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getting around europe? eurail? yes or no?

getting around europe? eurail? yes or no?

May 12th, 2005, 10:33 AM
  #1  
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getting around europe? eurail? yes or no?

hi everyone- i am traveling to europe, mostly eastern europe in late july...i an going for three months so ive got a lot of time to deal with. what do all you recent euro-trippers think about eurail? is taking cheap flights easier? what are all your recommendations for getting around europe? thanks
jillyc is offline  
May 12th, 2005, 10:54 AM
  #2  
 
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do you have an itinerary of any kind or just "winging it"? You can go to www.railsaver.com an dput in your itinerary and it'll tell you if point-to-pont ticket or a pass is cheaper then you can compare that with intr-europe flight cost. If you do a search on this forum about rail travel you'll see what most of us think about rail travel in Europe.
sandi_travelnut is offline  
May 12th, 2005, 10:56 AM
  #3  
rex
 
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A question like this always makes "us" ("veterans" here) think that you believe that there is such a company as "eurail".

There isn't.

All the countries in Europe have their own separate and independent rail companies. They all cooperate in several ways - - they sell tickets for travel on each other's lines, so that wherever you are in Europe you can buy a ticket for anywhere else in Europe - - and they allow a company called "RailEurope (USA)", which is a marketing company to sell tickets to Americans as well as the "EurailPass" and other mutli-use rail passes.

And personally I don't (much) believe in rail passes. They promote the use of more travel than you might really want or need, since you think "hey I have unlimited travel on these such and such days - - it's already paid for".

But too often, you paid too much for that rail pass, and better itinerary planning would show you that simple "point-to-point" tickets would be a cheaper option. Not traveling around so much is also a good idea, in many cases (I'm going to get lampooned for this because of a trip I am currently planning!) - - but I still believe in preaching "see where you are more, travel around less".

I also believe in rental cars, and in low-cost intra-Europe air travel (for long hauls - - see www.whichbudget.com for everything you want to know about cheap air travel).

Finally, if you can make yourself lay out a "sample" itinerary, run it through www.railsaver.com and they will tell what will save you the most money, pass or not. Oddly, you do need to know to click on the box, "only if it saves me money" when you go there!

What countries are you thinking to visit? Those who know Eastern Europe best (as opposed to Central Europe, which includes Czech Republic, Poland, and Hungary for example) say that the info on www.lonelyplanet.com is as good as, and often better than what you will find here. Check into www.inyourpocket.com also.

Best wishes,

Rex
rex is offline  
May 12th, 2005, 11:19 AM
  #4  
 
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It's impossible to evaluate any kind of train pass without having some general intinerary mapped out to use as your guideline. It is basically a math problem. How many trips? Where to where? Then point-to-point purchase price vs. various pass options.

Cheap flights obviously involve getting to and from an airport (outside of town) vs. to and from a train station (in town). I would certainly consider them if you are making some very long distances location changes.

A 3 month trip is a long one! I don't know what resources you're planning from but Lonely Planet and Rough Guide books might be useful. As well as the BB at www.lonelyplanet.com called Thorn Tree with lots of experienced long-haul travelers posting.
suze is online now  
May 12th, 2005, 01:06 PM
  #5  
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gosh--thanks for the replys so far...
rex- thanks for the info about railsaver, ill definately check it out. i'm flying into amsterdam, and i already have a ticket out of there into prague. but i have three weeks to kill before that flight leaves amsterdam. i was thinking about maybe zurich or berlin from amsterdam. after prague i am heading to italy to work for a month. and do some traveling within italy and to greece from there. i dont know if maybe anyone has so more advice...thanks.
ill definately check out the rough guide also..thanks
jillyc is offline  
May 12th, 2005, 01:28 PM
  #6  
rex
 
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More advice might be based (from my perspective - - I keep drifiting towards being the "dad" in my advice-giving, here on this forum) - - on more info about you.

How old are you? In school (still)? or more education to go? Job? Fixed expenses "here"? Why three months? Languages? Europe family roots?

That kind of stuff...
rex is offline  
May 12th, 2005, 01:29 PM
  #7  
ira
 
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Hi J,

>..i'm flying into amsterdam, and i already have a ticket out of there into prague. but i have three weeks to kill before that flight leaves amsterdam. i was thinking about maybe zurich or berlin from amsterdam.<

Am I reading this correctly; You will fly from Amsterdam to Prague and you are planning on heading East before you fly from Amsterdam to Prague?



PS, if you touch the "shift" key, you can type capital letters.
ira is online now  
May 12th, 2005, 01:36 PM
  #8  
rex
 
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Good tip... ira... with a little "i" - -
I was definitely baffled when jilly said "prague" until I figured out that it was a reference to Prague.

Five yards pedantry penalty, for you, oldtimer!
rex is offline  
May 12th, 2005, 03:26 PM
  #9  
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well rex....i am out of school and taking a leave of absence from my work. ive got enough money for the three months, living frugily that is. why three months? why not! i just want to get out and explore for a while and take my time. im really looking to relax while im there and also do some fun traveling. i'm not going to europe to seek out any family roots, just to enjoy some different cultures. and i am hopefully getting hooked up with a job in northern italy...

thanks ira- i know anout the caps...im just lazy...
yes i have a ticket from Amsterdam to Prague, but i want to do some other traveling around Holland before i make my way to Prague..any suggestions.
im trying to not plan this trip too much, just have a basic itinerary..
thanks to all!
jillyc is offline  
May 12th, 2005, 05:04 PM
  #10  
rex
 
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Okay... you answered (some of) my questions - - and I told you I am becoming the "dad"...

so...

<< ive got enough money for the three months, living frugily that is. why three months? why not! >>

Well, I'll try you why not - - and this is not advice I give uniquely to you...

Because it costs money... that's why you should not stay three months - - and I believe that the best travelers are life-long travelers.

If you have enough disposable</> money to travel for three months - - then take 50% (or better, 70%) of that, and devise a plan to see how quickly you will be able to boost that back up to 100% as your travel "kitty". Now - - go ahead with your plan... for a trip of five weeks... or three weeks, or seven...

And I can almost guarantee you, that you will be astonished at how much better you will "get"... whatever it is you want to get out of travel... in trips one PLUS two (for one thing you will be so much smarter about how to carry out trip two than you were for trip one)...

... but more importantly, I hope that you will have created - - at least in your head, or even better in some formal structure - - a plan for how you can back for trip three, and trip four and so on and so on.

And you'll be forever coming up with things you want to "get out of" travel.. and sweetly pursuing that list for as long as you live.
rex is offline  
May 13th, 2005, 07:12 AM
  #11  
ira
 
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hijgoodadvicefromrex.

>i have a ticket from Amsterdam to Prague, but i want to do some other traveling around Holland before i make my way to Prague..<

aslazyasyoumightwishtobeyoureallyoughttoatleastpla nonwhichcitiestovisityoumightwanttoconsideraweekin copenhagenandaweekinparisbeforegoingtoprague.


ira is online now  
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