1: How to Use A Eurail Pass
The Eurail global pass is a time limited rail ticket that allows unlimited train travel in Europe for a set cost. You can buy a general pass or location-specific passes, such as the ones for Britain or for the Benelux region. Time periods vary, but common lengths are 14 or 21 days.
2: Eurail Pass Restrictions
If you have lived outside of Europe for more than six months, then you can get your Eurail Pass with ease. If you have an out-of-Europe address you could try to fudge it or – better yet – buy an Interrail pass which will probably be cheaper.
3: How can you get one
You can buy a Eurail pass through Eurail Deals and in real life through a travel agent. Online is easy, and usually the shipping is free.
4: Is The Eurail Worth It?
Before buying a Eurail Pass it helps to know how much you would spend on train travel without it. In some European countries, train travel is quite cheap and the day’s journey might cost a fraction of the daily cost of your Eurail pass: Do your homework.
It’s much cheaper to get Eurail pass if you’re under 26, or a senior. However, the more expensive passes give you access to first class. To save money, get your Eurailing done before you hit the magic number! There are also discounts if you’re travelling as part of a group, so get some friends together together before you buy.
6: Watch for seat reservations
On some services, especially high-speed intercity trains seat reservations may be compulsory. Seat reservations tend to be more common in the south (like Spain and Italy). These reservations must be bought in advance from a local ticket office. Most journeys, however, don’t require supplements or reservations. If you want to upgrade your seat to a couchette or sleeper then a reservation must be made and supplementary costs paid. Sad but true.
7: Beware private lines
Not all train lines are part of the system. In fact, when I was traveling in Switzerland I ended up on a private line which cost me a whopping 120 extra euros. Make sure your train is covered by the pass or expect to pay for the consequences.
8: Bring Documents/ID
The Eurail pass is attached to your name and passport number, it’s important to keep them both easy-to-access when you’re on the train. I had my passport checked about one time in five when I was asked to produce my tickets. This isn’t about border control, it’s about ticket control. It’s best to keep it in an internal jacket pocket or an accessible part of your bag.
9: Plan a little
The Eurail Pass gives you the ability to jump on and off any train which can lead to spontaneous decisions with divine results. But if it doesn’t work out, you might get stranded in a town for a few hours more than you bargained for. Or you might arrive in a seedy station late at night. You don’t want to spend your European vacation admiring the train stations’ architecture. Or then again, you might. I don’t know.
Tip 10: Seasonal sales
The Eurail company closely controls ticket prices, they do offer occasional discounts. You can get reduced price passes by keeping an eye out for seasonal sales, so your ticket agent may be able to help you by suggesting you wait a week or two at certain times of the year.
More Eurail Travel Reads:
The French Riviera by Eurail Pass: Marseille via Posterous
The French Riviera by Eurail Pass: Monaco via Typepad
Zagreb, Croatia: An Upcoming Tourist Hot-Spot via WordPress
Eurail train pass summer tour: Sicily via Publr
Eurail Train Pass Summer Tour: Cologne via WordPress
Eurail Travel Guide via Wiki Travel