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Travel Transportation Airs, Trains, Buses, and Boats, what should I do ? What´s a Eurail Pass? How to rent a car abroad ? Is it safe to take the bus?

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Old 07-21-2008, 10:38 AM   #1
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Default Rail Passes vs Point 2 Point Tickets

I want to make sure I'm clear on the best way to get the cheapest train tickets. I'm looking at only 4 days of train travel, one Paris-Amsterdam but with three overnites, Amsterdam-Prague, Prague-Venice, Venice-Paris. Are point to point tickets not available to US travellers on some lines?, for example on Thalys' website it implies that you can't get the 25 Euro advance purchase ticket to Amsterdam, and the same ticket thru RailEurope is $176 - quite a difference. Do I need to bag the point to point idea and just go with a rail pass? Or am I missing something on the point to point fares? I apparently can get an Amsterdam-Prague ticket off of bahn.de for cheap even though I live in the US but not sure about the rest. Help?
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Old 07-21-2008, 11:47 AM   #2
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Don't worry, by the time you get to Europe 25 Euros will be 176 USD anyway :P

Since you can print your own tickets, I think you can buy the tickets in advance on the web, even as an American, but during the summer it is tougher to get those deals. For example, in May I wanted a ticket from Berlin to Munich. If you buy your ticket weeks out you get the 25 Euro deal. Unfortunately, that almost NEVER happens (you are looking at 50-60 for that ride. Minimum) since they have a limited number and it tends to apply for 4a departures and things like that.

I always bought my tickets in person and from your photo you appear to be older than 25 so you are forced to buy a 1st class ticket if you go the rail pass route. That makes each ticket have to be 75 Euros before it becomes worthwhile. And that doesn't include a reservation, or couchette.

For your situation, I would either try to buy the tickets online, or at the train station once you arrive in each city. Looks like a good trip

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Old 07-21-2008, 12:11 PM   #3
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Yeah, it's confusing but I finally figured out on thalys you're only stuck with the $176 fare if you want your ticket mailed to you so I can get whatever better advance fare apparently if I print it out or do the ticket machine thing. So maybe I'm better off than I thought on the single tickets. I'm kinda having the same problem for the Prague-Venice ticket on Trentitalia's website tho, since they only give you options of ticket machines in Italy only, and I won't be in Italy before I go there (obviously) to pick it up, or home delivery but only within Italy, but hopefully I can figure it out.

Yes, not only am I over 25, I don't think I even remember 25...

Thanks for the input :D
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Old 02-05-2009, 10:00 PM   #4
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Bump to ask a similiar question! (And because the whole Eurail/European train system is really, really confusing me. The more I find out about it, the more I don't understand it :p)

I will be travelling around Paris for one week, then down to Switzerland for 1-2 days, then all through Italy for about five weeks. What kind of rail pass will I need? Or will it be cheaper for me to buy tickets point to point? Will I need to make reservations for the big/weekend rail trips?
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Old 02-06-2009, 03:49 AM   #5
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French and Swiss trains tend to be pricey so you may want a three country pass with France, Switzerland and Italy. Once you get into Italy though, the trains are comparatively cheap (if considerably less modern).

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Old 02-06-2009, 02:30 PM   #6
 
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its all about how many countries you will be going to, and how many days you will be in each.
for me, i am hitting France, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Austria, Belgium, and Italy. and a railpass for getting alot of those countries can get REAL expensive.
im pricing out all of my point to point travels and its turning out to be a heck of a lot cheaper than a railpass.
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