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Eurail Pass from Rail Europe: Is it a Good Deal?

By Veronica Mullen, Guest Author

Karen Tina Harrison has been a New York City-based lifestyle journalist for her entire career. She has covered travel since the last millennium, with luxury travel assignments that have taken her around the globe. Read more

Weighing Rail Europe versus Local Train Tickets

Many luxury travelers choose trains as the most convenient, most scenic, and least stressful way to see Europe. For visitors committed to this classic, eco-friendly mode of travel, Rail Europe is an alternative to buying local railroad tickets in individual European countries.

You could look at Rail Europe as today s version of the 19th-century Grand Tour of Europe.

So how do you decide whether to go local or with Rail Europe? Going via Rail Europe:

  • Whisks you across borders. If you re planning on taking trains in more than one European country, Rail Europe s single tickets and passes are a logistical boon, saving time, confusion, and stress. Rail Europe services over 30 countries
  • Allows for spontaneity. Rail Europe makes it easy to travel in impromptu and adventurous style. This is a joy to footloose travelers; for travelers who prefer staying in one region or country in a set agenda, it would not be the best option

Bottom line:  For travelers planning to visit several countries, Rail Europe can end up being a considerable money-saver.

Still, planning ahead is essential. Rail Europe tickets must be bought in advance and delivered to you in North America before you fly to Europe. (However, individual point-to-point tickets and multi-train passes can be bought online no matter where you are.

Rail Europe offers numerous types of passes. Handy, interactive tools on Rail Europe s website help you decide which options might be best for your trip.

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Factors to consider: whether you have a set itinerary, may be taking more than three trains, or are looking for date flexibility.

Some of Rail Europe s most popular types of passes:

  • Eurail Select Pass: unlimited travel on national rail networks to three, four, or five bordering countries for five, six, eight, 10 or 15 days. It s valid for two months, whether high season or off-season
  • Eurail Global Pass allows unlimited travel on the entire rail networks of 30 countries (see list below). The Eurail Global Pass is available in two options: the Consecutive Pass, good for 15 days, 21 days, one, two or three months; or the Flexipass, good for 10 or 15 days of consecutive or non-consecutive travel within a two-month period
  • An Italy-only Eurail Italy Pass is also available for visitors to Italy who are taking Italian trains and may want to cross the border into France, Switzerland, Austria, Croatia, etc.

Beyond the reach and duration of its tickets, Rail Europe offers several service classifications:

• Premier: These tickets are the best class of service. Seats are first class. In certain cases, these also grant access to the station lounge. Under some circumstances they can be exchanged if unused

​• Comfort: These are first-class tickets, but cannot be exchanged and do not provide access to station lounges

• Freedom: Seats are standard or second class. These tickets can be exchanged but do not allow access to station lounges

• Economy: These tickets cannot be exchanged and do not provide access to the station lounge. Seats are standard or second class

Rail Europe offers various combination tickets that include airport transfers; that cover both train travel and car rental, tour packages, and others. Endless options mean that your ticket is highly customized.

Countries Served by Rail Europe:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • England (via Eurostar through the Chunnel )
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Luxembourg
  • Macedonia
  • Montenegro
  • Netherlands
  • Northern Ireland
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Scotland
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • Wales

For more information about Rail Europe:

  • Rail Europe s website
  • Rail Europe by phone: 800.622.8600 in the US; 800.361.7245 in Canada
  • Rail Europe on Facebook
  • Rail Europe on Twitter
  • Rail Europe s partner in Italy, Trenitalia

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