Eurail

Is it worth using in 2023? Planning a 2-month trip in Europe beginning mid-June. People on Reddit say that you're better off buying train tickets as you go. Anyone have experience and care to share?

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  1. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    Don't prepay for train tickets. There's absolutely no need.

    If you book rooms through Airbnb, you should absolutely book rooms that offer a 100 percent refund up until a couple days before the trip. We planned to go to Germany from Prague, but while we were in Prague, I saw that a massive rain storm was going to hit Munich later that week, so we cancelled last minute and did Budapest and Vienna instead where it was 80 and sunny the whole time. We found some killer Airbnb deals in Czech and in Hungary. We met this Dutch dude who was staying in an Airbnb in Budapest for like $60 a night. Meanwhile, my gf and i found a massive luxury 2 bedroom Airbnb with a jaccuzi tub for like $100.

    • 11 months ago
      Anonymous

      can someone confirm this anon?
      my idiot friends want to buy train tickets for literally every part of the trip in Italy & Switzerland 6 weeks in advance so they get "discount rates" and so the trains won't be "sold out".

      • 11 months ago
        Anonymous

        Trains in Switzerland do not sell out, you can buy tickets the minute before the train leaves.
        There are limited contingents of discounted tickets, but if you’re in Switzerland for more than a couple days you should get a transport pass.
        That way you’ll be flexible and you’ll save compared to individual tickets.

      • 11 months ago
        Anonymous

        >trains won't be "sold out"
        most euro countries have an "open ticket" system where you dont book individual trains but rather a "right" to use transportation on a specific route and time frame because time schedules for european trains are merely estimates. for example you could buy a vienna to zurich ticket and that would be valid for 24 hours and it doesnt matter which specific trains you take to get to the destination. this has the downside that free seats arent guaranteed, especially on high traffic days and at rush hours.

        the train companies try to get people to use the less frequented trains by offering discounts on those and those can sell out as they are pegged to a specific train (for example the 11pm train on tuesday the 13th)

      • 11 months ago
        Anonymous

        If you don't want to pay too much for a decent train, yes, you absolutely need to book in advance. 6-8 weeks in advance or so.
        I definitely had been stranded before during summer, because all the Swiss ICs were sold out. Then again, it's really only an issue with long-distance ones. If you just travel a few stops at once, it should be fine. It's only the Swiss-Italy crossing that is really trick, or if you want to travel more than 300km at once within Italy.

  2. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    >Planning a 2-month trip in Europe beginning mid-June.
    You got to be more specific than this.
    Which countries are you going to visit?
    What kind of trains do you want to take?

    Eurail/Interrail used to be a no-brainer but nowadays there are many factors to consider:
    - in some countries it will be hard to break even due to fares being that much lower than a single pass day, e.g. in the Balkans and certain Eastern European countries
    - in some countries there are better single-country offers (e.g. Switzerland and nowadays Germany with their 49 euro all-German regional ticket)
    - in some countries you'll face mandatory reservation charges, sometimes you cannot even reserve tickets using the pass because of contingents (France)
    - last but not least, there are many early booking specials that will be cheaper than pass days, especially for overnight train (ÖBB Nightjet and their associated EuroNight services)

    Rail passes still win for their flexibility factor, but you do have to make sure to not get stuck in reservation hell, especially in France and Spain.

    • 11 months ago
      Anonymous

      >you do have to make sure not to get stuck in reservation hell
      tell me what that means and how to avoid it. is there a way to travel to/from France etc. without paying reservation fees?

      • 11 months ago
        Anonymous

        Most long distance trains (all TGV services and some others, including overnight trains) in France require you to have a seat reservation, i.e. you cannot board the train unless you have a ticket for that specific train.
        This is no problem for regular ticket holders because their tickets are bundled with a seat reservation, so if they have the ticket, they can take the train.
        Pass holders however have to reserve a seat and the SNCF has limited contingents of these reservations for each train.
        This means that even though you have a valid pass, you might not be able to get on the train you want, even though regular tickets are still available for purchase.
        Even worse, during peak holiday times, you might end up not being able to reserve seats for a given connection for days.

        How can you avoid it?
        You can take regional trains (TER, RER) but they're much slower and you may have to change often.

        • 11 months ago
          Anonymous

          It's not really an issue if you plan long distance trips in advance. If you reserve at least a week prior there will always be a TGV with remaining seats.

          • 11 months ago
            Anonymous

            Yeah, but it kind of eliminates one of the main advantages of a rail pass, being able to go wherever you want whenever you want.

