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Eurorain pass?

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Feb 18th, 2013, 09:14 AM
  #1
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Eurorain pass?

Hello all, I am looking for some advice for the Europe section of a rtw trip my family and I are taking in 22 months. We would arrive in Instanbul around the end of April and our current plan is to make our way across the Northern Mediterranean to Spain and then head inland back East to Austria, North to Denmark and then finish in the UK. We have three months and four in our party (my wife and two children ages 10 and 12 at time of travel). We would like to use trains and ferry services especially to explore some of the Greek Islands. Would buying a eurorail pass be best? Approx cost is $7000 for three months. Any other advice?
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Feb 18th, 2013, 09:24 AM
  #2
 
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In a word - no.

Passes are poor value as many services now require additional payments for seat reservations or for fast trains

http://seat61.com/Railpass-and-Eurail-pass-guide.htm

You will generally find point to point tickets cheaper if both in advance as well as using alirlines
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Feb 18th, 2013, 10:13 AM
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Are you looking at a 3 month Global Pass? I can't figure out what pass you are considering based on price as the Global Pass for 3 months costs $5,630.

You must be specific when asking for advice.

The Global Pass is good for train travel every day for 3 months. Will you be traveling to some place new every day?

You need to do the math on this yourself. Figure out the approximate cost of point to point tickets and then the price of a pass. If you decide the pass is the most cost effective then consider the 15 day within 2 month option as I'm sure you'll stay in each place for more than a day.

I would not start thinking about train passes when you're not traveling for almost 2 years. The place to start your planning is your itinerary. Let the details fall into place later on.
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Feb 18th, 2013, 11:04 AM
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If traveling that much some kind of railpass makes sense - but perhaps a Eurail Flexipass where you get X number of day's unlimited travel over a 2-month period. You would not find a pass beneficial in Turkey (even though it is now a Eurail country) or Greece so start your 2-months when in say Italy and use it till you go to the IK - where Eurailpasses are not valid - see if you can fit that into a 2-month period.

A flexipass lets you stay in a base several days and then covers the long-distance travel days between bases. The 10-year old would pay 50% of what the adults pat - under 12 unfortunately is the rule - a Saverpass is putting theother three names on one pass.

Anyway there are zillions of passes now - check out these fine sources IMO for lots on European rail travel and passes - www.ricksteves.com; www.seat61.com and www.budgeteuropetravel.com.

Keep in mind that for folks over 25 Eurailpasses are first class and IME of decades of incessant European rail travel there are definite plusses to first class - especially for 4 people - usually lots of empty seats IME vs an oft full or fairly full 2nd class. Lots more room for baggage, bigger seats, etc. So when comparing the cost of tickets keep in mind the pass is for first-class travel.
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Feb 18th, 2013, 11:05 AM
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>>>We would arrive in Instanbul around the end of April and our current plan is to make our way across the Northern Mediterranean to Spain <<<

From Istanbul, you would fly to Spain. There isn't a ferry from Istanbul to Spain. Greek ferries around the islands would not be included with a pass, nor would any accommodations on other ferries. Example: there is a ferry from Patras, Greece to Bari or Brindisi, Italy. A pass would give you deck passage only (off season - in season you would have to pay a supplement) and not even airline seating. This is an overnight ferry so it's likely you would want a cabin (not included in any pass). It's much cheaper to fly. There are dozens of budget airlines in Europe, but you do have to pay attention to the strict luggage weights.

http://www.whichbudget.com/
http://www.skyscanner.com/
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Feb 18th, 2013, 11:07 AM
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I think he meant make his way around the northern coast of the Mediterranean, not the Mediterranean itself.
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Feb 18th, 2013, 11:53 AM
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(off season - in season you would have to pay a supplement) and not even airline seating.>

