Rail europe passes are they worth it?

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May 25th, 2003, 08:36 PM
  #1
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Rail europe passes are they worth it?

I've been reading some posts around this discussion. many people agree that rail europe is quite expensive. the discussions though seem to be around shorter distance trips. I've done some research and notice that individual tickets purchased there are really cheap but I'll be travelling for 2 months in july, within italy spain france austria germany. about 2 or 3 cities within each. based on your experience could i save a lot of money purchasing my tickets when I get there vs the eurail pass? for two months pass cost is $2047 CAD.
I'm confused and want to make the right choice becasue they are soo expensive

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May 25th, 2003, 09:27 PM
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The last time I used a Eurail pass was almost 10 years ago, so I might not be the best person to answer but maybe you should try to estimate how many train trips you'll be taking, to get a rough cost per train ride. See how that compares to individual prices. One advantage to Eurail is obviously the convenience of not having to figure out how to buy tickets in 5 countries (some stations mostly use machines). No offense to the Fodors people, but i think you might find more Eurail users on the Lonely Planet site, which has a pretty good board. Just click on "Thorntree." There's also eurotrip.com.
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May 26th, 2003, 09:18 AM
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Renata, go to www.railsaver.com and type in your itinerary. There are several options, one being "only if it saves me money." Check that option for a comparison of a pass vs. point-to-point costs. The Rick Steves website at www.ricksteves.com has good information on passes also.
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May 26th, 2003, 12:59 PM
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ira
 
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Hi
Follow Betsy's advice. I don't think that you will spend 2047CAD on rail travel.
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May 26th, 2003, 03:12 PM
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CalgirlSusan
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There are many options to explore. Don't be fooled into buying a total Europe type pass if you can break your itinerary down. For example there are numerous three country passes -- France, Italy, and Spain can be purchased together for one pass, eliminating the rest of Europe at great savings, for example. Maybe do that for one month or for so many days out of a month once you know your itinerary. Maybe if you are doing a lot of trips in Germany also get a German flex pass, and then just add on the trip to Austria. Or maybe an Austrian pass if that's the major part of that section of the trip and just add on a German segment or two.
It is really silly to pay for a pass that covers all of Europe when you are only visiting a few countries which are all close together, but rail passes can still save you money from point to point if you are doing a lot of traveling. You just have to explore your options for various types of passes.
 
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May 26th, 2003, 03:45 PM
  #6
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thanks guys for you help. I tried the railsaver website. it seems to only allow me to add a certain amount to the list and my itineray is lng (its for two months). I even clicked on "more destination option" and I still needed more room especially since I will constantly be returing to madrid while in spain for the first two weeks. so i couuld not even enter all destinations (i'm short by about 5 possibly)...
the total was approx 1100 CAD.
I'll try this again also when I have a firmer itinerary.
correct me if wrong but these prices the rail europe cost right? if so, they are more expensive then what I have seen from the train websites themselves (e.g. trenitialia, renfe etc.) mmm.I'm still not sure..

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May 26th, 2003, 04:21 PM
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Renata,

In reading this Sunday's Travel section in the newspaper, I noticed an unusual ad for Eurailpasses (through five of their brokers) that touted special discounts for the longer passes this summer.

As far as computing the "worth" of the passes themselves, my advice would be: Make a list of your rail travel days, and then cross out any days which involve less than four hours of train time. Buy an appropriate railpass for the remaining days, and book the ones you've crossed out as point-to-point tickets.
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May 26th, 2003, 04:29 PM
  #8
RAR
 
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The general rule is that you must use the pass A LOT in order to get any savings out of it. It really is easier to lose money on them than to save money. However, if you plan on travelling a lot in germany, it could actually save you money.

But in Italy (and Spain) the train tickets are CHEAP. Also consider using Ryanair. For example, I will be travelling for 2 months, through seven countries (Portgual, Spain, Germany, Netherlands, France, England, and Italy (Sardinia), and my transportation costs will run about $950. If I got the $940 Eurail 2 month pass, it would end up costing me at least $150 extra when you added in the flight to Sardinia, and the chunnel trip. And that's excluding all the suppliments you have to pay for.

In short, it takes a lot of training to get savings out of those passes. I don't recommend them.
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May 29th, 2003, 06:55 AM
  #9
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thanks for the responses.
i have been trying to get point to point fares from the train companies themselves (websites) instead of rail europe b/c is cheaper.
for Italy and spain I have used Renfe and trenitalia. can anyone tell me what webistes I can use for getting transportation information for germany & france.
also what train is it that goes from spain to portugal. we are thinking of doing a trip from salamanca tu ciudad roderigo in july and possibly lisbon too.
thanks for your help so far it has helped to get other points of view!
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May 29th, 2003, 07:18 AM
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www.sncf.fr for France; www.bahn.de for Germany; www.cp.pt for Portugal. In most European countries (except the UK) basic train fares are calculated from the distance: for example, a 500 km journey in Italy in an intercity train will always cost the same wherever you're going. You can therefore get a very rough estimate of how much train tickets will cost by looking up the fare for one journey in a country and making guesses for others on a pro rata basis. For international journeys, look up the fares for each part of the journey - fares in France, for example, are about twice as much as for the same distance in Italy.
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May 29th, 2003, 07:41 AM
  #11
 
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Renata,

Try this website for prices they have a pretty complete list of cities, "http://www.bootsnall.com/eurail/passes/p2p.shtml". As far as railpasses go I agree with most of the comments made by others. You need to use it to make it pay. When I travel I find that I will use the pass everyday for either day trips or long hauls. It usually pays if you travel like that. Also, the pass gets you other discounts on boats, buses, and cable car that you should take into consideration during your trip. If your traveling that much the pass is a convenient way to go, even if it may appear to cost more. Have fun planning.

Greg
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May 29th, 2003, 11:32 AM
  #12
RAR
 
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Germany - www.bahn.de
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