Eurail stuff

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Mar 3rd, 2004, 07:29 AM
  #1
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Eurail stuff

ok I am going to Europe in 2 months and I was wondering what people thought of as far as buying the Eurail pass security and whether or not to upgrade to a sleeper or just stay in the chair. I want to do things pretty cheap since I am going to grad school and have to pay for all of those expenses too, but I don't want to be super uncomfortable.
Thanks.
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Mar 3rd, 2004, 03:36 PM
  #2
rex
 
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If you want to travel cheaply, then one of my first pieces of advice will be NOT to plunk down many, many hundreds of dollars on a Eurailpass. Make an itinerary for yourself. Check out the cost of rail travel on www.railsaver.com - - for any segments longer than four hours, you may be surprised to find that there is a flight that is cheaper and faster than the train - - Europe is awash with low-cost intra-Europe airlines and it has been for the past 5-10 years.

If you plan on traveling distances of more than 2 hours, more than 12 times in 60 days, you might ask yourself why? See where you are more, move around less. It doesn't have to be a scavenger hunt.

You might even ask why not allocate 30 days for this year's trip and put the other half of the money in the bank - - so that you can get back all the sooner. Your second trip, you will do so many things differently than your first because of all the things that you have learned.

Best wishes,

Rex
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Mar 3rd, 2004, 04:24 PM
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There is a middle ground between a sleeper car and a seat...do some research on "couchettes". These are sleeper cars with 4-6 bunks, so they aren't private, but better than a seat. While a sleeper car reservation might be $80-$100 on top of the ticket price, a couchette can be reserved for about $20. Please don't trust my memory on these prices, but that it what I recall from a couple of years ago.

You definitely should check out the cost of a pass vs. point-to-point tickets. I suggest looking at Rick Steves rail pass guide...I found it very helpful.

(Rex, he said going IN 2 months, not FOR 2 months...but boy, wouldn't I love to have 2 months to travel!!)

What a great opportunity...enjoy your trip!

Anne
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Mar 3rd, 2004, 07:28 PM
  #4
rex
 
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Oh, whoops... well, my remarks are no less relevant... just need to scaled to the size of the trip...
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Mar 3rd, 2004, 07:36 PM
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Sidenote,

If you want to do things cheap, and can sleep sitting up or partially sitting up, do it or get a couchette. The sleeping compartment will cost as much, or almost as much as a hotel room.

Since you're going in May, you shouldn't have too much of a problem grabbing a half empty compartment. When the seats are facing each other, and you have the space, you can pop your suitcase in the middle and sleep using the two seats across from each other or, if no one if there, use the length of the bench seating and curl up. Sleep with your daypack with your valuables as a pillow.

Again, if you aren't really adaptable in sleeping, opt for the couchette, but keep the day pack with you, and get there first so you can pick your bed and stow your suitcase.
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Mar 3rd, 2004, 09:42 PM
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For great advice about travelling on the cheap - visit Eurotrip.com. This forum tends to talk about more upscale travel.
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Mar 4th, 2004, 01:57 AM
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Couchettes are a very good alternative to sleepers for an overnight journey. They are a lot cheaper and nearly as comfortable. The compartments have locks so that you can sleep securely. The only problem is that you don't undress to go to bed and have to sleep in your day clothes. You share compartments with strangers of both sexes, but that can be an advantage as you get to talk to other travellers. Some European overnight trains have couchettes but no sleepers.
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Mar 4th, 2004, 06:56 AM
  #8
ira
 
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Hi

Before buying a railpass, go to www.railsaver.com and enter your itinerary to see if a railpass will be cheaper than point to point tickets.
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Mar 4th, 2004, 09:31 AM
  #9
 
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Hi, my friend and I are doing the same. We got a Eurail pass after looking at our travel timeframe and what we wanted to see, and entering the info into railsaver. With the amount of travelling we were going to do the railpass was a good idea.

We got first class too because we figured if we're going to be travelling alot on trains we will spend the extra 50 bucks to make it a little more comfortable.
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