Cheaper Alternatives to the EuRail

Hey, I’m a 20-year-old male university student who is flying into Dublin soon, and was interested in visiting other countries within Europe during my stay, specifically Scotland and Spain. I tried pricing it on the RailEurope website, but was a bit unnerved when the total came out to almost as much as my flight from Canada. I was wondering if anyone on here knows any cheaper alternatives to the Rail, or if I’m just stuck with it.

SonOfCyd 26/05/13    Budget travelIrelandScotlandSpain Link Report

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Ok, I just thought to check one trip that I do a bit (going this Thurs again) Basel to Copenhagen.

Firstly, prices might be shocking anyway, but I did an apples to apples comparison….

To book this trip 2nd class (sitting) with RailEurope, the price starts at 263 (USD, I guess since it is shown with dollar signs). Booking with http://www.sbb.ch, the no refund budget price is (converted) 259USD. One caveat is that I checked 26yo person, possible that it`s cheaper for 20yo.

The best idea for you now is to look into the many rail passes and etcs that exist and also look into bookings on the actual rail lines that service the route – SBB actually doesn`t service that route I showed above, it is a German Rail train.

Hope this is a little helpful, I know what a PITA it is trying to negotiate this junk – fortunately, my g/f works for German Rail, makes life a little easier ;)

PirateAt50 27/05/13    Link Report

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  • Damn Pirate, bet that comes in handy for a few free tickets! ;D

    Sonofcyd, to be honest mate the rail fares in the UK (and to a slightly lesser extent the rest of Europe) are a joke, they are an absolute rip off.

    To be honest you may just be better off getting a cheap easyjet or similar budget airline flight to Scotland or Spain. Check out skyscanner or book with airline websites direct.

    Michael Huxley 27/05/13    Link Report

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  • “bet that comes in handy for a few free tickets!”

    Ahem ;) Yup, Copenhagen for my birthday a couple weeks ago, Copenhagen for her birthday this weekend.

    DB is doing their best to destroy the City Night Line service, tis too bad. Restaurant car is fun at night.

    PirateAt50 28/05/13    Link Report

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  • Hi SonOfCyd,

    I’d second the advice to check out budget airlines: EasyJet and RyanAir start from around £30 one-way if you book early enough.

    As for trains, buying a Eurail pass will usually make train travel a lot cheaper. Have look at http://www.eurail.com for details.

    Oh, and if you don’t mind taking your time, it’s also worth investigating Eurolines (Europe-wide coaches). Bus travel might not be glamourous, but the fares are super-cheap (and they also offer a pass, if you plan to travel a lot: http://www.eurolines.com/en/eurolines-pass/).

    Have a great time!

    Ellie

    Eleanor Aldridge 28/05/13    Link Report

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  • Actually, you need to pick and plan your trips and check for any available deals, example, we were at the Bern railway station and saw a new deal, 5 day cards starting at 9am for the price of 4. I`m sure you`ll find similar deals at your local train station in Dublin or this site – http://www.scotrail.co.uk/

    and like this;

    16-25 Railcard
    An annual railcard that gives discounts to those aged 16 to 25.
    Save 1/3 on fares across Britain. For more information please visit http://www.16-25railcard.co.uk

    And to expand a bit into areas you didn`t really ask about… There was a good article on CNN recently about rail travel in Europe and how it will “grow” to encompass the needs of the future passenger. Rail Europe is a clearing house, set up make easy work of booking train travel across several rail networks. Doesn`t require an MBA to know that “easy” = them making money on the transactions.

    Rail travel in Europe is a bit unique, and often advantageous over air travel in some sectors, in that the main train stations are usually in the centers of business in the cities, i.e. Zurich Haupbanhof is in the center of the action, and while easy, the airport is another 15 mins by train.

    PirateAt50 28/05/13    Link Report

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  • Pirateat50, rail travel is a great way to travel i agree but it really depends where you are whether it is feasable or not. I’m from England and agree with michaelhuxley when he says trains here are an absolute rip off. There is a massive UK holiday promotional thing going on here at the moment with the government trying to get people to holiday in the UK, but it is too expensive! It’s like the train companies are purposely trying to price people onto other forms of transport on purpose!

    Stephanie L 29/05/13    Link Report

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  • “to be honest mate the rail fares in the UK (and to a slightly lesser extent the rest of Europe) are a joke, they are an absolute rip off.”

    You go that right in one, Michael. I’m going to the UK next year and have realised I can’t afford to catch the train.

    Pirate you lucky boy you – having “connections” in the rail industry.

    SonOfCyd – I’ve read you can get cheaper tickets if you’re under 26. Have you checked the Man in seat 61? http://www.seat61.com/Europe-train-tickets.htm#.Uaal1NguiSo

    Captain Courageous 30/05/13    Link Report

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  • Captain, try national express coaches when you are here. Theyre a lot cheaper than the walk in train prices and dont take that much longer. I use them all the time if im not flying.

    Michael Huxley 30/05/13    Link Report

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