Is purchasing EURAIL a good idea??

Jan 5th, 2013, 08:39 AM
  #41  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 45,873
Pal, give it a rest, will you? If you think anyone spends even a second reading this cr*p, you're kidding yourself.
StCirq is online now  
Jan 7th, 2013, 11:02 AM
  #42  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 40
wandering_gal, how long will you be in Europe? That will make a huge difference on whether to get a rail pass or not. If you can, try to get an open jaw ticket arriving in Amsterdam & departing Rome. It is unnecessary to back track. The more time you spend on a train, bus or plane will be less time you have to explore. From Amsterdam take Thalys to Brussels & from Brussels take Thalys to Paris (1 & 1/2 years ago I paid 25 euro from AMS-PAR. I purchased from nshighspeed.nl). Check the flights from Paris to Geneva. Easy Jet usually has fares for less than $75. You can take a train from Geneva to Venice. The fare is usually around 40 - 50 Euro. Then from Venice to Rome take a flight. Again, Easy Jet has flights constantly available for less than $75. If you are going to be in Europe for an extended period then a pass may be the best option. However, if you are only looking to explore the cities in your itinerary you could easily find cheaper transportation than a pass. Remember that your time on vacation, like in life, is finite. Make sure you maximize the time you have. Whatever you decide, I wish you a happy and safe journey.
kerouackid is offline  
Jan 7th, 2013, 11:16 AM
  #43  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
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>>>Then from Venice to Rome take a flight. Again, Easy Jet has flights constantly available for less than $75.<<<

Don't fly between Venice/Rome. You can take the train (under 4 hours from center to center) and often find fares as cheap as 9€-19€ for the fast train (which would take less time and money than flying by the time you factor in getting to and from both airports plus the expense getting to and from the airports).
kybourbon is online now  
Jan 7th, 2013, 12:51 PM
  #44  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 76,541
Well open jaw is the way to go for a trip not wholly within a certain small region. Yes fly into Amsterdam for example, work your way to Paris, perhaps going via Bruges, southern France (Provence, Riviera) and end in Rome or Venice and fly home from there.
Overnight trains however can also maximize time and save on the cost of a hotel - Paris to Rome you can get tickets for 59 euros or so if you do not mind sharing compartments - www.thello.com.
PalenQ is offline  
Jan 7th, 2013, 03:39 PM
  #45  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 40
Don't fly between Venice/Rome. You can take the train (under 4 hours from center to center)

That is a great suggestion. I've only made one straight through trip & I drove. It was late & the drive seemed to take forever. It didn't help that my travel mate was blasting the heat whilst Domingo serenaded us. I inaccurately assumed the train would be about as long. More options for you to consider.
kerouackid is offline  
Jan 8th, 2013, 08:37 AM
  #46  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 1,672
Paris to Brussels in 1h30 from €35 booked at www.thalys.com

Brussels to Amsterdam in 2h from €25 at www.b-europe.com

Amsterdam to Paris in 3h09 from €35 at www.thalys.com

Paris to Geneva in 3h05 from €25 at www.tgv-lyria.com

Or, take the excellent City Night Line sleeper train from Amsterdam (depart 20:31) to Basel (arrive 06:54), book at www.bahn.de/en looking for the direct CNL train with 0 changes, fares from €59 wityh couchette (simple flat bunk with rug and pillow) or €99 with bed in 2-bed sleper or from €139 with bed in 1-bed sleeper, breakfast in sleepers is included with shower at the end of the corridor. Then buy an open ticket Basel-Geneva on the frequent Swiss intercity trains, at the statioin, check prices at www.sbb.ch

Geneva to Milan in 4h from €19 at www.sbb.ch

Milan to Venice, or indeed any inter-city journey in Italy, from €9 booked at www.trenitalia.com

Rome or Venice to Paris by Thello overnight sleeper train from €35 with couchette, book at www.thello.com

Oh, and for the record, 2nd class is absolutely fine, and arguably the 'norm' for most of us Europeans unless the company is paying for our ticket. It's your starting point, if you like. We have now banished the rats, there are very few chickens, and we've replaced the wooden seats with something a bit plusher ;0)

So don't feel 'forced' to travel first class if you're on a budget, far from it.

