Friday, August 15, 2014

Is EuRail Worth It?

Is EuRail Worth It?

We purchased Eurail global pass which is valid for 3 months (continuous travel, first class "saver" - which means you need to buy two to get a little discount) for 1,330 Euro per person before we started this trip. I wanted to see if it was really worth buying the EuRail pass so I've kept records of all our travels, cost for train tickets with & without EuRail pass.......Here is the summary.

DateCountryWithout EurailWith EurailNotes
Greece€34.05€24.05Kos to Santorini
Greece€38.05€26.69Santorini to Athens
5/28/2014Spain€25.55€4.35Algeciras to Granada
5/28/2014Spain€65.55€14.35Granada to Madrid
5/30/2014Spain€1.80€0.00Local Train
5/31/2014Spain€1.80€0.00Local Train
5/31/2014Spain€1.65€0.00Local Train
5/31/2014Spain€110.00€10.35Madrid to Barcelona
5/31/2014Spain€21.80€13.00Madrid to/from Toledo
6/2/2014Spain€1.80€0.00Local Train
6/2/2014Spain€1.80€0.00Local Train
6/3/2014Spain€1.65€0.00Local Train
6/3/2014Spain€1.65€0.00Local Train
6/3/2014Spain€1.80€0.00Local Train
6/7/2014Spain€4.10€0.00Barcelona to La Garriga
6/7/2014Spain€4.10€0.00La Garriga to Barcelona
6/8/2014Spain€13.50€0.00Barcelona to Cerbere
6/8/2014France€75.50€0.00Cerbere to Ventimiglia
6/8/2014Italy €30.00€3.00Ventimiglia to Milan
6/8/2014Italy €86.00€10.00Milan to Rome
6/11/2014Italy €32.50€0.00Rome to Naples
6/14/2014Italy €144.00€10.00Naples to Milan
6/15/2014Italy €51.50€10.00Milan to Venice
6/15/2014Italy €51.50€10.00Venice to Milan
6/15/2014Italy €40.00€3.00Milan to Ventimiglia
6/15/2014Italy €38.00€0.00Ventimiglia to Nice Ville
6/15/2014Italy €133.00€18.70Nice Ville to Paris
6/24/2014France€82.00€31.00Paris to Bruges
6/29/2014Belgium€75.60€0.00Bruges to Amsterdam
7/1/2014Netherlands€79.00€0.00Amsterdam to Bremen
7/3/2014Germany€28.00€0.00Bremen to Hamburg
7/3/2014Germany€85.40€0.00Hamburg to Copenhagen
7/6/2014Denmark€61.71€0.00Copenhagen to Goteburg
7/7/2014Sweden€63.18€0.00Goteburg to Oslo
7/9/2014Norway€110.12€0.00Oslo to Stavanger
7/18/2014Norway€110.12€0.00Stavanger to Oslo
7/19/2014Norway€103.97€24.00Oslo to Stockholm
7/25/2014Sweden€18.00€9.00Stockholm to Turku
7/29/2014Finland €29.00€14.50Helsinki to Tallinn
8/6/2014Germany€107.40€4.50Berlin to Prague
8/8/2014Czech€72.50€3.00Prague to Vienna
8/10/2014Austria€15.80€0.00Vienna to Bratislava
8/10/2014Austria€2.30€0.00Local Train
8/10/2014Austria€2.30€0.00Local Train
8/11/2014Slovakia€15.00€0.00Bratislava to Budapest
8/13/2014Hungary€109.00€50.00Budapest to Munchen
8/14/2014Germany€129.40€5.00Munchen to Zurich
8/14/2014Switzerland€2.73€0.00Local Train
8/15/2014Switzerland€2.73€0.00Local Train

So without EuRail global pass, we would have had to pay 2,317.91 euro for all above.
With EuRail pass we only paid 298.49 euro (as reservation fee).
Now....the cost of 3 months continuous EuRail global pass was 1,330 euro.
which means the total spent per person was really 1,330 + 298.49 = 1,628.49 euro.

2,317.91 - 1,628.49 = 689.42 euro. 

So, 689.42 euro cheaper by getting the EuRail global pass.

IF you just looked at these numbers, EuRail was definitely the right answer, and it probably was for us. BUT, the 'cost without EuRail' are all standard prices, so if you book the tickets in advance, chances are you can get them a lot cheaper. Also, if you travel second class, the price goes down quite a bit... And of course, there are other transportations other than trains, like discount airfare, ferries, bus etc.. and they can be cheaper in a lot of situations.

We were moving around almost everyday (as you can see from the record!) during the last two weeks of our Europe trip, partly because we had this EuRail pass and wanted to make the most of it. But it really was exhausting to be on such a tight schedule!

So my EuRail pass - Verdict:

Only recommended if you:
1) can't plan ahead all the travelling dates but you'll be in Europe for 3 months and be travelling extensively in those 3 months and continuously.
2) don't mind waiting in queue at every station to get your tickets reserved (or inquire if you need to reserve a ticket or not for that particular trip... sometimes you can get on the train without reserving a seat but we could only find this out by lining up in the queue and asking the customer service people. If you don't have EuRail pass, you can easily buy tickets at the machine or online* - so much easier....)

*There are lot of countries where you can get tickets at the machine (with EuRail too) but not everywhere. 

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