EuroTrip Help. Trains or Planes?

Mar 20th, 2012, 03:06 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 1
EuroTrip Help. Trains or Planes?

My two friends and I will be traveling to Europe from June 21 through July 26...
We plan to go from London to Amsterdam to Berlin to Munich to Brussels to Nice to Madrid to Barcelona and then back to London.
I'm just wondering whether or not to fly domestically to and from all these places, or to get a Eurail pass? I see pros and cons with both forms or transportation...
I know flying can be a hassle with airport security and baggage fees and what not, but it also saves a lot of time.
And as for the train, it's more time consuming, but fairly easy to get around with.....I just have no clue what pass would even accommodate all those places.
We're on a budget of $3000 - with 500 of that being for travel....

I'm open to suggestions for a change in the itinerary...
The only 'sure thing' about this trip is London and Amsterdam and Spain towards the end. Everything in the middle is pretty open to change.

Thanks!
Alexis_Delahaut is offline  
Mar 20th, 2012, 03:32 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 983
If I had your itinerary, I would start off by charting out airfare prices from city to city on www.skyscanner.net Take each of your cities, and search on Skyscanner from each city to "Everywhere" within your month of travel (Skyscanner will search for fares to ALL of Europe, listing the cheapest fares first). See which city-pairs are under $100, and map them out. If any of your city-pairs are well over $200 one-way, then see if train for those segments might not be cheaper. Note also that if you book very close to 90 days out, you can sometimes get fares on www.bahn.de that are a fraction of what you will pay if you book later (and also a fraction of what Europass days cost).

I like train for comfort, but, like, a train from Hamburg to Venice takes a day and a half and costs a fortune, and a flight from Hamburg to Venice takes an hour and a half and costs a farthing, so when I go Hamburg-Venice, which I do every year, I fly that route.
dfourh is offline  
Mar 21st, 2012, 04:27 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 91
In general trains in Europe are very efficient and run on schedule. They are my preferred way of seeing a place. What I would say is that you could potentially spend a little more on travel and allocate a little less on accommodation if you use overnight sleeper trains here or there. If you are comfortable with that idea, then you also don't lose as much time either. I personally find couchettes comfortable and I'm 5"10..

It doesn't look like getting a railpass is going to be the most economical way forward, since a Eurail pass doesn't necessarily just mean you can hop on and off. Seeing as you are only making 1 or 2 train journeys in any one country buying a global pass could work out more expensive than just getting discounted advance fares. There are seat reservation fees and also, while a pass may offer a discounted Eurostar fare, the London-Amsterdam leg won't be be fully included in a pass. It's worth doing your homework.

If you book in advance (90-92 days ahead of departure point, or 120 days for Eurostar) you can get the best fares on point-to-point tickets and so you can start booking now.

Seeing as you change at Brussels to continue on to Amsterdam I would probably shift your itinerary around a bit perhaps:

London - Brussels - Amsterdam > Berlin > Munich > Barcelona (via Paris) > Madrid

Unless you're totally sold on going to Nice I would skip it in favour of Paris, which is a more direct route to Barcelona. You can do the first part (London-Brussels-Amsterdam) with one ticket which I've detailed more here:

http://loco2.co.uk/engine-room-forum...orums_post_201

Then buy separate tickets for the rest of your journey. Hope that helps!
Loco2 is offline  
Mar 21st, 2012, 05:36 AM
  #4  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,165
Hi A,

8 major cities in 28 days?

"If it's Tuesday, it Must be Belgium".

ira is offline  
Mar 21st, 2012, 05:39 AM
  #5  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,165
OOPS,

34 days.

When I was about 22, I did a trip like that.

My only memory of it is a train station with a group of people gathered around me wondering if I was drunk, sick or stoned.

I was exhausted.

Please rethink this expedition.

ira is offline  
Mar 21st, 2012, 05:41 AM
  #6  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,165
Why are you going RT out of London instead of open-jaw into LON and out of Madrid?
ira is offline  
Mar 21st, 2012, 05:50 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 16,725
trains for all but fly to/from Madrid
bilboburgler is offline  

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