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Train Travel Tips for Europe

 

Here are some things to remember about traveling by train in Europe:
Travel light! There is NO ONE to help you get on and off with your luggage.
Consider picking up some sandwiches and drinks before you get on the train. Dining cars are not available on every train and sometimes they are crowded and/or pricey or don’t have what you want.
Make reservations as soon as you know what train you want to take even if it’s days or weeks before especially if you are traveling in Europe during the summer or holiday periods. There is nothing worse than having to stand in the corridors created by the compartments on a train for hours because there are no seats available.
You can only buy Eurail Passes before you arrive in Europe. They are specially priced to attract business that they would not ordinarily have from local residents. Be sure to sign the Eurail Pass as soon as you buy it and certainly have it signed before you board a train for the first time. Conductors can be unpleasant and have the right to eject you from the train if your pass isn’t signed when you go to use it. You will be asked for your US passport information at the time of purchase so have that info available to save time.
Sleeping on the train is a great way to travel! Like a cruise ship that continues to the next destination while you are sleeping, the train kills two birds with one stone by moving you along your itinerary while you’re asleep and the cost of your train travel is offset by the savings of the hotel room you won’t need for that night.
Note that Eurail Passes are good in about 20 countries and specific packages exist for purchase for use only in Italy, only in France, etc. Eurail Passes are NOT good in the UK. For UK train travel, you need a BritPass. In general, the countdown to the expiration of your rail pass starts on the date of your first use so if you have a Eurail Pass good for two weeks, the countdown won’t start until the first train ride begins. There are BritRail passes that allow you to buy a package where you get a specific number of rides in a defined period of time. You can see that planning is essential so you don’t wind up spending the money and not using the number of rides you had hoped to take.
Train travel is a fabulous way to see the countryside, visit small towns, and arrive in the heart of cities. I love train travel!
Stephanie Abrams
Your Radio Show Travel Expert

--Gotta Fly Now!sm
Your Personal Travel Expert
Nationally syndiated radio show host
Stephanie Abrams

2 Responses to “Train Travel Tips for Europe”

  1. kennyweetra says:

    Hi,
    thank you very much for these tips. I agree, train is one of the best ways of transport in Europe.

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