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Experienced rail travelers: Does this sound right?

Experienced rail travelers: Does this sound right?

Mar 3rd, 2005, 11:18 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2004
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Experienced rail travelers: Does this sound right?

I have received a lot of help from all of you on my itinerary for July trip, and am in the final stages of planning rail/car details. I added it all up and was wondering if this sounds like a reasonable amount of money for travel expenses for TWO people for this trip. We are planning on purchasing a rail/car pass which includes 4 days rail/2 days car, to which we will have to purchase one additional point to point rail ticket (Monterosso to Pisa) and one additional car day. I did not include ferry or bus costs. The jury is still out on 1st or 2nd class - we're both 28 years old, in good shape, and will try to pack light, so we're leaning toward 2nd class with seat reservations. Thanks so much!!

FIRST CLASS:
$532US plus $178US for seat reservations

SECOND CLASS:
$422US plus $178US for seat reservations

ITINERARY:
July 3: Venice to Florence - train

July 6: Florence to Monterosso (change in Pisa) - train

July 9: Monterosso to Pisa - train, pick up rental car and drive to San Gimignano

July 12: San Gimignano to Orvieto by car - return rental car, train from Orvieto to Salerno (change in Rome), then ferry to Positano

Sat July 16: Salerno to Rome - train
Tra6 is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2005, 11:22 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,467
I think you would save money by NOT purchasing the rail pass and just buying point to point tickets.

check www.railsaver.com and click the option "only if it saves me money"
TexasAggie is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2005, 11:26 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,330
I'm certainly no expert on Italian trains but that sounds very expensive.

In two weeks I'll be traveling 2nd class on French trains.

Paris to Reims
Reims to Nancy
Nancy to Pont-a-Mousson roundtrip
Nancy to Metz
Metz to Paris

Total for one with point-to-point tickets is $138USD.

Have you tried www.railsaver.com with your itinerary to see if a rail pass actually saves you money?
indytravel is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2005, 11:28 AM
  #4  
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Yes, I have also added up the point to point tickets with rental car separate, and the pass was cheaper. I'll do it again to double check.
Tra6 is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2005, 11:30 AM
  #5  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hi tra,

In addition to www.railsaver.com, check with www.novarentacar.com and www.autoeurope.

ira is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2005, 11:50 AM
  #6  
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I just did railsaver.com, and they don't do rail/car combo, but they quoted about $145 per person 2nd class, plus seat reservations ($178), plus a 2 door manual Lancia Y economy car rental for 3 days would be $216.69. That totals $684.69, which works out to be almost what the pass would be with first class. So, unless I am doing it wrong, the pass doesn't seem to be more expensive than doing point to point tickets plus the car rental?
Tra6 is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2005, 12:06 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Depending on your EXACT rail itinerary and the time of year you may not need seat reservations at all. As an alternative, seat reservations are MUCH cheaper if you wait and get them in Europe.
Intrepid1 is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2005, 01:03 PM
  #8  
 
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hi,
i think people may have not seen you were doing totals for 2 people with that passes. here's my 2 cents - whe i traveled with passes, the whole point of it was for really long journeys, especially overnight, so you were not only paying for transport but saving on 1 night of hotel. For such short trips as yours, i'd go 2nd class - you're yound, and you'll meet other young people in 2nd class. Also, the car $ sounds a but pricy, for a manual for 3 days that's what $80/day ... seems a bit steep. are the reservations required? that seems to be putting you into the high end range too. you could try to wing it with the reservations part - the trips aren't that long
lilipad is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2005, 01:15 PM
  #9  
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Thanks Intrepid, I've read several places about waiting to do seat reservations until we get there which we will likely do to save money.

lilipad-I got the car price from autoeurope, and that wasn't even the 4 door compact, it was economy. I have read several places that they're the best place to deal with. As far as reservations for the car, I think I will just be too stressed to arrive in Italy not knowing if we have a car or not. I can handle doing train seat reservations upon arrival, but I am just more comfortable knowing we'll have the car reserved. I guess I'm a little sheepish that way!
Tra6 is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2005, 05:09 PM
  #10  
 
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Tra6--autoeurope is very good, but no one car rental source has the best price, everywhere, all of the time. You need to shop around to be sure.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2005, 05:26 PM
  #11  
 
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Hi T,

I also think the seat reservations fee seems outrageous!

Buon viaggio!
Dayle is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2005, 06:18 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Hey Tra6, you're doing less trips than myself and a friend planning to go in October and I'm sure point-to-point is cheaper for us. I'm interested in the seat reservation costs also as I'm yet to factor this in...
Intrepid - do you think its likely myself and a friend will require reservation in October. Perhaps I could make them for the trips where I have connecting transport but not for the one-way one-destination trips just to be safe. It does seem an incredible amount of money.
AussieMel is offline  
Mar 4th, 2005, 06:27 AM
  #13  
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Thanks everyone for your input. A travel agent who has been booking things for us told us the Eurostar seat reservations are $15 per person and other trains are $11 per person in advance. Does anyone know if they are in fact much cheaper in Italy? Thanks!
Tra6 is offline  
Mar 4th, 2005, 06:40 AM
  #14  
 
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Car reservations are expensive b/c the insurance is mandatory in Italy. I have always seen it advised to do car rental reservations before arriving, even more expensive if on the spot. Also, the daily rate for car rental is lower on the longer-term rentals (really, leases) but short-term can be pricey.
Travelnut is offline  
Mar 4th, 2005, 06:48 AM
  #15  
 
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Tra --
Your travel agent is correct about the price of the seat reservations if you get them in advance. Yes, they are cheaper in Italy. I think 5 euro for non Eurostar Italia; a little more for E.I.
Surfergirl is offline  
Mar 4th, 2005, 07:46 AM
  #16  
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Thanks Travelnut and surfergirl!
Tra6 is offline  
Mar 4th, 2005, 08:28 AM
  #17  
 
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A seat reservation of the EuroStar in Italy is 8€ per person, I believe...
TexasAggie is offline  
Mar 7th, 2005, 07:26 AM
  #18  
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Thanks again for all the responses. Let me get this straight....I can get the rail/car pass now, but wait until I am in Italy to book the 2nd class train seat reservations (since it's cheaper to do there)? Also, can I reserve the seats for all legs of the trip at the first station - Venice? For example, can I go to the Venice station upon arrival and book seat reservations for the trains to Florence, Monterosso, Pisa, Salerno, and Rome all at once, or do I have to get those reservations at their respective stations. Thanks a lot!
Tra6 is offline  
Mar 7th, 2005, 07:55 AM
  #19  
 
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Yes, everything you said is correct. Keep in mind you can ONLY get the rail passes outside of Europe.
Surfergirl is offline  
Mar 7th, 2005, 12:53 PM
  #20  
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A lot of people have pointed out to me that the point to point tickets would be cheaper, however, doing that would require us to rent the car separately which would make it all slightly more expensive, I think. Am I missing something? I checked autoeurope and novarantacar (which doesn't seem to have a drop off in Orviet, which we'd like). We are having mixed feelings about doing seat reservations ahead of time. We are definitely traveling in the high season - July, so we don't want to be without seats in 2nd class, but to reserve them ahead of time is so expensive - $15 for Eurostar, and $11 for other. Any other thoughts?? Thanks!
Tra6 is offline  

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