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Sweden-Germany-UK, December-January

  • 17 November 2022
  • 8 replies
  • 144 views

Hi!

I am going to travel from Sweden to Germany and the UK in December-January. It seems like an Interrail pass will provide more flexibility and less costs than booking with the separate train lines, but I have a few concerns regarding this. First, I would still have to book seat reservations to be sure to be allowed on the train (in most cases, especially from Germany to the UK?) Second, seat reservation tickets for UK trains will be posted per mail which means I cannot be spontaneous about the exact date, and I have to book and receive these tickets before I leave for Germany? This seems to make it rather inflexible. (And I read about a nightmare scenario where one customer had to buy a full price UK Eurostar ticket despite having an Interrail pass!)

 

Then a few other questions. Can I expect discounts on most regional buses? Would I need to buy a completely new pass / separate tickets if I notice that the period of time / number of travel days won't be enough? Does December-January usually count as peak season (considering Xmas and New Years). (How far in advance would I need to book each trip)?

 

I hope you can help me.

Thanks, Felicia

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Best answer by AnnaB 17 November 2022, 17:13

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8 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Nej, du har INTE Rabatt mit Landesbusse-only here+there. Most people hardly ever use these anyway. And in many countries these cost very, very little. In UK f.e. there will be a flat 2GBP fare on them from 1/1/23

Except when they run as rail-replacement due to works on the tracks.

dear anna B fra ocksa Sverige will also come along and post many useful tips. Seems there are also fb groups where these things are handled pa svenska.

@1. there are NO direct trains at all fra DE till GB-only this €* from Brussel/BE or Paris/FR-see anna overveiw

@2.You do NOT need mandatory to RES in GB-though for some busy days and for some specific routes this MAY be advisable-can do Fritt och Gratis-by yourself at any counter (and yes, other as SJ they still have plenty of that there), show pass, tell wishes-wait 10 secs.

@3-yes, you cannot add days to a pass-if you need more traveldays as thought before, you have to buy either new pass or-this is very old fashioned and sometimes a shriek for people only used to fones: check what normal/advance tickets would cost for some shorter trips and see if that maybe is a better money saver.

Userlevel 7
Badge +7

The most important reservations are Eurostar (book as soon as you know your travel dates, e.g. via Interrail or B-Europe) and any long distance trains in Sweden (book via sj.se), especially around the holidays. Reservations from Copenhagen to Germany and in Germany are also a good idea around the holidays. Copenhagen - Brussels is best booked via DB (use “Seat only”).

UK day trains all have optional reservations (the app is wrong where it says reservations required for UK day trains) but on some routes it's wise to book them. They're free of charge at a UK ticket office or via the GWR website.

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

Hej Felicia!

Här kommer lite info.

There is a limited number of pass holder seats on the Eurostar 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 

https://www.b-europe.com/EN/Booking/Pass#TravelWish

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:

https://community.eurail.com/news-and-announcements-39/pass-cover-number-generator-is-live-5653

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

Lite mer info.

 

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

 Planning

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. 

 Reservations 

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:

https://community.eurail.com/train-connections-reservations-47/how-to-get-reservations-105

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

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

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.

Hi, thanks for your answers. But I’m a bit confused regarding the Eurostar tickets. Will I be able to receive these as printable E-tickets which I could print at any station in for example Germany, or do I need to wait for them to arrive by regular mail (please no 😖)?? And is it best to book them via Eurostar directly or via for example DB?

And has anyone had a better experience booking separate tickets or do you still recommend Interrail??

Cheers

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

You need to do the maths yourself to see if normal tickets or Interrail+ the needed reservations are cheaper. The price for normal tickets raise more and more when you get closer to the departure date. The price for Interrail+ reservations stay the same.

You can start by checking the price for normal tickets on the Eurostar the days you want to travel.

When I calculated our journey (family of 3), it worked out to be significantly cheaper with using interrail passes & booking reservations. But this may be different if you’re travelling off-peak. We prioritised booking the Eurostar tickets first as we heard they go more quickly. Then we planned the rest of our trip based on that. We’re travelling UK - Sweden - UK between December & January. The only thing currently holding us up is waiting for SJ to fix their system for interrail discounts to apply to their night trains between Hamburg & Stockholm.

As a note: our journey from the UK is going to be London St Pancras - Amsterdam Centraal - Duisburg Hbf - Hamburg-Altona (from 6am to 18h) then we’re hoping to catch the Hamburg - Stockholm Night train once we can book it.

Userlevel 7
Badge +10

In case it hasn’t been answered when you book E* with the B-Europe link you can have the reservations e-mailed and as long as you can show the QR code in the reservation PDF they will accept it on your phone. You can also print at home. You need to show the reservation to be allowed into the departure area.

Domestic UK train reservations are also sent by e-mail, but are optional.

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