I’ve been living in Europe for the past ten months teaching English in Madrid, Spain. One of my favorite parts of living in Europe is how well connected the continent is and how easy it is to explore and visit other countries. Like a kid in a candy shop I’ve travelled at every opportunity I’ve had and am fortunate to say I’ve made it to 20 European countries this year. After testing out planes, trains and automobiles, I have to say I’ve found no better way to travel through Europe than by rail.
Need a few reasons to give train travel a shot? Well, train travel allows you to experience the scenery and landscape of the countries you visit, not just the cities you sightsee in. With trains, there’s no baggage fees, no long waits to get through security checks and rarely delays. Train stations are usually located very centrally so you can just hop off and begin to explore without worrying how to find a bus or taxi to the city center.
By far the most convenient and cost efficient way to travel by rail in Europe is with a Eurail pass.
The Eurail pass lets you travel on trains run by national train operators in up to 27 European countries. There are a wide range of European rail passes that can be customized based on how many countries you want to visit and how many travel days.
Europe can be overwhelming to navigate, especially for first time visitors, but the Eurail Customer Service team are experts on helping you decide what pass is right for you and how to fit highlights into your itinerary. They respond to emails within 24 hours or Facebook page posts in 8 hours.
Eurail knows that planning your trip to Europe is a big part of the fun. Their website has a number of itinerary ideas to get you started and the Eurail map shows the approximate travel times between popular cities to give you an idea of the amount of time you’ll need.
Admittedly, the prices of Eurail passes may be a shock at first, but, from my experience of traveling both with and without a pass, passes save you money in the long run if you are travelling to more than three cities.
Eurail passes are also great for family travel. Two or more adults can get a group discount with a Saver Pass, there are special rates for children under 12 and children under 4 travel for free. Travelers under age 26 also qualify for a youth rate.
This summer I will be ending my European adventure with a one-month trip through Portugal, Spain, France, Monaco and Italy. Thanks to Eurail, I will be travelling with a one-month global pass. Let the planning begin!