what pass is best—global mobile pass or flex

  • 3 August 2022
  • 5 replies
  • 697 views

We are going to Europe in September (for 30 days) and will be visiting 8 countries (Amsterdam, Belgium, London England, Paris France, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, and Germany). We plan on 8-10 travel days via train during our trip. 
 

Questions:

  1. which train pass is best for us to purchase—Eurostar/global mobile pass or global mobile flex pass? We will be moving around every 2-4 days. 
  2. where is the safest/best online site to purchase the train tickets (we want to purchase them now)
  3. Will we need a separate train pass going from Belgium to London and London to Paris?
  4. If we purchase 1st class tickets, will we actually get seat confirmations or is there another step to the process?

5 replies

Userlevel 7
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We are going to Europe in September (for 30 days) and will be visiting 8 countries (Amsterdam, Belgium, London England, Paris France, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, and Germany). We plan on 8-10 travel days via train during our trip. 
 

Questions:

  1. which train pass is best for us to purchase—Eurostar/global mobile pass or global mobile flex pass? We will be moving around every 2-4 days. If you buy a flex pass you need to plan and calculate the number of day you will travel in advance and you have less flexibility for spontaneous trips. With a continuous pass you can travel every day if you like. Only you can decide what is best for you.
  2. where is the safest/best online site to purchase the train tickets (we want to purchase them now) The Eurail pass is your ticket. I guess that you are taking about the seat reservation that you may need for some trains. I'll add a link with info about that further down. 
  3. Will we need a separate train pass going from Belgium to London and London to Paris? No, the Eurostar is included in all Global Passes, but there is a limited number of pass holder seats on each departure. Om popular departures they sell out weeks in advance in high season. 
  4. If we purchase 1st class tickets, will we actually get seat confirmations or is there another step to the process? Seat reservations are not included in any pass. But most of the countries which you plan to travel in have only optional reservations. 

 

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. 

 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, 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.

It would have been great to know that Seat reservations with Eurail was going to be so difficult, and seemingly impossible without visiting the train stations in person…meaning we can’t book early as recommended. 

It appears if you purchase your global pass through HappyRail that you can make all seat reservations…I haven’t tested it, but that is what is advertised. Wish I had known before purchasing through EUrail. 

For example, trying to book seat reservations to Belgium from Amsterdam, EUrail sends you to another site and there is no explanation or matching train routes. Multiple urls appear but no explanation. 
 

With the large number of tourist I am surprised the EUrail site and app is not more complete and easier to use. 

Userlevel 7
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It would have been great to know that Seat reservations with Eurail was going to be so difficult, and seemingly impossible without visiting the train stations in person…meaning we can’t book early as recommended. 

It appears if you purchase your global pass through HappyRail that you can make all seat reservations…I haven’t tested it, but that is what is advertised. Wish I had known before purchasing through EUrail. 

For example, trying to book seat reservations to Belgium from Amsterdam, EUrail sends you to another site and there is no explanation or matching train routes. Multiple urls appear but no explanation. 
 

With the large number of tourist I am surprised the EUrail site and app is not more complete and easier to use. 

I have never heard of Happy Rail, googling it appears they are a Netherlands based travel agent.

I have no doubt you will get more attentive service from a travel agent and that they will charge you for this service as they are acting as a middleman between you and the operators, there is nothing wrong with that as long as you understand the difference.

 

Unless you are dead set on using the expensive Thalys services the rest of the Dutch and Belgian rail network doesn’t require or even allow reservations, just hop on whichever trains you wish with minimum fuss.

Userlevel 7
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It would have been great to know that Seat reservations with Eurail was going to be so difficult, and seemingly impossible without visiting the train stations in person…meaning we can’t book early as recommended. 

It is only in Portugal where there are no other options that getting the reservation from the train station.

For all other countries there are online options or options where you call the railway companies. For 19 countries you can make the reservation at Eurail. They charge a fee of 2 EUR per train and person. Some reservations Eurail can only send as paper reservations.

For domestic trains in Switzerland, Austria and Germany reservations are optional.

For domestic trains in Belgium and the Netherlands reservations are not possible to make.

In Italy you can travel on regional trains without reservations.

You will need a reservation for the Eurostar between London and mainland Europe. You will need a reservation for any night train and you need reservations for high speed trains in France, Italy and between Italy and neighbouring countries. 
 

 

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