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Should you buy that Eurail Pass?

Viaduct Bridge, Switzerland
Viaduct Bridge, Switzerland

At Rail Plus we often get asked by travellers whether or not they should buy a Eurail Pass for their trip throughout Europe or buy single journey, point to point tickets. 

While the answer differs depending on peoples specific travel plans and arrangements, we are usually big advocates for travelling on a pass. Eurail Passes not only cover the rail components of your travel and can be cost effective if you are travelling extensively or through more expensive countries, they also come with included benefits that many travellers many not be aware of.

Here we breakdown the Eurail Pass and give you an overview of when, why and how they may be your best option for your next European trip.

 

Berchtesgadener Land, Bavaria
Berchtesgadener Land, Bavaria

The Perks of the Pass

Freedom: You are able to design a route and timetable that suits your plans without always being fixed to a certain time, place or train.

Flexibility: There is no limit to the number of trains that can be taken on each travel day.

Convenience: No baggage fees and no luggage weight restrictions.

Family Friendly: 2 children under 12 to travel free, plus discounts for Youth under 28 and specially priced passes when booked for 2-5 people traveling together.

Forgiving: In case you miss a train that has been reserved, a new reservation can be made locally if needed (you will lose the cost paid for the seat reservation).

Planning Friendly: Passes can be booked up to 11 months in advance so you can secure 2017 prices for 2018 travel.

 

Eurail Pass Bonuses 

cesky Krumlov czech republic
Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic

Discounted/free museums: For travellers interested in Art/Culture/History, Eurail Pass rounds out peoples city trips offering discounted or free entry into museums.

Discounted/free transport: Eurail Passes offer discounted or free local transport throughout several cities in Europe.

Comfort in Lounges: On days where the Eurail Pass is valid for travel, if you hold 1CL reservations you can have free access to selected lounges at railway stations. Enjoy a comfortable lounge experience while waiting for your next train!

Shopping Discounts: By showing your Eurail Pass at certain shopping outlets, you can receive additional shopping discount cards i.e. in Amsterdam, Wertheim (outside Frankfurt), Ingolstadt (outside Munich). Some Shopping Bus transfers are included free with the rail pass.

Discounted Hotels: Some countries such as Austria and Germany offer a 10% discount on the daily rate for hotel stays (advance bookings only).

Enhance your Swiss Holiday with discounts: Holders of a Eurail pass that includes Switzerland can benefit from discounted Swiss Excursions that include:  

  • Jungfraujoch Return Day ticket
  • Mt. Pilatus
  • Titlis
  • Schynige Platte

Glacier Express & 2017 Eurail: The Glacier Express is now 100% included with all Eurail Passes issued from 2017 onwards (seat reservations now additional extra).

 

charles bridge in prague
Charles Bridge, Prague

When cost comes into play

Generally, if you are travelling for 3 train journeys or more, a Eurail Pass is often the cheaper option, particularly if you are travelling in notoriously expensive countries. 

The most expensive countries to travel without Eurail include:

  • Germany
  • Austria
  • Switzerland
  • Scandinavia
  • Czech Republic

 

Things to note

Depending on the bonus, it could require the use of a travel day on your rail pass. Generally, free bonuses use a day on a rail pass, while discounted ones do not. Make sure you check your rail pass covers you for your days on the train as well as any bonuses you wish to take advantage of.

Most high-speed trains, night trains and some scenic trains need to be reserved and it is highly recommended to do this in advance to avoid queues & trains being sold out.

Eurail passes are not accepted on Italo trains in Italy. A separate train ticket would need to be purchased if you are going to travel on Italo owned train.

Train travel offers quick and easy borderless travel through the diverse countries of Europe, all well connected by rail, so its little wonder that travelling by train is a popular past time.

To learn more about the different Eurail Passes and to book click below

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