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Raileurope.com: See Europe by train
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Old 08-27-2004, 10:22 PM   #1
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Hi everyone! I am a new timer!! I was wondering if anyone could offer some advice. Is the eurail pass a scam? My boyfriend and I are travelling to Europe for six months( leaving on Oct.13th!!! ) and some friends who have travelled before me said the were. Any advice would be helpful!
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Old 08-28-2004, 11:34 AM   #2
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The eurail pass a scam? That's the first time I have heard that. The Eurail pass is completely legit, and I think that you will find that a lot of people on this site that have gone to Europe have used the pass (including me). Now, I don't know why your friends might say this, but there are a lot of different passes to choose from and you need to read the rules carefully.

Since you are going for six months, you could buy a couple passes. The longest is for 3 months unlimited travel, but the price of that ranges from $1,160.00 to $1,654.00 depending on your age. Also the passes are only good for Western Europe countries plus Hungary so you can't use it in Poland, Czech Republic, ect. Those countries do have a rail pass of their own, but usually you don't save much by buying them. Besides the unlimited travel pass, you can also buy passes for 15 days of travel in 2 months. These are cheaper (half the cost), and if you plan to spend three nights or so in a city, then this pass works better.
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Old 08-28-2005, 06:07 PM   #3
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eurail passes are definitely not a scam, but depending on how much you intend to use them, they might not be cost-effective. if you buy the unlimited ones, then every day you don't use it, you're essentially wasting money. so they're good if you plan on doing a lot of day trips to small towns, and travelling often. also good if you're totally into spontaneous moving about, as in: waking up in paris and deciding you REALLY wanna head to the riviera... NOW.

personally, i'm a huge fan of the discount airlines:
http://wikitravel.org/en/Discount_airlines_in_Europe

it takes a bit more planning, as the flights get more expensive the closer you are to the departure date. but they can be SO cheap, i've booked flights on a 'just in case' basis, and then just not shown up. or, if you're pretty open-minded as to where you want to go, you can surf the discountair sites and usually find SOMETHING pretty reasonable a day or two before hand.

obviously this limits you to CITIES, and you'd still have to train to smaller towns. so i guess it depends on what kind of traveller you are & what kind of stuff you want to see.

and, more obviously, you have to decide before you go (since eurail passes are not for sale in europe).

the end.
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Old 08-29-2005, 06:51 AM   #4
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We didn't buy a pass and I really regret it. It would have saved money (buying the flexipass, not the unlimited) and you get lots of perks. Anyhow, they have discounts for being under 26 or else discounts for purchasing two or more. You also get a world of deals through the pass. If you go to the Eurail site, click on bonuses, and it lists all of the free stuff you get with the passes. While it doesn't cover train travel in central/eastern Europe, you do get quite a discount (I believe about 75%). Definitely worth looking into.

You can purchase the pass through the main page of this site. Just click on the banner for the train.
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Old 08-30-2005, 02:26 PM   #5
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Here is the real way to decide. If you go to www.ricksteves.com and look at his railpass section he has a map of different mjor routes in Europe and the price of 1 2nd class ticket. Add up all the trains you would potentially take and compare that to a rail pass that would give you the amount of travel days you needed (whether it be unlimited or flexi). I have yet to find a way to make it cheaper without a pass and don't forget the extras that come with the pass that have great value.

He also has a section on selecting the right type of pass and such. He puts it all in Enlgish for you. Don't forget that also with a railpass you still have to pay for reservations on all high speed and night trains. These usually range between 20-50 euros depending on distance and time. I'd sya figure you will have to reserve at LEAST half of your trains so you can add that to the pass price.

Good luck!

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Old 08-30-2005, 02:49 PM   #6
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I always get the Eurail pass when I go to Western Europe. I usually get the flexi pass and choose the countries Im going to travel in and how many days I will use the pass. I seem to save some money.

-rt
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