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Old Mar 1, 07, 5:02 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
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EuroPass... Is it worth it?

I was speaking with a friend today who has visit Europe a few times and he told me that unless you're going for a 3-6 month visit, getting a Europass isn't really worth it. He says that it's cheaper to just buy individual tickets for trains from country to country.

Some things I see that need to be considered are:

1. There are many "bonuses" according to the website including things like free ferry use and the like.

2. The convenience of having one pass that takes care of travel completely.

Personally, I would like to spend as little time as possible travelling from destination to destination. I would rather pick just a few places (5-6 in 3 weeks) and stick with those.

Any input?

Note: as of now, the cost of a youth pass for 21 days (my likely length of stay) is $539.
bguysquared is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 1, 07, 6:52 pm   #2
 
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If you search for railpass, you will probably find a lot of threads on this subject.

That said, the value of a railpass very much depends on how well you understand the rules, how much traveling you are doing, and what countries you are planning on visiting.

The pass you are describing is unlimited travel in 3 weeks, which doesn't sound like the best pass for you. Have a look at the Eurail Select Pass Youth, which offers a set number of travel days in preselected countries (between 3-5 countries). Prices start at $263 - much more reasonable than the $539.

It is also important to remember that all railpasses will have surcharges for seats and sleepers.

If you want more specific advice on the most appropriate pass, it would help if you post the countries/cities you are planning on visiting.
schmare is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 2, 07, 2:16 pm   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bguysquared View Post
2. The convenience of having one pass that takes care of travel completely.
It's not a like a bus or subway pass where you can just hop on and hop off without any planning or administrative activities. As schmare noted, there still may be additional costs, plus you might need to reserve seats on some routes. So it's not as hassle-free as it seems.

If you are thinking of using a railpass to travel very long distances, then the pass schmare decided that gives you a specified number of days of travel might be a good option. But you might want to do a little research on rail websites to see how much train tickets would cost on the routes you think you might like to take. If you use the pass for short trips, you're probably wasting some money. Keep in mind that travel agents might make a commission by selling you a railpass, so it could be in their interest to persuade you to get one even if it's not in your interest.

Also keep in mind that there are some discount airlines that offer cheap flights, often as one-way segments, to connect certain major cities in Europe. Although you've got to pay for the cost of transportation to and from the airport (and sometimes that can be expensive because they use out of the way airports), there are some good deals available.
Kate_Canuck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 3, 07, 12:00 pm   #4
 
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You should also keep in mind that the $ is super weak against the Euro right now so nailing down costs in $ by buying in the US before going can save you a lot.

A few months ago I bought a France Railpass for around $380 for two people for three days. Used it to go on the TGV from Paris to Nice and back. The cost was much less than buying the four tickets in France. And, we had the added convenience of using the pass for a few "free" little sidetrips.

But, you do have to make and pay for reservations on the TGV which are much cheaper if made in France rather than with the US Railpass agents.
biggestbopper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 11, 07, 9:58 pm   #5
 
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go to ricksteves.com and he goes over train travel and gives you aprox prices for trips. There are individual websites for each country's rail companies and you can compare prices. It is always better to buy individual tickets locally vs. railpass.com, not so if you want a eurail pass which needs to be bought outside europe.
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