Travel Tips for Rail Travel Through Europe this Summer


NEWTON, Mass., March 23 /PRNewswire/ — If you’re planning a trip to Europe and using the trains to get around the continent, there’s good news. Prices are down significantly, but buy your ticket online before you go.

“You will save time and aggravation waiting in ticket lines, leaving you extra opportunities to relax and see the sights,” says Mike Fuller of RailPass.com, the most comprehensive source for planning and buying international train tickets and rail passes. “In fact, for some trains, seat reservations are required. Make sure not to skip this very important step, unless you don’t mind standing.”

Mike Fuller offers the following additional European rail travel tips:

* Plan your itinerary ahead of time using online trip planning tools like
RailSaver on http://www.railsaver.com/ and http://www.railpass.com/,
consumer websites like http://www.tripadvisor.com/, and printed
guidebooks like Let’s Go Europe. These resources will help you put
together a well-thought out, organized trip on any kind of budget.

* Buy a rail pass. Passes are almost always the best value, especially if
you plan to visit more than two countries. A pass also gives you
maximum flexibility, in case you decide to deviate from your plan.
Students in particular can benefit from discounted passes and the
ability to change plans on the go.

* Take advantage of the “7:00 P.M. rule” on your Flexi-Pass whenever
possible. If your journey begins after 7:00 P.M. it counts towards the
following day of travel, which means you get 29 hours of travel instead
of 24, and will only use up one day of your pass.

* If your goal is to get from one point to the other as quickly as
possible, keep your eyes peeled for high-speed trains on your desired
routes. New trains in Italy, like the Eurostar Italia Alta Velocita,
use advanced technology to make rail travel even more convenient by
offering much quicker routes between popular cities. However, these
high-speed trains require a supplement to your rail pass. If you don’t
mind a longer trip, hop on a slower train for great views and maximized
relaxation. You can get more information on these trains in Italy at
http://www.italiarail.com/.

* Take an overnight ride if you need to cover a lot of ground and want to
save a bit of money on hotels. Some trains offer couchettes and
sleeper quarters, and some even offer luxurious bedrooms complete with
a private bathroom. If you are less than a six-person party, and you
want some privacy, book first class seats that recline (called a
sleeperette) for your overnight trips to avoid being placed with
strangers in the same quarters.

* Don’t miss some of these top ten most scenic rail trips in Europe (according to Eurail):

– The Arlberg and Semmering Line in Austria
– Bernina Express in Switzerland and Italy
– Centovalli Railway in Switzerland and Italy
– The Flam Railway in Norway
– The Glacier Express in Switzerland
– The Golden Pass in Switzerland
– The Rauma Line in Norway
– Wilhelm Tell Express in Switzerland

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