Frequent users benefit but infrequent travellers lose money. Yes?

  • 30 March 2022
  • 2 replies

I live in the US, am over 70 years old, and will travel to Europe later this year. I love trains and was thinking of buying a Eurrail pass while still in the US but I recently read in a Lonely Planet travel book that if one doesn’t travel by rail VERY FREQUENTLY, then it’s not worth buying a Eurrail pass. You see, I might stay in some city - say Paris or London - for more than 1 week. If I did that, then I’d lose money if I bought and used a Eurrail pass. Correct?? How often does one have to use the Eurrail pass in order to not lose money? Is using a Eurrail pass every few days best in order to get one’s money worth for the purchase of it?

2 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

It depends. If you have a consecutive pass of 1 month, then you'd indeed loose money if you'd stay in a few places a long time. But there are also flexi passes for a number of travel days, to be used within a period of 1 or 2 months (depending on the number of travel days). With a flexi pass, you can choose yourself when you use your travel days.

It's best to make a plan first, then see on how many days you will be travelling and then see what kind of pass would fit for that plan. You could then also check if buying normal tickets would be a better deal than a pass with reservations (where needed).

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

I also have stack of old LP-s, many from before 2000. They are out of date. New ones, also due to covid, seem not to be printed anymore, and since the OZzies sold them to BBC and then the english even onward, they seem also have gone the way of the dodo.

The whole plan of railpasses for EUrail has been changed considerably since 3 yrs (AFTER this LP was printed!!) and is now equal to the EUR-Only INterRail. You now get senior discount and can take 2nd cl and also ride in the UK.

Whereas it is true that seniors>60/65/67/70 in many countries can get discount, this is fairly often restricted to ONLY EU-nationals or requires to first buy a discount pass and then see if one can recoup that outlay.

If a pass is worthwhile or not-as rian also points out-depends on what trips you intend to make, if you are willing to preplan the whole thing by buying advance tickets and where/when you go. You have to do the math yourself.

NOte: there was a recent similar post of someone who linked an old US-pass-seller aimed at seniors: this was also NOT updated to the actual situation! Use THIS site for current info!

Best plan for you seems to me the 10 days in 2 month type-in 2nd that is about 350€/senior/no discount (can get today last day 10% off)-this will easily cover the longer trips. Also DO note that some countries are far more ´friendly´ to pass-holders as others-this whole forum is full of warnings about the REServations, surcharges etc for ESpana/FRance and ITaly.

BTW-it is also true that if you know where to look and book, a -budgetflight can often be cheaper as even that 35€-but then add the cost and time to reach airports both sides and all the hassles etc that always come with flying. And for real money-savers there are the BUSes-FLIX (yes, the ones who bought your trusted Greyhound some time ago) and/or blabla.