Go Back  Fodor's Forum > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page > Is purchasing EURAIL a good idea??
Notices

Is purchasing EURAIL a good idea??

Reply

Dec 30th, 2012, 07:32 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 65
Is purchasing EURAIL a good idea??

World traveler, will I be able to use the Eurail golden pass in crossing any country of EU? How abt from one city to another but within the same country e.g. rome to florence? please help me with regards to this info... Thanks in advance.
wandering_gal is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 30th, 2012, 09:44 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,221
Try this website for info http://www.seat61.com/
jamikins is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 30th, 2012, 10:03 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,190
The only reference I could find for Golden Pass on the Raileurope site was for Switzerland. So the answer to your question is no, it can not be used on other countries. Why don't you call Rail Europe for a definitive answer.

http://www.goldenpass.ch/
adrienne is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 30th, 2012, 11:04 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 42,146
No one can answer this question without knowing exactly what your specific proposed itinerary is. But it does seem the Golden Pass is for Switzerland only.
StCirq is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 30th, 2012, 11:06 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 30,545
If your only travel in Italy is Rome/Florence, you can buy discount tickets directly from the Italian train website Trenitalia.
kybourbon is online now  
Reply With Quote
Dec 30th, 2012, 11:42 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 66,716
You obviously have little overall understanding of the European rail system so here are some great sources IMO to get a fix on it all and help plan a rail trip and or a railpass trip - www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com (download their free online and superb IMO European Planning & Rail Guide for lots of itinerary suggestions by rail) and www.ricksteves.com.
PalenQ is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 30th, 2012, 12:07 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 2
I agree with everyone above - difficult to help without knowing your itinerary - however this website recently posted a review on the differences between Eurail passes and how to purchase: http://indietravelpodcast.com/travel...h-acprail-com/
Take a look, hope it helps.
KathleenCheong is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 30th, 2012, 01:24 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 7,555
Eurorail passes used to be the way to go ,, 20 years or more ago, but now with many having so many restrictions I would be very careful before buying one,, and I personally would not phone RailEurope as their interest is in only sellling you one.. so their advice may bias.

Point to point tickets purchased well in advance can be way cheaper anyways.
Passes also require reservations , with additional fees for some routes, so not so fancy free anymore..

I suggest you sit down and plan a route and then come back and ask..
justineparis is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 30th, 2012, 02:35 PM
  #9
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 66,716
Eurorail passes used to be the way to go ,, 20 years or more ago, but now with many having so many restrictions I would be very careful before buying one,>

First of all it's Eurailpass not Eurorail and yes in a relatively few countries restrictions can be bothersome but with the sole exception of France not a big hassle - Italy, France and Spain are the few countries that demand seat reservations for passholders and except for France these are very very easy to get once there - you still have flexibility to hop any train anytime - now in France and only in France TMK is there a quota of the number of passholder seat reservations on some TGV lines that are popular, such as between Paris and the south of France.

But in Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, most Scandinavian trains, Switzereland, most Eastern European trains, Austria and the UK a passholder can still hop on just about any train without any reservation required (and in first class in my decades of rail travel I have rarely not found empty seats in first class)

So when someone says this is IMO misinformation as it applies to really only three countries (plus the Thalys train Paris-Brussels and Cologne and Amsterdam - that train does have an obscenely high supplement for passholders but that is just about the only train that does - French TGVs charge all of 3 euros for a seat reservation last I knew but yes Spain and Italy it is about 10 euros - something yes to factor in.

But yes OP should give what he/she is thinking of doing train-wise and in what countries so others can give better advice - but to just say railpasses rarely pay off is serious disinformation - for one thing it depends on whether one wants flexibility to chose which trains to take once there - the discounted tickets are not only limited in number and sell out often very early but are generally train-specific and often cannot be changed.

For someone wanting flexibility to hop any train any time, in most countries, may find that just a few trips at full fare could make a pass pay off - like in Germany with the Germany Railpass and other country passes - for multi-country travel the same can be true of Eurailpasses.

Oh well the Fodor's mantra as often expressed IMO without really knowing much about it but repeating was has been often said here - that railpasses rarely anymore are a good deal - if you say something enough others will blindly repeat it.

I have been using railpasses for decades and I always always find them a great deal for my purposes and travel style and many others do too.

Do your homework, compare prices and also consider that a Eurailpass, if over 25 years old, comes only in first class and IME first class is significantly more relaxed than 2nd class - for the trip of a lifetime IMO go first class and thus compare the cost of first-class tickets to the cost of a first-class railpass and not compare the cost of a first-class pass to second-class tickets and especially ones that are train-specific and cannot be changed if you want any flexibility at all.
PalenQ is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 30th, 2012, 06:00 PM
  #10
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 16
no, rail pass is expensive if you know your exact itinerary and purchase it 120 days in advance
sam94123 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 30th, 2012, 06:34 PM
  #11
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 42,146
<>

Unless YOU say it, Pal. No one repeats it.
StCirq is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 30th, 2012, 11:11 PM
  #12
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 65
OK guys what im asking is can I use it if its within the country only. in the Eurail website, it says I can jump from one country to another regardless of the Train company as long as it is in the list. However we will not only be visiting capital/center cities of a country. To explain further this is my brief itinerary

Arrival: Paris

next: Brussels, Belgium

next: amsterdam, the netherlands

then: back to paris (coz no other connection, but i need to double check.

next: geneva, switzerland

next: Venice, Italy

(I am wondering if i can use my Global Pass, even if its just a domestic trip)

Next : Rome, Italy

Back to : Paris for flight home.

