Eurorail pass for multiple countries?

Jan 3rd, 2007, 08:30 AM
  #1  
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Eurorail pass for multiple countries?

Ok, so I'm hearing that purchasing a eurorail pass for my summer vacation to include Amsterdam, Munich, Bern, Paris, London and Ireland Loop, will not pay off using a eurorail pass. I am very confused with this pass as I HAVE to pay first class ticket and reservation fees on top of that but....if I purchase a ticket from Amsterdam to Munich that is half the cost of an entire Eurorail saver pass. So it seems to be cost efficient???? Anyone in the know on how this system REALLY works????
giggles36kd is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 08:32 AM
  #2  
MaureenB
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Go to BudgetEuropeTravel.com, and call their 800 number. They are very knowledgeable and helpful in determining the best way to purchase rail fare, and also the best routes to take. Their advice is free, and if you purchase through them, it's a very small fee to get the paper tickets purchased and mailed to you.
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Jan 3rd, 2007, 08:36 AM
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Reservations are not required on Amsterdam-Munich train links but can be made in amsterdam for about $4 - so is a minor fee. the only trains you'll be taking that require reservations would be from Switzerland to Paris (French TGV again $4) and the Eurostar train to London, which is not even a part of the Eurailpass system - but offers an attractive passholder fare for as low as $77 if you have a pass that is still valid when taking the train. Sounds like you're a bit confused about European trains, passes, etc. I always refer novice European train riders to two sources: www.ricksteves.com, on whose site is a ton of info on lots of things including rail travel and passes, and the free European Planning & Rail Guide (free at www.budgeteuropetravel.com) which is a great primer on understanding and using European trains and railpasses. They also offer a free service where they will answer any European rail question (800-441-2387) without obligation. And of course Fodorites have a wealth of rail experience and will lay out the alternatives to railpasses...but given your wide ranging itinerary i believe some kind of railpass, probably a Eurail Select Pass should be investigated for your trip plans.
PalenqueBob is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 08:39 AM
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In any case back to OP Q about added fees - you are looking at just a few dollars for reservations that are mainly optional - not nearly half the pass. And in first class i'd forego reservations in Germany and Switzerland as in years of riding trains there i've never seen no empty seats in first class - often two trains an hour in these countries so oodles of trains.
PalenqueBob is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 08:42 AM
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>I am very confused with this pass as I HAVE to pay first class ticket and reservation fees on top of that but....

Why do you HAVE to pay first class tickets? Second class is nice enough for most people (including me). You CAN pay through the nose if you want but you don't HAVE to...
The reservation fees, whch are often not even obligatory, are in the area of 3-4 EUR per person so this isn't really a cost factor... and in the 1st class there is always enough seats.

>if I purchase a ticket from Amsterdam to Munich that is half the cost of an entire Eurorail saver pass.

Where do you get the price quote from? I hope not from RailEurope or such.

>So it seems to be cost efficient????

If you only look for the most expensive fares - yes, an Eurail pass is cost efficient. Only that there are much cheaper alternatives if you give up some flexibility. For example you can get a train ticket from Amsterdam to Munich from 29 Euro on - see www.bahn.de and www.citynightline.de.
For many longer distane trips it makes sense to look for a cheap flight - www.skyscanner.org will give you an overview of budget airlines for a given connection. It is especially valid for the connections to UK and Ireland.

>Anyone in the know on how this system REALLY works????

Which system exactly?
altamiro is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 09:03 AM
  #6  
ira
 
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Hi G,

A railpass _is_ sometimes cost effective.

You have to add to your pass cost:

Reservation fees - about 3-4E per seat
Sleeper fees - variable

You get a discount on the full fare for the Eurostar from Paris or Amsterdam to London.

You can fly AMS to Salzburg for about 90E pp. See www.whichbudget.com.
1 cl tickets on the 20:23 for you and your son are 141E PLUS charge for the sleeper.

In addition to BETS, also call the folks at Euraide (www.euraide.com). They will sell you the tickets for the same price as if you bought them in Germany, or a railpass, whichever is better for you..

>if I purchase a ticket from Amsterdam to Munich that is half the cost of an entire Eurorail saver pass. <

The 5 country 10-day select pass for you and your son will cost about $900.

1 cl train tickets Amstdm/ Munich are only 141E.

