So, the European Tour is on your mind this year! What better way to travel than the Eurail Tour which connects the travelers to more than 30 countries across Europe. While you may get all prepared to embark the journey on the Eurail, there are few subtleties which will help you prepare for that trip.
#1. Understanding How To Activate Your Eurail Pass?
The Eurail Tour passes might be available to you long before you start your trip. But there is still something you must keep in mind is that holding the pass itself is not enough. You need to activate it at the station from where you start your journey. Normally, the passes are valid for 6 months from the date of purchase. When you start your trip, it is essential that you reach for the ticket office of any of the major stations to activate your passes before you start the trip. Once you activate your passes, the validity dates of the pass are endorsed on the First Day and Last Day columns of the pass. Depending upon the validity of the pass, it is now ready for your trip.
#2. Recording The Travel Dates On Your Pass:-
Once you start tripping around from one station to the other, the travel calendar at the bottom helps you to record the dates of your travel. One travel date or calendar day corresponds to a 24 hours, from midnight to midnight, and if planned wisely, the same hours can be saved enough for a round trip. Just hold on, till I tell you how!! Remember, that every time you board and disembark a train, it is essential that you carefully enter the dates on the Travel Calendar, or you might end up with a penalty at the next station for improper update of your passes.
#3. The 7 p.m Rule?
Simply put, the 7 p.m rule allows you to save travel hours if you boarded anytime after 7 p.m of a day and disembark the next day before 4 a.m, even if you get off after 4 a.m. This means you can save 5 hours of journey time from your previous day, if you board a night train after 7 p.m. The rule is applicable on a Flexipass such as the Global Pass. This rule can save you lot of travel hours if used intelligently and save you enough hours for a round trip.
#4. Continuous v/s Flexipass?
So, which one is more lucrative, you might think. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages. While the Flexible Pass allows you to venture and explore the cities at leisure, it might extend your stay, and add up to the costs of your stay for the extended period. The Continuous Pass allows you to cover more destinations in a short period. The Continuous Pass is more beneficial for families traveling with children between 4-10 years of age, as the entire trip is free for them. The 7 p.m rule is applicable to both the passes and can be used throughout the process of journey.
#5. Round Trip v/s One Way Trip
With a Continuous Pass, it might not be possible to take a round trip as the trip is usually from source to destination and not to the source. In that case a combination of Eurail with Rail-Europe bookings will be helpful. While the former allows travel with limited options of regional passes, the same gaps can be filled up using the Rail-Europe bookings. For example, the Western Europe Global Pass covers the following countries:
Paris (France) ——-> Geneva (Switzerland) ——> Interlaken (Switzerland) ——> Innsbruck (Austria) ——> Salzburg (Austria) ——> Munich (Germany) ——> Berlin (Germany)——> Amsterdam (The Netherlands) —–> Bruges (Belgium)
#6. Reservations! Why Do You Need One?
Though the Eurail Passes might be the easiest way for you to connect across multiple countries in Europe, but there will be instances where you will need to change trains within the routes where the passes reservation might not be applicable. This happens because of the traffic en-route and while some of the transits may not require reservations in between, some of them actually do. This ensures that you get a reserved seat for yourself while you board the trains from one region to another. Look closely in the itinerary for these symbols when you are changing trains.
This will help you to know before hand whether you need to do a reservation when changing routes and also prevent you from being fined.
#7. Night Rail Options
The Night Rail options help you to save on a lot of travel expenses as it is a self-sustained budget hotel. It is often a great idea to plan your travel during the day and try to take the trains usually after 9:00 pm, as that fits both the 7 p.m Rule and saving on your budgets.
#8. What Benefits Does The Eurail Pass Offer?
With the power of the Eurail Passes, discounts and benefits follow. You can avail domestic and International discounts as well as free benefits with your passes. For example, you can also undertake certain part of your journey on the European Ferry Routes using you Eurail Pass at discounted prices or free. Just make sure that to avail the discount or free ferries, your pass must be valid in both the country of departure and arrival.
For domestic ferries, the pass must be valid within the country of travel. On an overnight ferry between Greece and Italy (provided both the countries are on your pass), you can choose to put the date of any one of the days, arrival or departure. This saves you one complete travel day.
#9. Deals And Discounts
When you travel in a family, the children between the age of 0-11 yrs. can avail free travel on the same passes. A saver pass helps you to avail discounts with a Saver Pass. With a family though, you can only travel on a First Class Trip, if you are a student, then you can also save bucks by traveling Second Class.
Make hassle free calls back home with the Free Eurail SIM Card with an € 18 credit on your SIM Card as you order your Eurail Global Pass. What more, the passes are delivered home via Free Shipping. A Free Travel Wallet with your Eurail Pass prevents your pass from damage as you venture unhindered on your escapades.