I am planning purchase the 10 travel days within 2 months.
it says in the site that i can travel unlimitedly for 10 travel days or 240 hours, not necessarily consecutive.

if anybody is knowledgeable abt this please do help.!
wandering_gal is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 30th, 2012, 11:14 PM
  #13
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 65
reference http://www.eurail.com/
wandering_gal is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 31st, 2012, 12:26 AM
  #14
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,282
yes - you can use the pass for journeys wholly within one country
sofarsogood is offline  
Reply With Quote
Dec 31st, 2012, 03:39 AM
  #15
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 30,545
There's a big difference in a global pass and a golden pass. You originally said golden pass. A global pass might not be your best bet unless you need total flexibility. It will not include seat reservations (mandatory in Italy for the faster trains) and travel between countries usually requires you pay a supplement.

This is a list of supplements you will need to pay with a pass.
http://www.ricksteves.com/rail/pdfs/reservations.pdf

It's very likely you will save money by booking discounted tickets online directly with each countries rail company. You also should consider the discounts airlines. You can fly Rome/Paris on EasyJet. I would look at making your route more efficient also instead of backtracking such as a budget airline from Amsterdam to Rome or Venice.

www.whichbudget.com
www.skyscanner.com

Your trains in Italy can be purchased on Trenitalia for as little as 9€ depending on travel time.
http://www.trenitalia.com/cms/v/inde...008916f90aRCRD

I've also purchased tickets between Italy and Switzerland for 25 chf. These discounts are for Geneva to Milan or Venice.
http://www.trenitalia.com/cms/v/inde...3f16f90aRCRD#3

It used to be you had to buy international tickets between Switzerland and Italy from the departure country if purchasing online and pick up at a station in that country. If departing Switzerland, the website is http://www.sbb.ch/en/home.html and look for super saver ticket.

If departing Italy to Switzerland, you want the Smart fare. Pay attention to the time windows for purchase.
kybourbon is online now  
Reply With Quote
Jan 1st, 2013, 04:08 AM
  #16
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 65
Kybourbon, this is very helpful... I initially thought Eurail is the way to go. but this info that u gave is very helpful so thanks.
wandering_gal is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 1st, 2013, 06:27 AM
  #17
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,190
wandering_gal - you initially posted a question about a Golden Pass and then when you had quite a few responses you only thanked 1 person for their help. I guess those of us who answered your Golden Pass question, or tried to help generally, were not helpful. Oh well.
adrienne is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 1st, 2013, 06:42 AM
  #18
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 30,545
For your tickets between Paris and Brussels, book on Thalys. You can get tickets for about 29€, but probably can't book more than 90 days in advance.
http://www.thalys.com/be/en/

I would also look at Paris/Amsterdam and visit Brussels after Amsterdam if you have better budget flight options to Italy from there.

If you haven't booked flights to Europe yet, then you need to look at flying into one of your northern cities (Brussels usually has deals from my area) and home from one of your southern cities (Rome/Venice or maybe Geneva). That would save time and money backtracking.

If you have booked flights already, I would consider dropping Geneva. How many days do you have for all this?

Sample itinerary:

Arrive Paris (3-5 days)
Train to Brussels or Amsterdam (3 days each)
Fly from Brussels or AMS to either Rome/Venice or Geneva (about 10 days for the three) and trains between these three cities
Fly back to Paris (you want Orly airport) on EasyJet from Rome/Venice or train from Geneva.
kybourbon is online now  
Reply With Quote
Jan 1st, 2013, 08:01 AM
  #19
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 65
Dear All,

I apologize for the confusion. I was having Eurail Global Pass in mind but I really dont know why i type Golden. I must ve seen it somewhere and confused my self. But I really do appreciate all of your comments and suggestions.

Addrienne, sorry about that and appreciate that u looked Golden pass up and shared it. thanks

sam94123, 120 days ahead? but embassies and consulates usually release schengen visa a month before or weeks beofre you trip.

PalenQ, yeah I guess buying tickets separately with discounts
is the better option. will i get discount if it was bought a month before?

justineparis, additional fees? so other than that 768 USD from eurail, train companies will charge me for extra fees? arghhhh
wandering_gal is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 1st, 2013, 09:17 AM
  #20
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 42,146
You really need to do your homework and price point-to-point tickets for each leg of your journey. I haven't done so for you, but it's really, really hard for me to imagine (and I've taken hundreds of trains in Europe) that it could cost $768, or even close to that, for tickets between those places on your itinerary, especially if you get them discounted, which, regardless of your visa issue, you should be able to.
StCirq is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:53 PM.