I’d be willing to bet that every new traveler to Europe dreams of traveling by train.
Is that because the movies have made it seem so romantic? Or are the very expensive gas prices the culprit? Or do we just want to travel in a new fashion?
Well traveling by train might not be all that romantic ( face it, the rigors of just traveling aren’t romantic!) but it is a fun, easy and exciting way to travel while visiting the many European countries!
So you’ve made the decision to visit Europe and travel by train, now comes the decision whether to buy individual tickets or a rail pass. Here are 4 reasons to travel using a rail pass.
With a rail pass all you do is hop on any train. Most trains do not require seat reservations; just sit in any open seat. There are exceptions such as high speed trains (TGV), scenic trains (Glacier Express) or sleeper trains that do require a seat reservation or upgrade.
2. Fits any Itinerary
Rail passes can be purchased for a single country, multiple countries or even as a Global pass covering all 23 countries that participate in the Eurail program. Once you’ve set an outline of your itinerary, calculate the number of days you‘ll be traveling by rail to determine the best pass for you!
3. Fits any budget
You can purchase 1st or 2nd class rail passes. Keep in mind, 1st class pass holders can sit in 2nd class but this does not work the other way around! The individual rail passes are great but if you’re traveling as a group of 2-5 you may want to purchase the discounted saver passes. With the saver pass you must always travel on trains together!
4. It’s just plain easy!
Just check the rail schedule and go! It really is that easy.
When I am researching train options, including connections, I look at the Deutsche Bahn (German) website or OBB (Austria) website. They both have English options and are fantastic sites to help plan your European trip.
Remember, Eurail passes are only available to those living outside Europe and must be purchased prior to your departure. EU residents have their own pass, InterRail passes! If you’re an EU resident, Alma Books is offering a chance to win a 5-day InterRail Pass. For details visit Alma Books.