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Hey, would appreciate advice on my itenary for Sept-Nov 09

Travel Forums Europe Hey, would appreciate advice on my itenary for Sept-Nov 09

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11. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 7y

How do I prebook my train travel?

If you don't have a Eurail pass - online. Buying tickets in advance over the internet gives you some good discounts.

Do you just mean go to the station a day or two before the train departs

Yes, that is the thing. That is also the time to shell out for supplements if there are any.

and purchase my reservation aboard the train?

That is impossible - reservation implies that you reserve your seat/couchette/whatever in advance. You have to go to the ticket counter in the train station to do that.

BTW, have you done the math yet regarding pass vs. point to point? I suppose you already know what a travel day on the Eurail Select pass will cost you.

[ Edit: Edited on 20-May-2009, at 22:22 by t_maia ]

12. Posted by quick90 (Budding Member 18 posts) 7y

Hey t_maia

I'm going to be buying a eurail pass online before I go.

What I meant by "and purchase my reservation aboard the train? "

Was like, at the train station, to purchase the reservation for my seat. When I said aboard the train I meant like my seat aboard the train, not literally purchasing the reservation while on the train. A little misunderstanding haha

13. Posted by Redpaddy (Inactive 1004 posts) 7y

It is possible to get a flight from Ibiza to Milano with EasyJet - for under €25 one way in the height of the summer season. A one way train booked in advance from Milano to Rome, not using an international train - costs around €40 one way.
Alternatively, Ryanair fly non-stop from Ibiza to Rome (again peak season) for €66 one way (under 2 hours).... Easy.
Incidentally, just about every rail ticket in the whole of Europe (both Eastern and Western) that is over 200 kms in distance will automatically come with a reserved seat, whether bought on the day or in advance - at either the station or through a rail agent.
The Oktoberfest was a real let down for me. Just a load of tents, tables and endless buckets of lager, with one or two dark beers mingling (almost hidden) in the background. The entertainment (if you can call it that) was just so tacky. There was plenty of fighting going on too - with the cops having a very busy time. Also if it's really busy, they sometimes ask you to leave after a few hours to vacate the area for the next coach. A litre of beer is usually around €8.
If you get to Amsterdam and you have a definate date, then check out what's happening in Antwerpen (Belgium) as far as beer festivals are concerned. It's so more switched on for the 'Real' beer drinker and has literally thousands of different brands on offer. A train from city to city takes between two and 3 hours.

14. Posted by quick90 (Budding Member 18 posts) 7y

Hey Redpaddy,

I've actually even found cheaper flights going to Rome with ryanair, probably because I am going in September.

If I have a Eurail pass my understanding is that you still need to go to the train station a day or two before the train leaves in order to pay the reservation fee on the train. I believe a Eurail pass is the best way to go for this trip. Would you think so?

What does everyone else here think about Oktoberfest? Worth going to?

As well, if I were taking a sleeper train into Munich so that I get there early in the morning, and then left late that night on a sleeper train, are there lockers I could pay and put my luggage in? I'm assuming there would be?

Braden

15. Posted by Rena13 (Full Member 24 posts) 7y

Hey there Braden,

I think that t_maia is suggesting a different way of doing things. Rather than buying a eurail pass (which are expensive), the suggestion is that you buy individual tickets or point to points. From what I've read, it is cheaper but it does seem to involve going onto a lot more different train websites and booking tickets online and from what t_maia seems to say, going to the ticket counter to get your seat????? I'll be the first to admit I don't know about that. This uses up time that I just didn't have when I travelled by train around parts of Europe. But maybe the ticket counters wouldn't be as rampant in September.

When I booked a global pass through Rail Europe (which I think is just the Australian version) I paid in advance for everything online, booked and reserved seats/sleeper cabins online (for which I had to pay supplements) and received my tickets/bookings and pass through the post before I left. That's how I could just rock up and get on the train. I didn't have to go anywhere near ticket counters.....but I'm sure I paid for it!!

You have to do some research for yourself and weigh up what is going to work for you - time vs money . I'm not too sure on this but there do seem to be different rules regarding whether you're from inside the European union too when it comes to passes etc. but don't quote me on that.

The following site can give you links to individual train companies in Europe:

http://www.seat61.com/

There is also a link on the aboves home page çalled "How to buy European ticket if you live in the USA, Australia" which will give you info on buying tickets online without buying the pass (point to point tickets). It is a brilliant site for info. Read, research and then work it out from there.

Good luck. It can be a bit of a headache at first but planning an adventure is half the fun....you'll get there in the end.

Rena

16. Posted by quick90 (Budding Member 18 posts) 7y

Hmm I think a eurail pass would be much much simpler. LOL

17. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 7y

Eurail passes are more for people who want to stay flexible. People who don't know when they will be moving on or where they are going to. They might have a rough plan, but are willing and able to change it on a moment's notice.

But since you got an almost fixed initiary already it won't be a big problem for you to use point-to-point tickets. At the very least you should do a comparision of prices.

Enter everything into an Excel spreadsheet. Write down every single train trip you are going to take. Look at the surcharges for each train trip you'd pay with the Eurail pass and the (approx.) price of train, bus or plane travel for this trip with point-to-point tickets.

http://www.ricksteves.com/rail has a good tutorial for comparing Eurail vs. point-to-point.

I would especially look into whether combining the 10-day in 2 months Flexi pass with point-to-point doesn't work out cheaper than the 15-day Flexi pass.

18. Posted by quick90 (Budding Member 18 posts) 7y

I checked rick steves rail price diagram a while ago, and I just rechecked it. It would be MUCH cheaper to go with a rail pass according to the prices he lists. But then again, checking prices manually does bring up cheaper fares than he lists. I think the 10 trip global pass plus a couple cheap point to points is def the cheapest way to go.

[ Edit: Edited on 21-May-2009, at 19:08 by quick90 ]

19. Posted by quick90 (Budding Member 18 posts) 7y

Ok guys, I've changed the trip down a little...knocked one day off Zagreb, cut out Bucharest, and plan on hitting Athens after Zagreb. Since it is a 30 hour train ride from Zagreb to Athens, I am considering cutting out Zagreb and flying from Munich to Thessaloniki. The flight would only be 29 euros incl. tax/fees. Would I be missing out much by cutting out zagreb and extending my stay in Athens a few days? Thanks for the advice, Braden

[ Edit: Edited on 27-May-2009, at 13:06 by quick90 ]

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