Planning a trip around Europe? Well, you're in for a great experience. It's one of the most diverse continents, and you're bound to have a great time filled with unique experiences. While there are many modes of transport to get around the continent, not all are cost-effective.
Luckily, rail travel is one of the most affordable options for backpackers and budget travelers. A Eurail pass makes it even more convenient by offering travel access to most places with a one-off payment. But is it a cheap and flexible option for your itinerary?
Here's all you need to know about Eurail Pass!
What is a Eurail Pass?
A Eurail Pass is an all-in-one train ticket that will take you across more than 40,000 destinations. All it takes is one train ticket to travel around 33 European countries.
Eurail was founded in 1959, allowing travel across 13 European countries for non-European nationals. In 1972, Interrail was founded for European residents, and these two services continue to this day.
This is a significant difference to remember when you purchase your own Eurail Pass.
A Eurail Pass offers different packages depending on days and destinations while also giving discounts for the youth and elderly. If you're under 27 or over 60 years old, Eurail Pass has special discounts for you.
You can use the Eurail Pass mobile app to access its services. It's available for both Android and iOS devices. When you use your Eurail Pass, you have to record your journey. You can do this either on your Pass Cover or the mobile app. The app is more straightforward and better suited for this task.
Features of the Eurail Pass
Here are some of the top features a Eurail Pass offers.
Sometimes Eurail offers promotional packages depending on the location/destination. Be aware that these promotions are often non-refundable. Youth get up to 25% discounts on passes, while the elderly get up to 10%.
Children under 12 can also travel for free when accompanied by an adult. Apart from offers on passes, Eurail offers deals on travel insurance, SIM cards, hostels, and Airbnb.
If you are someone who can't deal with the stress of planning your trip, you can check the travel packages and suggested itineraries Eurail offers.
How to Use Your Eurail Pass
The Eurorail Pass can seem complicated, but it's pretty straightforward once you understand the basics. Once you've booked your pass, you must use it within 11 months. Once you start traveling, you must activate your paper pass at a major railway station.
If you find paper passes to be a hassle, you can switch to a paper-free mobile pass. You might have to make reservations if you take high-speed or night trains. So, be mindful of the routes and trains you'll be taking.
What is the Correct Pass for You?
You can choose between the Eurail One Country Pass and the Eurail Global Pass. This choice depends on many things, and the distance covered and the cost could help you choose which one suits you better.
One Country Pass
You can choose from one of the 29 European countries in the service and explore that entire country. This package also has 2 special combined passes for 2 regions.
The first is Benelux, which includes Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg.
The second is Scandinavia, which covers Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. The one-country pass has packages starting from $58.
Global Eurail Pass
This pass allows you to travel through multiple countries in Europe. There are many different packages available for this pass. The timeframe varies from 5 days within a month to 3 months of total travel time. The cheapest package available on this pass is $239.
Eurail Cancelation/Refund Policy
Most Eurail passes can be refunded or exchanged if your travel plans change, as long as you have yet to activate the pass. For most regular Eurail passes, an 85% refund is given back to the customer. Keep in mind that special promotions or deals may have different rules.
Benefits of Eurail Pass
A few key benefits of the Eurail Pass make it an excellent idea for some travelers. Here are the main advantages of Eurail.
Traveling Made Easier
The Eurail Pass, especially the global one, makes traveling within Europe much easier. Traveling through different countries would mean purchasing different train tickets and seat reservations in an unfamiliar language. But this pass ensures you can travel across the continent without going through all that.
Eurail has also partnered with many railway services, making traveling easier. Coupled with the deals on accommodation, Eurail can provide you with a well-rounded package when you travel.
Being allowed to wait 11 months until you're ready to use this travel pass is also a very generous offer. This gives you a lot of flexibility when planning your European adventure.
Train schedules and reservations are available on the Eurail website and mobile apps. Apart from information on railway services, you can also check ferry schedules available in some regions with special discounts for Eurail Pass holders.
Eurail also has information on connectivity between airports and railway stations, ensuring you can access your nearest train station once you're in Europe.
Drawbacks of Using Eurail Pass
The Eurail pass only covers some railway lines and routes in Europe. Before getting one, consider the destinations you plan to visit. Also, some companies don't accept Eurail passes, so double-check to ensure the trains on your journey accept Eurail.
Lack of Flexibility
Although Eurail offers flexibility, you'll still have to plan around the train schedules. In that case, hopping off a train and hopping on another is less convenient than it sounds.
Also, you have to make reservations well in advance for some trains. Otherwise, you won't be able to get a seat and may end up looking for an alternative mode of transport.
Is Eurail Pass Worth it?
A Eurail Pass is definitely worth it if you plan on exploring many European countries or at least one country extensively. This is not only efficient but also cost-effective since the majority of European public transport is subsidized.
Eurail is a great alternative for anyone who wants to do something other than constant long drives when traveling.
Our Rating: 4.7/5
- Flexibility around usage times
- One single, easy purchase
- Not all railways are available
- Dependent on train schedules
Make Traveling Europe a Breeze With Eurail and Pilot
Just like a Eurail Pass simplifies getting around Europe, Pilot makes planning your entire trip so easy!