Confused about the Eurail Global Pass

  • 20 December 2022
  • 6 replies

Dear All:

I am Kathy form Peru. I am in the midst of understanding the Eurail Global Pass as I am going to visit Europe for the first time. Enquiries below is what come across me when I plan my travel itinerary:

I am planning to purchase a Eurail Global Pass 4 days in 1 month: on the eurail website it says that I can travel from 3 to 5 different destinations with this plan. When I go to "Plan your trip" they ask me "Where do you want to go first?" Actually I want to go to Paris first by train but from Barcelona and this is what confuses me: when I put that I want to go to Paris first they don't ask me from which city I will travel to Paris and automatically just because I put Paris as the first destination without them knowing from wich city I will travel to Paris they already charge me $82.


The itinerary that I want is Barcelona-Paris, Paris-London, London-Bruges (Belgium), Bruges-Paris. These are 4 trips, but when I put on the eurail website this itinerary it says that is a “5 days trip”, so the “4 days in 1 month Global Pass is not enough.

On the other hand, another itinerary that could work for me will be Paris-London, London-Bruges (Belgium), Bruges-Paris that are 3 trips, but again for me it doesn’t match with the website because in this case the website says that is a “4 days trip” when actually is 3 trips.


Please help me!!!


Wen Shui, Lee

7th June 2022 


Best answer by BrendanDB 20 December 2022, 09:35

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are 4 journeys and 4 travel days. The Eurail planning tool does sometimes not work very well so you better use other ways of doing your planning.

I add some useful information in a new reply.

Userlevel 7
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Here is some useful information from the experienced travellers in the Community regarding both planning, reservations and activation of pass and travel days. 


The rail planner is normally not up to date, as it only is updated once a month, so to be sure of the time table you better check the timetable and availability on the websites of the national railways. The bigger national railways, like DB (Germany) SBB (Switzerland) and ÖBB (Austria) cover several countries. 


The advice from the experienced travellers in the community is to use other ways to make reservations than the Interrail/Eurail website.  You can look at the guide in the link:

If you, after having looked at the guide, have questions about how to make specific reservation, please give your travel details (departure date, time and route) preferably in a new topic, and you will get advice.

Please note that Interrail/Eurail charges an extra fee of 2 EUR per person and train in addition to the fee for the seat reservation.

 Activation of pass (mobile pass)

During the activation process, when you choose the start day of the validity of the pass, the first day of the validity period is automatically made a travel day, even if you don't enter a journey, the advice is therefore not to activate the pass before the first travel day as you only can deactivate the pass before 00.00 on the day the validity starts. If your travel plans change in the last moment you will loose travel days if you have activated the pass in advance.

It can be wise to make a test and activate the pass with a start date well in the future and then deactivate the pass immediately, just to see that everything works.

 Activation of travel day (mobile pass)

The advice from the experienced travellers in the community is also never to activate a travel day, that is connect a journey to your pass and create the ticket (QR code), until just before boarding the train, otherwise you might loose a travel day if your travel plans change in a late stage  You can't delete a travel day in the past. A travel day can only be deleted until 23.59 CET the day before the travel day.

Userlevel 7
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There is a limited number of pass holder seats on the Eurostar between London and mainland Europe and on popular departures and during high season those sell out weeks, and sometimes months in advance.

The best place to see the availability of passholder seats and make reservations on the Eurostar is

Press "later trains" and eventually you will find the next available connection. 


If you have a mobile pass you need to generate a Pass Cover Number in order to make the reservation at b-europe. You do that here in the PCN generator:

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Warning to above-again: again you have chosen about the very worst route possible-whereas indeed it should be able to do in 4 days, both the €* and also a tiny little bit less this Direct TGV Bcn-P are among the trains hardest to get and with also hefty surcharge for the mandatory RES-yes, in fact this RES alone can be nearly as much as a very cheap flite between these cities. And beside that also among the worst that can be hit by strikes etc-happened quite a few times last monthes.

You did not clearly state for what period, you could also check what a normal booking would cost for each trip- from LON there is also an ´any stop in BE´ fare that cost just a little more as to BRussel.

IF money is also an object and you are not bent on using trains only, also check what a bus would cost, at least for the 3 last trips. Takes longer, can cost much less: FLIXbus and/or blablabus.

Not to discourage you, but we have seen so many complaints and panick, mostly from 1st timers on this forum that a realistic view can prevent a little.

Also double check what the entry rules for Peruvianos are for the Schengen area and UK-as you now leave and re-enter as UK is out of it.

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I agree with @mcadv . If you’re now looking to plan a trip, in e.g. 6 months, you might be cheaper by buying ordinary tickets. The cost of a pass day + reservation cost, on the fastest trains on your preferred route is the same cost of a pass-day + seat reservations (easily 30 Euro’s per seat on every international train on your route.)

Cheapest Eurostar tickets are about 60 EUR one way, Bruges-Paris for about 30 EUR when wisely combining with cheap local Belgian tickets. Barcelona Paris is more expensive, in total but still a better deal with single tickets than a pass + reservations.

If you want to travel sooner, in like a month, it would be very wise to check availability of seat reservations. Especially on Eurostar and the Barcelona-Paris TGV. These sell often weeks in advance out in busy periods (check @AnnaB links).

Best compare all the prices for your travel wishes via

Userlevel 7
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If you want to travel sooner, in like a month, it would be very wise to check availability of seat reservations. Especially on Eurostar and the Barcelona-Paris TGV. These sell often weeks in advance out in busy periods (check @AnnaB links).

Since 11 December, the Paris - Barcelona TGV does not seem to have limited pass holder quota anymore. Which is good news and only fair considering the €35 reservation costs.