Eurail gift pass

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bobsmith1492

Diamond Member
Feb 21, 2004
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Hello everyone,

Has anyone used the "Eurail" passes? My brother will be studying abroad in Spain and I wanted to give him a pass for Christmas.

What does it mean by a four-day pass? Does that mean 96 hours of traveling? Or can you only take four trips? Their site hasn't been very helpful yet...

Thanks!
 

Demo24

Diamond Member
Aug 5, 2004
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4 days as in you can use it to go anywhere for 4 chosen days. He can hop trains all 24h in that period as much as he likes, but to go for 25 he would have to use a 2nd 'day'.
 

bobsmith1492

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Feb 21, 2004
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Thanks Demo24; any idea if that is a good deal for 170'E'? Or is it easier or better to just get tickets as you go?
 

TheWart

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Dec 17, 2000
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Thanks Demo24; any idea if that is a good deal for 170'E'? Or is it easier or better to just get tickets as you go?

The passes tend be a good deal if you are covering a lot of ground. When I studied in France, I got the 4 or 5 day pass and it was great, because i was able to go from Marseille to Nice to Rome (and then venice iirc) all in one day, and then do the reverse for my return trip. If he is just going to be going Madrid-Barcelona, then it is not really a good deal.

Considering how far you can go in one day on the train system, ~40 euro per day is pretty cheap.
 

bobsmith1492

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Feb 21, 2004
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The bus is more convenient? Is there a way to get a monthly pass in advance, or do you know of a good site showing bus companies and/or routes?
 

TheWart

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Dec 17, 2000
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The bus is more convenient? Is there a way to get a monthly pass in advance, or do you know of a good site showing bus companies and/or routes?

Not having traveled a lot in Spain, I am not going argue with someone who says the bus is better in-country, but if your bro is looking to travel around Europe, the Eurail pass would be a great gift. The bus system is fine for local short-haul trips, but anything over a few hours I would think rail would be far better.
 

bobsmith1492

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Feb 21, 2004
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I'm going to visit for a couple of weeks during his break and we're going to travel a bit... thing is, with 4 days of travel, that's really just 3 places we can visit with 1 day of travel in between on a 4-day pass.

We want to get out of Spain though; he'll be there for months, and wants to see more of Europe and I would too. So perhaps the rail...
 

TheWart

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Dec 17, 2000
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fwiw, I think the rail pass would be a great gift, and one that I would have been thrilled to receive before heading out for my semester abroad.
 

bobsmith1492

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Feb 21, 2004
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fwiw, I think the rail pass would be a great gift, and one that I would have been thrilled to receive before heading out for my semester abroad.

I'm thinking about it but it sure is expensive! The 1.43:1 exchange rate doesn't help.
 

DaWhim

Lifer
Feb 3, 2003
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Not having traveled a lot in Spain, I am not going argue with someone who says the bus is better in-country, but if your bro is looking to travel around Europe, the Eurail pass would be a great gift. The bus system is fine for local short-haul trips, but anything over a few hours I would think rail would be far better.

I spent 3 weeks traveled about 10 cities in spain. The only time I have taken a train was from grananda to ronda, other than that it was only with bus.

train by rail makes sense depends on the country. for spain, it is pretty useless. it will be useless in italy too, since the train system is very efficient and cheap. i could show up on the day and buy the ticket still beating the cost of the railpass.

I am not dissing the railpass, for some countries like UK and germany, it is worth to have it. if you buy it on the day you travel, it will cost you an arm or a leg.
 

DaWhim

Lifer
Feb 3, 2003
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I'm thinking about it but it sure is expensive! The 1.43:1 exchange rate doesn't help.

you should be happy. 2 weeks ago, it was 1.49:1 exchange rate.

if you are gonna get your brother something, go with cash. give him like 200euro american express traveler check. he will probably be happier than the railpass, i would too.
 

Demo24

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Aug 5, 2004
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Thanks Demo24; any idea if that is a good deal for 170'E'? Or is it easier or better to just get tickets as you go?

Yeah, that sounds good. Depending on how far you go 170e can be a lot cheaper than just buying tickets as you go. With a Eurail you can hop trains as your discretion so your travel times don't have to be so strict.

However, I believe it to be cheaper to get a pass that only allows you to go to certain countries. So, choose which ones you wish to visit and make a pass out of that.

Just know this won't let you on some regional trains, so that's always a way to see stuff in a country that's relatively close.
 
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