You have to pay for the sleeper if you have a railpass.





ira is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 09:12 AM
  #7  
 
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If you're son is under 12 then he pays 50% of the pass price. Yes RailEurope pricing is often way out of kilter - go to www.bahn.de to get prices in euros, real prices, like Ira has pointed out above. Unless you use the pass in Ireland, possible, i'm not positive that the pass adds up money wise - but if it's close then i always say go for the pass as you may travel more than you think.
PalenqueBob is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 09:15 AM
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A Eurail pass will not apply in Britain.

Most of us have found a railpass not to be cost-effective. That point-to-point tickets work out to be less money -- unless you're making a frenetic, if-today-is-Tuesday-this-must-be-Belgium tour.

Another source of rail pass information is www.railsaver.com. There you can put in your itinerary, and they will tell you if a railpass saves money.

Oh, and RailEurope charges a substantial surcharge on point-to-point tickets.
Mimar is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 09:37 AM
  #9  
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WOW! You guys know what you are talking about. I was using raileurope as a tool to find out how long it would take from city to city and got my reservation fees from that site. What a relief to find out that I don't have to pay all that money for a seat! I will have to break the trip down and compare point to point. My concern with air travel within Europe is that I still must use a rail/metro to get to a hotel. I thought using the rail would cut down on that leg of a trip. Again, thanks to all for your wisdom!
giggles36kd is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 09:41 AM
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A Eurailpass does not guarantee you any savings.

Ony if you travel a lot of kilometers where the total of all point-to-point tickets would exceed the cost of the pass does your pass provide a savings.

How do you know when that point has been reached?

You can go to the individual country rail systems and use their websites to bring up fares, add them up, and get close to a reliable figure that way.

Convert the Euros and Swiss Francs and Brit. Pounds into dollars, then see how much a pass would cost (in dollars) that covers the same territory.

There is a website, www.railsaver.com, where you can input trip legs, one by one, and the site will add them up and tell you if a pass can save you money (as opposed to just buying tickets as you go).

That website does not necessarily take into account savings you can gain by booking web specials, or regional tourist tickets once you get there (like the Bayern ticket in Bavaria and other such local promotional fares), so don't take Railsaver for gospel, but it is a good tool.

First class is a bit of a luxury, in places like Germany and Switzerland and others, where 2nd class is already very swank, you may not need to spend the considerable extra money.

But some Eurailpasses only come as 1st class passes.

On some trains, especially in Italy but elsewhere also, you must book a seat and pay a little booking fee for that (the pass only covers the transportation). It is never very much.

On other trains you can book (and pay for it) if you wish, but outside of peak times like Friday night or Sunday night etc., this is probably not necessary.

So price the individual segments, add them up, and compare to the price of a pass (pass plus seat fees where applicable), just like www.railsaver.com does.

Sleepers or couchettes (bunks) on night trains are a separate issue, everybody pays extra for that - passholders and regular ticket buyers.
WallyKringen is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 09:42 AM
  #11  
 
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bahn.de won't show prices for trips outside of Germany unless they start or end in Germany.

So have a look at www.seat61.com which has links to all the major rail companies
alanRow is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 10:28 AM
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Why not just buy point-to-point 2nd class tickets as you need them?
suze is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 10:33 AM
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Regular 2nd class tickets could cost as much almost as the first class pass i suspect (talking about fares you buy at stations as you go along, not online hard to get at times restricted specials) - so it seems with a pass you could go first class at little more than buying second class tickets - and despite what you hear there is a tremendous difference between first and second class (second class not terrible but first class much roomier, more empty seats, etc.) So i'd compare first class tickets to the pass and the pass may stack up well. and with a pass you qualify for a passholder fare on Paris-London Eurostar trains that at times can save you a bundle over the next available fare. Passholder Eurostar fares can also be changed once in Europe up until the time of the train so are a good ticket as opposed to other non-changeable fares.
PalenqueBob is offline  
Jan 7th, 2007, 11:44 AM
  #14  
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Thanks for all the wonderful suggestions.
giggles36kd is offline  
Feb 28th, 2007, 12:01 PM
  #15  
 
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and, the envelope please:

your decision or leaning to?

we often get involved in answering such questions and then rarely find out what the OP ended up doing? would be interesting
PalenQ is offline  

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