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-   -   Train or car with driver (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/train-or-car-with-driver-753083/)

money4mice Dec 13th, 2007 08:23 AM

Train or car with driver
 
We are a party of 8 starting out in Prague in August. We will spend 4 nights in Prague and 4 nights in Budapest. In between we'll go to Vienna or Krackow for 3-4 nights. Is it more cost-effective to drive or train it betwen these destinations for all of us. I have been in contact with Mike-chauffer in Prague. costs are 8-11 czk depending on Vienna or Krakow. Also, I'd prefer to see Krkow, bur is it too far for this amout of days we have to travel? Thank you.

PalenQ Dec 13th, 2007 08:43 AM

Your train costs would be a maximum of what the European East flexipass would cost - starts at five days on unlimited travel in a one-month period - covers Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, hungary and Poland so all your trips.

Car of course has its benefits as to easiness of travel but seems the train would be way way cheaper

there are overnight trains between Krakow and Budapest and Krakow and Prague to save time and hotel costs.

Passes not sold in Europe, marketed in US by Raileurope www.raileurope.com - i always refer anyone seeking info on passes to www.budgeteuropetravel.com as you can phone and talk to experts with any questions on their toll-free # - Raileurope charges +10% +$35 i think if you want to talk to anyone and then that person may not be an expert. www.ricksteves.com also has good info on train passes and travel. I'm not sure of cost of point-point tickets in those countries but if doing all your cities mentioned i think the pass would stack up well. Cut off Krakow perhaps not.

alanRow Dec 13th, 2007 09:26 AM

<<< Your train costs would be a maximum of what the European East flexipass would cost >>>

plus supplements for overnight trains

ira Dec 13th, 2007 01:18 PM

Hi M,

>Mike-chauffer in Prague. costs are 8-11 czk

Wow. 60 cts pp from Prague to Vienna. Take it.

((I))

PalenQ Dec 14th, 2007 06:04 AM

i heard that prices in eastern europe were still cheap but...

CollegeMom Dec 14th, 2007 06:30 AM

The train from Prague to Krakow takes about 5 hours with day or overnight trains available. Opted for the day to enjoy the views but heard from another tourist, not to take the overnight if you are a light sleepter. Also a reminder they will awaken you at the border for passport control. Also toured within Czech Republic by private car/driver. We had a party of 4 adults with limited luggage which is probably maximum per car. Check with the driver to see what charges are for "waiting time" which could also impact your decision. We used Czech pass for train travel, and it worked well and was also the most economical. Prices in eastern Europe are still cheap relative to other countries, but if you are using USD, the low dollar value adds to your costs. It is still a beautiful and worthwhile trip.

PalenQ Dec 14th, 2007 08:59 AM

<We had a party of 4 adults with limited luggage which is probably maximum per car.>

some idea please - general ballpark - how much such a service costs?

mileage fee as well?

thankx

gradyghost Dec 14th, 2007 11:40 AM

Hello money:

I heartily endorse Ira's suggestion that you grab the deal offered by Mike and run. I was recently quoted 800 euro in a Mercedes E Class for the same trip, and that number is good only if you pay cash. What is Mike's website? Gradyghost

money4mice Dec 14th, 2007 04:04 PM

I left out the O's in typing. It's 8-11,000 CZK! I think the night train would be fun, especially for my kids. We'd get into Krakow very early in the morning but it'd give us a full day. I spoke to Byron at Budget Europe Travel and he was very helpful. Thank you all for your input.

CollegeMom Dec 14th, 2007 10:11 PM

Hotels post rates for transport to various locations within Prague as well as providing many advertisements for various tour bus offerings. Comparing 4 tour tickets to our driver/car fee usually favored the car. Scheduling flexibility was also a plus with the driver/car. The car our driver had was VW Pussat which was fine as long as we did not have 4 larger suitcases and 4 carryon bags since they would not all fit in the trunk. The trip to/from hotel and airport had luggage inside the car, but it was a quick trip so not worth getting a van. Driver was excellent and came highly recommended by former neighbor (Czech now in US) who has done busines with him for years. There is a chart drivers use for rates to various attractions and other cities, or if it is in Prague there is an hourly rate. There never was an added charge for fuel, but we did add on tips for every trip. Used the driver/car to go to Cesky Krumlov, and another trip outside of Prague, and to and from the airport to hotel near castle. The rates in Oct. were about 600 czk per hour within Prague or 25 czk per kilometer for longer trips. The Cesky Krumlov round trip was about 6000 czk if I remember correctly. I used RailEurope for Czech passes, and their staff were very helpful and willing to answer many questions while in the planning stage. The total RailEurope bill did include a call center service fee for $15 and shipping and handling fee of $18 for all tickets, reservations, etc. Using the agents suggestions for 4 people saved much more than the added $33 fees. Prices are not cheap like in prior years, but good planning can save some costs.

PalenQ Dec 15th, 2007 06:10 AM

I took my son on overnight trains when he was fairly young and he loved it - did not matter where we went - he thought it was a fairy-tale

GSteed Dec 15th, 2007 01:16 PM

Hire a minibus! You will have a guide and driver. Eight people in a group trying to get to and board trains is a daunting task. Benefits will long outweigh any cost over self travel. The driver can move your group at night and you can sleep or party!


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