Having said that, there are often good value fares in first class, and if you're not on a tight budget and the extra isn't too much, it's nice to have a bigger chunkier seat with more leg and elbow room, fewer people per coach, more businessmen tapping away on laptops and fewer families with screaming kids (apart from my kids, of course, but I do try hard to minimise the screaming when occupying a better class of carriage ;0)

Last year when booking Algeciras to Madrid I was presented with a choice of €28 web fare in Turista, but no cheap fares in Prefernte, just the €110 full-price, and with that differential I booked my family into Turista.

But on the next leg, it was €38 for a 'mesa' (table group) fare in Preferente with bigger seats, more legroom, an at-seat meal with wine and a brandy, versus €28 for a Web fare in Turista, and at that differential I booomin' well went Preferente. It was my birthday that day, after all!
Man_in_seat_61 is online now  
Jan 8th, 2013, 08:58 AM
  #47  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 10,556
www.BudgetEuropeTravel.com

Go to this site, call the 800 number and ask all your questions. These folks know trains in Europe and are very good at suggesting itineraries and the most cost-effective way to travel. You can purchase your tickets through them, at good prices.

In general, their advice is that passes are best for long-haul train rides. But they might not be the best deal for short hops, like the time we spent two weeks traveling within Italy, we just bought tickets on our travel days.
PeaceOut is offline  
Jan 9th, 2013, 11:13 AM
  #48  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 76,541

Having said that, there are often good value fares in first class, and if you're not on a tight budget and the extra isn't too much, it's nice to have a bigger chunkier seat with more leg and elbow room, fewer people per coach, more businessmen tapping away on laptops and fewer families with screaming kids>

ditto exactly - if on a low budget and doing inexpensive hotels and eating on the cheap you will find 2nd class perfectly adequate - but Man in Seat 61 has reiterated some of the very real benefits of first class and it is not just a 'matter of a few extra inches of seat' as some above claim.
PalenQ is offline  
Jan 10th, 2013, 12:11 AM
  #49  
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 65
Wow, PalenQ is a bad-ass blogger. It seemed like a blog-boxing happening between PalenQ and kbourbon. JK. I appreciate all ur suggestions, comments, violent reactions, etc. let us all keep it friendly.

Man-in-seat-61, Thanks for the given prices. It is very helpful that u gave me an idea of what the train fare cost. Awesome. Is there a train direct from geneva to venice. I dont think I can still stop by Milan.

Palen Q, i get your point. I mean who does wanna ride in first class. I will do what u suggest and check the difference in cost then I will decide.

kbourbon, I totally appreciate ur suggestion. I never ride a first class fare in plane as it is 2-3 times more higher for just a few hours. I will not do the same on trains as long as it is not only 20% higher. I need to do some research.

kerouackid, Im planning to visit europe for 2-3 weeks. I need to coordinate with my friend who is living in France.

PeaceOut, thanks for the website, it is helpful.

Everyone, thanks for actively blogging in this thread you have all been helpful.
wandering_gal is offline  
Jan 10th, 2013, 06:34 AM
  #50  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 32,433
>>>Is there a train direct from geneva to venice. I dont think I can still stop by Milan.<<<

No. You will need to change (perhaps multiple times depending on trains you select). The least changes would be to take one of the EC trains from Geneva to Milan and then the fast AV train from Milan to Venice.

The difference in prices for 1st and 2nd depends on country (each has their own train company/pricing) and agreements between countries for international fares. Between Geneva and Milan, the EC train is 95chf 2nd cl and 149chf 1st cl. The discounted Go fare is 23chf (2nd class only) by advance purchase (if available).

Milan to Venice regular prices on the fast AV train - 1st cl 50€, 2nd cl 36€. Advance purchase discount tickets as cheap as 9€.
kybourbon is online now  
Jan 11th, 2013, 09:58 AM
  #51  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 76,541
For a difference of 14 euros Milan to Venice I'd go first class for that little difference - and the complimentary beverage, snack and newspaper (Italian though) may be worth nearly that much plus a much more relaxed journey. Yes it all depends on what the actual price difference is - 14 euros yes - 60 euros no, etc.

You can see how expensive first class tickets can be - like Geneva to Milan about $115 alone - does not take many of these to make a first-class pass look really good - on the same day you have to pay 50 euro more first class to Venice - another $70 making Geneva to Venice in first class about $185 alone - one day on a pass may not nearly be that much - depends on the pass - Eurail Global much more expensive - Eurail Select much less expensive per day - Saverpass or single pass, etc.
PalenQ is offline  

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