What are the Different Types of Rail Tickets in Europe?
Europe has a large network of railways that allow easy travel within a country or between neighboring countries. Choosing the right type of rail tickets for a person’s European trip is important, as traveling by train can be a budget-friendly option for those looking to travel to various locations throughout their stay. Eurorail global passes, flexipass, and country or regional passes are options for travelers. There is also a continuous pass and saverpass.
A Eurorail, also known as the Eurail, global pass is a great purchase for someone who is going to be traveling everyday. There are 15 day passes that allow a person to travel to 22 different countries, including Austria, France, Germany, Ireland, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. Hungary, Slovenia, Netherlands, and Belgium are also in the Eurorail network. Some global passes also include ferry transport.
A flexipass is for travelers that would like to stay and explore each city or area they are in for a few days before traveling to their next destination. Flexipass rail tickets allow a person to travel a certain amount of days in a month-long period. The Balkan flexipass allows a person to travel for five, 10 or 15 days within a month between Greece, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Serbia, Turkey and Macedonia. There is also a Eurorail and Swiss flexipass available.
Regional rail tickets allow a person to travel a certain amount of days within an allotted period of time to different parts of Europe. A person can buy a France and Spain, France and Italy, Austria and Germany, or a Hungary and Romania pass. There are many other regional options as well that allow a person to travel between neighboring countries. A Eurostar rail ticket, which allows travel between London, Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels, is another type of regional pass. Country-specific rail tickets are available, but travelers should research the cost-effectiveness of purchasing a pass, and if the rail line will take them to their destination in a timely manner.
Continuous passes allow a traveler to visit three, four, or five different countries. The person can travel between five and 15 days within a two-month period. There are first class accommodations available, but there is not a senior discount for adults. Youth passes, for people age 12 to 25 years old, do not have a first class option.
A saverpass is a money saving option for a group of travelers with two to five people. There is only one ticket, and each member of the group’s name is printed on this pass. The group must travel together in order to use the rail tickets.
The rail passes and extended -use cheap rail tickets sound like a good bargain, but I would be concerned that I might lose the pass or tickets, and then I would have to buy another one when I had already spent all of that money for the first one. I am always losing or misplacing one thing or another when I am traveling.
Also, I like to be spontaneous when I travel. I might get to Europe and decide I wanted to rent a car, but if I had already bought the rail tickets ahead of time then I would feel obligated to use them.
If you're going to travel on the train when you vacation in Europe, I highly recommend that you buy one of the rail passes. And the best way to see Europe is by train.
The rail passes save time because you don't have to spend time waiting in line to buy a ticket, and of course they save you money. Living in the U.S., I had no idea that you could buy a pass that would allow you to travel from country to country without buying additional tickets. I love the convenience of the rail passes.
The first time I went to Europe, I went with my brother, and neither one of us did much research before the trip. We didn't know how the train systems worked, so when we first arrived we were simply buying tickets as we decided where we wanted to go on the trains.
I don't remember how much money we were spending, but it was enough. About halfway through the trip, a friend in France explained to us all of the different cheap ticket options that were available for train travel. If we had known about this from the beginning of the trip we would have saved a lot of money.
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