            • 11 months ago
              Anonymous

              Well in any cases you're not gonna take the TGV every day... And if you do then without the pass it's going to cost you the price of a car so your point is not really valid because being able to take the tgv on a moment notice on a regular basis is not an argument against the pass, you won't be able to do it without it anyway.

  3. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    God I wish that was me.

  4. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    Don't listen to the gays who don't get it, Eurailing is the most kino way to discover Europe. Nothing even comes close.
    The ability to just hop on and hop off trains all over the continent so cheaply is just OP.
    No need to gay around on travel apps, in departure lounges or queueing up at ticket booths. Just rock up to the station whenver you want and jump on.
    Here's some insider tips:
    >Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague and Budapest are all less visited cities you definitely need to check, and are all well connected by high speed rail.
    >Sleeper trains save on accommodatoin and you usually get a hearty Continental Breakfast or English Breakfast when you wake up in the morning with fresh coffee
    >The Eurostar is a great experience, and a cheap way to connect the South of England to your adventure, just jump off at Folkestone to avoid the hustle and bustle of London and enjoy the beautiful coast
    >The rail network is so vast in Europe, you hardly ever need reservations. Things just work.
    >Make sure you try and get the first row on the top floop of double decker trains for an epic view

    • 11 months ago
      Anonymous

      >Prague
      >less visited
      Yeah maybe in 2002

    • 11 months ago
      Anonymous

      >Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague and Budapest are all less visited cities you definitely need to check
      Lol wut? Amsterdam, Prague and Berlin are literally crowded with tourists. You'd have a hard time finding more visited cities in Europe besides Paris and Rome.

      • 11 months ago
        Anonymous

        Well maybe you'll find some tourists if you're going to all the honeypot sites in the centre, but it's in the outskirts where all the main action happens.
        For me it's chilling in the Zuidoost district in Amsterdam, and cultivating poppies with the locals outside of Prague.

        • 11 months ago
          Anonymous

          Ah yes the honeypot sites. The sites everyone actually visits Amsterdam for. Zuidoost is still the center btw, don't act like you are all in the know here. Visit the Bijlmer or Gein see how you like that.

    • 11 months ago
      Anonymous

      So which countries would you recommend using a rail pass?
      France, Spain and Italy are absolutely out of question if you wan to go long distance, same for anything Thalys or Eurostar services.
      Eastern Europe comes to mind but many times you can just show up and buy a ticket at the station or even with the conductor for less than a pass could ever cost.

  5. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    It depends how you want to travel. But eurail is quickly profitable if you're going to move a lot from city to city. Train tickets can be expensive in Europe. And it gives you a lot of additional freedom. Personally I think for a touristic 2 month trip to discover Europe it's of course a no-brainer unless you're going to stay in two or three cities for 3 weeks at a time. You also have the option to rent a car but if you were planning to go by train anyway then yes eurail is a good option.

  6. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    I had a 2 month pass a long time ago. I was about 19 and it was my first time out of the US. Everything was so new to me back then. It was a great advantage not to worry about buying tickets. There were a few times I caught an overnight train to wherever just to save money on a hostel. It didn't matter where. If you follow the standard summertimes circuit you'll see some of the same people again on the train. I should have skipped southern Italy, just too many local cranks on the train. Just something about going too far south... Absolutely do it, imo.

    • 11 months ago
      Anonymous

      >the standard summertimes circuit
      what's that look like?

      • 11 months ago
        Anonymous

        generally:
        Amsterdam - Paris (3 Ducks hostel) - South of France - Milan - Switzerland (Balmers hostel in Interlaken) - Munich - Milan - Venice - Ferry from Brindisi to Corfu (everyone stays at the Pink Palace in Corfu)... and back and forth.

  7. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    Don't listen to the haters.
    Imagine this:
    >Meet qt3.14 in Valencia
    >Have flight booked to Paris
    >She wants to go to Madrid
    >byebye
    Nothing makes a pussy hotter than having a travel buddy to keep her safe and "be spontaneous" for her. The ability to merge travel plans and do whatever is huge.
    One of the best nights of my life was shacking up in a night train with a fresh clunge from the hostel, before saying goodbye to her and going about my way.
    Don't be an itinerary c**t with spreadsheets and travel apps. Just turn up, rock up, and hook up.
    As for reservations, you guys are just doing it wrong.

  8. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    yes. pay handsomely

  9. 11 months ago
    Anonymous

    I am a poor student, how much money should I have at my disposal and still be able to have fun?

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