A Eurailpass would save you abougt $100 or more on that 'deck passage' - sleeping accommodations are extra but can be just a few euros in a so-called Pullman seats or not that much really for berths so a railpass valid in Greece and Italy would save you a lot of bucks just on the ferries covered even if you must pay a small amount for a sleeping berth - much cheaper than a hotel anyway on these overnight services that would IMO be a great fun experience for the whole family - lots of things onboard - kind of like a cruise ship.
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Feb 18th, 2013, 12:08 PM
  #8
 
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Passes are poor value as many services now require additional payments for seat reservations or for fast trains>

but this has little to do with the value of a pass as they cost between 3 and 10 euros usually and in many countries you are going to you can simply hop on any train anytime - like in Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium and eastern Europe - just a handful of countries demand seat reservations to say in a generality that many services require additional payments should have say in a few countries that is true but not in most countries.
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Feb 18th, 2013, 12:20 PM
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Seat reservations are not required on every train in every country and has been mentioned, you really need to do a lot more research before simply deciding a pass is not any good or that point to point tickets are always better or just how much, if any, budget air flights might be fitted in.

The first thing to do is to DECIDE on an itinerary. Since you usually cannot even BOOK a rail reservation more than a couple months out there is plenty of time to decide about the mode of travel.
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Feb 20th, 2013, 11:34 AM
  #10
 
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Passes are poor value as many services now require additional payments for seat reservations or for fast trains>

statements like this are just misinformation that should be ignored - the mandatory seat reservations do not make a pass a poor value - there are indeed other reasons why a pass may not be a valuable as they once were - like the many online discounts booked directly with the various national railways - but the 3-10 euro seat reservations make only a marginal impact on them being a poor value and again in most countries there are no mandatory seat reservations at all.
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Feb 20th, 2013, 01:55 PM
  #11
 
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>>>A Eurailpass would save you abougt $100 or more on that 'deck passage' <<<

I don't see where they still offer deck passage with passes. Do you have a link? All I see anymore is a discount off the price (30%). Since deck passage is about 60€ between Italy/Greece, you certainly wouldn't save $100 on passage by having a pass. You can fly cheaper than you can book an overnight cabin which are about 140€ per person (4 person inside cabin).
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Feb 21st, 2013, 01:50 PM
  #12
 
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The 2012 Eurail brochure says 2nd class passholders get free deck passage and first-class passholders also get a free berth in a dormitory or a free reclining chair - a first class pass gives even more benefits, as usual in so so many ways. This was listed under Susperfast ferries Greece to Italy and v.v.

60 euros is about $85 but if you have a first-class pass the savings may be $100.


Where are you getting your info from - agaoin I have the 2012 brochure so will check the 2013 when I get one or of course www.raileiurope.com would have it as they originate most railpasses sold in the U.S.

Was your source from 2013?
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Feb 21st, 2013, 02:09 PM
  #13
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On the Eurail website under benefits it explains what ferry routes you get free passage on. If you have a pass valid in both the departing and arriving country a 2nd class ticket gets you deck passage and a 1st class ticket (global pass) gets you either a dormitory or plane type seat. This is one of the reasons I was considering the pass.
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Feb 22nd, 2013, 05:28 AM
  #14
 
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I don't see where they still offer deck passage with passes.>

where did you not see this? What is your source for this seemingly inaccurate info?
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Feb 22nd, 2013, 08:30 AM
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And if a berth costs more than $15 or so then a Eurailpass will then probably save even more than $100 - now not all boat companies give free deck passage so maybe kybourbon looked at one company site that does not but did not look at ones that do?
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Feb 22nd, 2013, 01:45 PM
  #16
 
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Yes with the free berth with a Eurailpass you really save because you also do not pay for a hotel room that night - probably saving not $100 but over $200 with the pass.
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Feb 23rd, 2013, 08:25 AM
  #17
 
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All I see anymore is a discount off the price (30%). Since deck passage is about 60€ between Italy/Greece, you certainly wouldn't save $100 on passage by having a pass>

kbourbon - where does this come from? It conflicts with the Eurail website OwenCanuck quotes - curious as to where you found that...
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