Raileurope question

Jul 22nd, 2006, 07:47 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,134
Tara3056, you got lots of responses about the passes. I just want to point out that some trains (usually the better, faster ones) require seat reservations in addition to tickets or passes. The reservations cost a few euros.
Mimar is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2006, 08:57 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 17
Ira, very good point (buying 2nd for the teens and sitting with them). But when we factored in the cost difference and the fact that we're traveling in August heat, especially with 1/3 of the trip in Italy, the 1st class air conditioning factor won out (correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think that 2nd class has air??). Cost was $513 for 15-day 1st Class Saver Pass for the two of us; cost for 2nd class Youth Pass (again please correct me if I'm wrong, but no Saver pass available for Youth?) $394 each, so savings would have been only $238.

Also, just a note, depending on the train, reservations can be more than just a few Euro. Reservation cost was $140 for Thalys from Cologne Germany to Paris, though part of that may be extra cost specifically for Thalys train, I would guess. No breakout from www.bahn.de on how much was reservation cost vs. Thalys. But, in any case, well worth the $ to know that the last leg of our trip is reserved so we can make it back to Paris to fly home!

We are first-time Europe travelers, and the Eurail passes were one of our first decisions/purchases in the planning phase. Now, after dong more research on this awesome site and other places, I think we probably overpaid vs. buying point-to-point; however, knowing this part of the trip should be stress-free is hopefully worth it.

I'm hoping one day there will be a "next time", as we will probably do this part differently...

OP, I hope you're getting some good info here!
mntravelers4 is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2006, 09:01 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 17
Correction on reservations for Thalys from Cologne to Paris: $104, not $140. Sorry!
mntravelers4 is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2006, 09:13 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,206
(correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think that 2nd class has air??)

You ARE wrong - either all the train has a/C or not. There is not much differece, as everybody tries to tell here...
altamiro is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2006, 09:19 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 17
Tara3056, I am wishing now that I had read all of your other posts before my replies. Let me get this right...you're under 25, taking a 29-day trip to Europe with your husband, having just spent a week in Paris earlier this year? And you love champagne and wonder if Dom is cheaper there, and wondering what people think of the private guide you hired, and whether to wear your lovely (I read "expensive") wedding ring? I am wondering, why on earth would you care about the cost between 1st class and 2nd class Eurail pass?

Oh, if I sound jealous, absolutely yes! I am 46 and have dreamed of doing this all of my life, and am finally able to, but only by using years of frequent flier miles, staying in budget hotels, and picnicking when we get there! I hope you count your blessings!
mntravelers4 is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2006, 09:25 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 17
Altamiro, thank you for the correction. Knowing that may have made a difference in our decision, but now I just live with all of the decisions (another poor one? Paris Pass for $400+!!!), for better or worse, and would love to someday go back with the benefit of learning from my mistakes.
mntravelers4 is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2006, 03:08 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 331
Thanks to everyone for the responses. I think I've got it all squared away now, thanks to the advice given here. In particular, that railsaver website Dukey gave was a big help and showed that a combo of passes and point-to-point tix will most likely be best.

And it's good to know, just for the sake of knowing, that someone with a 1st class pass can choose to sit in 2nd if they want.

But I had to address mntravelers4 - Yes, I am very fortunate. I'm 25, and my husband is 30, and we don't have kids. We're able to do many things right now, and we're enjoying it while we can, and believe me, I do appreciate it! The reason I care about saving money here and there, where I can, is because it makes no sense to me to pay more for something just because I can, OR to pay more for something that doesn't matter to me. We don't have unlimited resources, no matter how your post made it sound. So if I can save a couple hundred dollars on our rail travel, and I don't care about whether I'm in 1st or 2nd class, then I can take the money I save and use it to stay in a nicer hotel room than we could otherwise afford, or eat at nicer places, or whatever. We've set aside $10,000 for this month-long trip, which must pay for everything (food, sights, transportation, airfare, hotels). While that *is* a lot of money and we won't exactly be "roughing it" while we're there, it would be possible to spend a lot more than that, too, on a month in Europe. Again, saving money on unimportant things lets me apply it to to the things we do care about.
tara3056 is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2006, 07:59 PM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 17
Point well taken.
mntravelers4 is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2006, 05:21 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,118
Hi mn,

Enjoy your visit.

Don't think about what you might have done to save a few dollars.

From what you learn on this trip, you will be able to decide what is and isn't worth saving money on.

On one visit, we saved $20 by taking the IC instead of the ES*, because the schedules were almost identical.

Unfortunately, we arrived 3:30 hr late and lost an entire afternoon. Not likely to repeat that.

ira is offline  
Jul 24th, 2006, 07:49 PM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 17
Ira, thanks. No, no regrets; every decision was made with the best info we had at the time. Only regret is that I did not find this site sooner. By the way, your posts in particular, as well as several others' (robespierre one of them) have been most helpful and interesting. I'm sure others agree. I just sometimes wonder when, or IF, you guys ever sleep!
mntravelers4 is offline  

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