Eurorail Pass Worth it?

Apr 4th, 2015, 01:48 PM
  #1  
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Eurorail Pass Worth it?

Hello,

Our itinerary for the 5 of us will be Paris to Caen for a day trip, Paris to Nice; Nice to Florence (probably through Ventimiglia and Milan); finally Florence to Rome. We also may do 1-2 more day trips. I can get a six day France/Italy pass for $987CDN. I just tried to see what reservations would cost and it looks like about $70/leg; approx. $350-400 more. Now a couple don't "require" reservations but I don't know if I want to risk it as our schedule is somewhat fixed. We will be in France/Italy from May 20-June 5.

Do you think a rail pass is worth it? Can we just get tickets "as we go"? If I just book individual tickets do I still need a reservation?

Thanks for any info or advice you can give!

BB
buddhabelly is offline  
Apr 4th, 2015, 02:08 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
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I have not checked the cost of train tickets for the legs you want to travel, but it was once said if you have more than four legs,a Eurailpass is worth the cost.

You can get tickets "as you go" but from past experience I have found that the train I wanted was sold out and I had to take what was available with a change of trains! You don't need to book seats, even though you have made train reservations, but your party may have to take single seats and not sit together.

If your schedule is fixed, I suggest buying tickets in advance whether you book the seats or not.
Scotia is offline  
Apr 4th, 2015, 02:15 PM
  #3  
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Thank you for your response. So just to be clear, I can but tickets in advance but that doesn't guarantee me a seat on the train. I would still have to pay to reserve seats?

Thanks!

BB
buddhabelly is offline  
Apr 4th, 2015, 02:44 PM
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>>I would still have to pay to reserve seats?<<

You need to reserve seats w/ a pass as well

But (I haven't checked either whether point-to-point is cheaper) . . . but which site(s) are you checking to determine the cost of individual tickets. If RailEurope -- they tend to inflate the fares, making a pass look to be a better deal.
janisj is online now  
Apr 4th, 2015, 02:54 PM
  #5  
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Yes I am using the RailEurope site. When I goto the SNCF site and indicate I am from Canada it makes me go through the RailEurope site. Are there better sites that I can order from if I live in Canada?

Thanks for any help!

BB
buddhabelly is offline  
Apr 4th, 2015, 03:48 PM
  #6  
 
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I think you can get an English language site that doesn't route you through Raileurope is you choose Ireland as your country. Some people say to select Antartica. I just use the French site. If you can't resolve the problem, try www.capitainetrain.com for tickets in France. For Italy, you can use www.trenitalia.com or their US agent www.italiarail.com . Raileurope's prices for point to point tickets is inflated.

Both France and Italy have good discounts for their trains if you buy the tickets well in advance. However, that locks you into a particular train, and the discounted tickets are very inflexible. If you're pretty sure of when you want to travel, you can get very good prices on the reserved trains. In Italy, the only trains that don't have mandatory reservations are the regional trains, and those tickets are very cheap, never have discounts, and never sell out. For regional Italian trains, just buy the tickets at a train station in Italy. I believe the same is true in France, but I can't remember for sure.

When you buy a ticket for a train that requires a reservation in either France or Italy, the reservation is included in the ticket price.

For cross-border trips, it's best to buy the ticket on the website of the train company of the country you're starting from.

There is new direct service from Nice to Milan, without the change in Ventimiglia, offered by Thello. You can buy the tickets from Thello or from SNCF. Don't buy them from Trenitalia when you're starting from France, because they can't give you electronic tickets for Thello, so you'd have to pick the ticket up in Italy rather than printing it.
bvlenci is offline  
Apr 4th, 2015, 05:40 PM
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GO BACK to the SNCF site and when it asks you what country you are in, PICK FRANCE and you'll see the fares.
Dukey1 is offline  
Apr 4th, 2015, 09:49 PM
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>>>Nice to Florence (probably through Ventimiglia and Milan);<<<

You don't have to go to Milan to get to Florence from Nice.

As people pointed out, passes don't include seat reservations and you have to pay extra for them as they are mandatory in Italy an on the faster trains(10€ each). Some trains restrict the number of passholders allowed and other trains don't accept passes at all or only give a discount off the regular price (such as Thello).

Tickets for Italy bought from the Italian rail site Trenitalia will include your seats in the prices you see.

