Europass vs. EasyJet, etc.

Aug 12th, 2007, 09:05 AM
  #1  
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Europass vs. EasyJet, etc.


My original plan was to use the inexpensive intra-european airlines to travel from city to city. I am now considering a Europass and would like some input as to which way to lean. Each vehicle offers its own benefits but I am not an experienced traveler and would like to hear your opinions.
Sept. 12-16 London
Sept. 16-20 Paris
Sept. 20-23 Amsterdam
That's all we decided to plan but other places we would like to visit include:
Budapest
Vienna
Venice
Rome
Athens
I will be departing London on Oct. 15
Thanks.





EuropeRookie is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 09:11 AM
  #2  
ira
 
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Hi ER,

Much easier to get to Paris from London on www.eurostar.com than by air.

Paris it Amsterdam is also an easy train ride. See www.voyages-sncf.com.

Until we know where else you plan to visit, we can't tell you if a railpass will be a good idea.

With those 3 destinations it is not.



ira is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 09:12 AM
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For London Paris & Paris Amsterdam the train (Eurostar & Thalys respectively) is the best option but the Eurail Select Pass (which is what the Europass is now called) isn't valid for Eurostar though you can get a "passholders" rate that MIGHT be cheaper than a one way ticket
alanRow is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 09:20 AM
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Just to add, whilst several years ago a railpass was guaranteed to be the best option, these days the prices of railpasses have risen so much that it's unlikely that a railpass is the best solution unless you like to wake up in the morning and then decide where you are going.

Watch out for supplements, reservation fees and similar which you might have to pay even though you have a railpass

I suggest a trawl through www.seat61.com
alanRow is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 09:24 AM
  #5  
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Hi Ira,
The other countries listed I WILL be visiting I just don't know in what order (with the exception of Athens, we haven't decided yet) at what point do you think it would be worth it? If I am understanding the passes correctly, I can travel the train at close to the same cost of airfares, assuming I see all 6 countries I have listed. Please advise.
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Aug 12th, 2007, 09:25 AM
  #6  
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Thanks for the info and the links alan. Good Stuff!
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Aug 12th, 2007, 09:33 AM
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<<< If I am understanding the passes correctly, I can travel the train at close to the same cost of airfares >>>

You could travel at more, less or similar depending on when you go and when you book

The Italian rail system tends to be quite cheap so a railpass tends not to be a good idea - I presume you are thinking of taking the ferry to Patras.
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Aug 12th, 2007, 09:38 AM
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Alan I have such little knowledge of Europe I don't even know where Patras is. Neither one of use has ever been there we just woke up one day (two weeks ago) and decided to go! We have only planned for London, Paris, Amsterdam, and the rest of it we're just going to plan on the "fly".
EuropeRookie is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 09:43 AM
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I'm assuming you mean Sep-Oct 2007, in other words starting next month. With European budget airlines, the closer you get to flight date the more expensive the airfare, so the sooner you book, the better. One thing in your favor, though, is you will be traveling outside the main tourist season.
Heimdall is online now  
Aug 12th, 2007, 09:59 AM
  #10  
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correct Heimdall. I figure the airfares and costs associated with traveling to/from the airports should be close to the $669 Saverpass(flexipass) that I'm considering. I understand the pro/cons of each, just need a little push one way or the other. Thanks
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Aug 12th, 2007, 10:03 AM
  #11  
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To add: I would love to hear from travelers who have used both forms of transportation during one or multiple trips. Thanks
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Aug 12th, 2007, 10:04 AM
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Well - September is still high season in most places - so trying to do it on the fly ensures you will not get good rates on airfare (cheap fares go far in advance) and will spend a considerable amount of time trying to find decent hotels - unless you have unlimited budget. Based on your flying/train query it doesn;t sound like your budget is unlimited.

Without knowing your exact itinerary it's impossible to figure out in advance which is the most economical/efficient. But - as a first next step you might want to at least look at the train schedules. Some trips (Paris to Amsterdam) are only a few hours - but some will be interminable (Rome to Athens is more than 20 hours).

So - obviously a mixture of trains and flights makes the most sense.

Also - flying in and out of London doesn't make sense. It will save you a whole day to fly open jaws - into London and back from your last city - and the cost will probably be less than flying back to London. (To take the train from Athens back to London would take a very roundabout route - and a couple of days.)

You can get train schedule - but not cost - info at bahn.de.

Separately, I really think you need to do some more organizing on this ASAP - or you could find yourselves running out of money - or having no place decent to stay.

Plus trying to see 8 major cities in a month is pushing it - so much of your time will be spend traveling between cities. Plus you have given yourselves no time for smaller towns, countryside, natural beauty, etc.
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Aug 12th, 2007, 10:12 AM
  #13  
ira
 
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Hi ER,

>The other countries listed I WILL be visiting I just don't know in what order...

In that case, I suggest skipping Athens this trip.

Fly into London.
Eurostar to Brussels and train to Amsterdam.
THALYS train from A to Paris.
Fly Paris CDG or ORY to Rome FCO or CIA (see www.whichbudget.com)
Train Rome to Venice
Train Venice to Vienna

It's a lot easier to get back home from Prague than from Budapest, wouldn't you like to go there instead?

Or you could go from Vienna to Budapest to Prague.

Is there a reason why you have to fly back from London?

ira is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 10:19 AM
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Maybe I should just stay home. Thanks for the help NYC. Your problem is lack of creativity. Where you see obstacles I see opportunity. And while you're correct in assuming my budget is limited (whose isn't?) I don't mind spending double or triple my original budget for an experience I won't ever forget. You shouldn't make the mistake of thinking money is more valuable than time.
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Aug 12th, 2007, 10:25 AM
  #15  
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Hi Ira,
I think I will probably take your advice and skip Athens (others have suggested the same) Insofar as the return flight, it's already booked out of London (Rookie mistake!) As for the rest of it....I like it! It seems to have a better flow to it. I will do a little more research and respond. Thanks again Ira
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Aug 12th, 2007, 10:40 AM
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I have used the Railpass and I have used cheap airlines and, as many have already said, there are advantages to both.

I like the trains because there are more options for times and also because the stations are in or close to the city center. There is much less stress for me when I am traveling by train.

The disadvantage is time. For example, I was considering the best way to get from Rome to Sicily next summer. Train: 12 hours; airplane: 1 hour. Cost of the flight is around $125.

A resource I have found very useful is Rick Steve's web site. I have learned alot by studying it. In particular, there is a map that shows times and costs that might help you decided what to do.

http://www.ricksteves.com/rail/rail_menu.htm
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Aug 12th, 2007, 10:41 AM
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You could easily include Athens and get back to London (Gatwick) using Easyjet in less than five hours.

Have you considered inputting your itinerary at www.railsaver.com or railpass.com to compare passes vs. point-to-point rail tickets?

Vienna/Venice/Rome can certainly be done by rail

I suspect Rome-Athens might be more easily done by budget airline however I'm not sure there is any daily service.

You might want to take a look at www.skyscanner.net for budget airline schedules.

We have frequently combined rail and budget air travel within Europe;sometimes we used rail passes and at other times used point-to-point tickets.

IMO it can be an excellent combination especially if you are planning to cover a lot of territory and you can live with the budget airlines' checked baggage restrictions.
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