.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Apr 9th, 2007, 01:45 AM
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Re: FEVE, that I posted about on this thread at 9:35 on 8 Apr.
EurailPasses or Renfe Tarjeta turistica are not valid on FEVE.
NEDSIRELAND is offline  
Apr 9th, 2007, 06:11 AM
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NewPatrick has it right as i understand the "Eurailpass" name use.

A few years back a Eurailpass meant either an 18-country pass (Romania is the 18th country) or a Eurail Select Pass where you can choose 3, 4 or 5 countries to narrow the geographical coverage of a Eurailpass at a cheaper price.

But now there is no "Eurailpass" but, this year for the first time that concept is called a Eurail Global Pass, covering 18 countries or a Eurail Select Pass but no Eurailpass

And like NewPat says there are now a flock of two-country Eurailpasses - the France-Spain Eurailpass and even country passes are labeled Eurail Spain Pass, etc.

It seems only the German, British, Swiss and French country pass do not have the Eurail name and perhaps their origin is different than the Eurail type passes, assumedly coming from the aegis of Eurail Committee sitting in Utrecht, Netherlands in shared quarters of the Netherlands Spoorwegen (sp?) or Dutch national railways, headed i believe by Erik Molin.

So it's all rather arcane and irrelevant to most and i believe when someone like the OP means the traditional 18-country Eurailpass when they use that term as this blindly pops into folks minds.
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 9th, 2007, 07:29 AM
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Urban transport covered by a Eurailpass valid in that country includes:

Trains in Madrid and Barcelona and some of these are utilitarian for the tourist arriving at stations in these cities that are well out of the town centres. Similarly all trains in all cities that are run by the railways, including

Germany - All S-Bahns in all cities that have them.

Paris - only on RER C and the portion of RER B from CDG Airport to Gare du Nord
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 9th, 2007, 08:49 AM
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I suppose it's really wrong for us (me) to assume when a person says "Eurail Pass" that he's already checked it out and is talking about only buying the appropriate and necessary country's (or countries') pass. But it seems equally wrong for us to assume that when he says "Eurail Pass" that he means a full Global type pass, particularly when he's only going to one or two countries.

The bottom line is -- should we assume he's done his homework? Or should we assume he hasn't? I tend to like to assume the former, rather than the latter.

Maybe cuenca23 will return and let us know which type of pass he (she) was referring to.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Apr 9th, 2007, 09:16 AM
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i'm betting on the latter and think to most Eurailpass has become a generic word for any kind of Eurailpass and to some even European train travel.

I base this on such that if someone knew the difference they probably wouldn't even pose this type of question but have answered it themselves.
PalenQ is offline  

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