>>> but it was once said if you have more than four legs,a Eurailpass is worth the cost.<<<

Passes can pay off if you are traveling very long distances on quite a few days. You could have four short legs within Italy and easily lose money buying a pass for that. With budget airlines having such great prices, it's often cheaper to fly between some cities.
kybourbon is online now  
Apr 5th, 2015, 02:44 AM
  #9  
 
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Advance purchase price (up to 3 months in advance) of one way tickets from Paris to Caen: as low as 15€

Paris to Nice: as low as 55€ to 75€

Nice to Florence: as low as 55€ but likely more

Florence to Rome: 20€

Local trains for day trips are inexpensive and usually have fixed fares.

Avoid the RailEurope site and use www.capitainetrain.com or for Italy www.trenitalia.com. For more info about train travel in Europe use www.seat61.com.

The rail passes don't look like such a good deal.
FrenchMystiqueTours is offline  
Apr 5th, 2015, 02:59 AM
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If you travel in summer, you can do a small Mediteranean cruise between Nice and Florence. Go with one boat from Nice to Bastia (Corsica) and with another one from Bastia to Livorno, close to Florence.
Journey times by boat:
Nice - Bastia 6hrs, Bastia - Livorno (Pisa) 4 hrs
Journey times by train:
Nice - Pisa 6hrs, Pisa - Florence 1 hr
neckervd is offline  
Apr 5th, 2015, 07:12 AM
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neckervd - Which line runs the boats to Corsica?
kybourbon is online now  
Apr 5th, 2015, 04:37 PM
  #12  
 
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Florence to Rome can be had for 15 euros on Italo and 17 on trenitalia,

The pass plus reservations sounds like a tremendous amount of money for the distance being traveled. I would price out all the legs, choose the trains then be set for the trip. You are close enough to the travel dates that all the websites will have fares populated. Trenitalia will allow easy seat selection when buying.
tom_mn is offline  
Apr 5th, 2015, 06:48 PM
  #13  
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Thanks for all the responses! And also the suggestion to just pick France as my country. I have done that and already have started to book my tickets!!

Yes the prices appear to be cheaper; I may even get a first class ticket for our long ride from Paris to Nice with the money we will be saving!!
buddhabelly is offline  
Apr 6th, 2015, 07:46 AM
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Kybourbon:
SNCM, CMN, Corsicaferries
neckervd is offline  
Apr 6th, 2015, 09:27 AM
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If it were not in France and Italy where a ke aspect of a railpass is lacking - the ability to just hop any train anytime I would recommend a pass for several trips but in France there is even a railpass holder limit of such seats on a train - where you only pay the seat reservation fee of about 3 euros - but you may not be able to get on trains on popular lines like TGVs between Paris and Provence and Nice.

And in Italy you have to pay a 10 euro seat supplement on top of using your pass (5 euros on InterCity trains - none on regional trains you can just hop on).

so to me the priceless option of just hopping on any ole train as is the case in most European countrie is lacking in France and Italy .

anyway some great European train sites: www.seat61.com as rcommended above - forte is discounted tickets; www.ricksteves.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com.

And do consider first class on any train longer than a few hours - IME of decades of European rail travel there is a significant difference in classes - fewer seats in same size rail car in first class and IME often several or more empty seats - much easier to stow luggage over an often full or nearly so 2nd class carriage. discounted tickets are also available in first class - keep in mind disocunted tickets are usually non-changeable non-refundable and as they are sold in limited numbers have to be booked in stone weeks/months in advance.
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 6th, 2015, 01:03 PM
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Can we just get tickets "as we go"? If I just book individual tickets do I still need a reservation??

Yes always IME but then if paying full-fare look again at the pass and full-fare can be really really expensive.
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 7th, 2015, 09:33 AM
  #17  
 
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If RailEurope -- they tend to inflate the fares, making a pass look to be a better deal.>

janis do you proof of this - better say no because the new RE is not the old RE that you are obviously referring to and just repeating blindly what you've heard so so much.

RE now taps into the national rail sites of France, Italy and Germany and matches many fares on those sites as well as ItaloTreno or whatever that company is called - they do tackon a minor fee of a few bucks but I suggest you really look and see about something before repeating something you've read which now just does not hold water across the board as you indicate.
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 7th, 2015, 01:03 PM
  #18  
 
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A post recently by someone who did all the research said that she found the cheapest ticket overall on RailEurope vs trenitalia.com - it's not your old RE.
PalenQ is offline  
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