pass, ticket and payment

  • 17 January 2024
  • 16 replies

I am going to buy a Global Flexi Eurail pass and will activate just before use as suggested. Travel date will be 14 April 24.

My question is that I want to book my ticket a couple of months out from use but it then needs to be paid for. Problem is that I won’t be activating until the day of?

How do you get around this please?

Very confusing and can’t find an answer anywhere?

Hope you can help fellow travellers or Eurail Help Team.

Thank you.


Best answer by rvdborgt 17 January 2024, 22:26

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16 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

Your pass is your ticket. You probably mean you want to book reservations.

There is no need to have an active pass to book reservations. Or to have a pass at all, if you book reservations elsewhere.

Check this page for where best to book pass reservations:

Booking on the Eurail website is often more expensive than elsewhere.

My dilemma is that we have four major (long) train trips for 2. I am trying to determine if it is cheaper to use a Eurail pass versus buying a ticket in each country independently. Appreciate all suggestions and response to date. Thank you.

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

What is your journey ? We might be able to advise.

Advance tickets are often cheap but then you’re tied to a train while Eurail gives more flexibility (although reservations are still required on some trains).

Hullo thibcabe,

We are getting a train from Berlin to Krakow 14/4/2024. Then from Krakow to Prague, Prague to Munich and lastly Munich to Beaune France on 27/4/2024 - a period of two weeks. We will stay a few days in each destination.

Considering the 7 or 10 day global pass for seniors. Thought it could also be extended if needed to cover France and UK trains which are later...

One concern is I have not been able to secure any real info re train from Berlin to Poland as it appears that they don’t open reservations up until mid February and I was trying to get organised beforehand as wet to book in tours an accommodation. I saw one post that said it might be better to purchase that ticket when in Netherlands of Germany??

Appreciate your response re this query, thank you.

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

I think you'll be better off with a pass as tickets in France and the UK tend to be expensive. Take into account the mandatory reservations on French TGVs and the Eurostar.

Berlin - Krakow : regular tickets are available online, looking at a random March day looks like 40€ one-way. Eurail passholders : reservations for the whole journey aren't available online but at counters in Germany (and probably in the Netherlands too but they charge a hefty booking fee). I'd get a reservation for the Polish leg -> 1 PLN (0.20€) on :)

Krakow - Prague : are you thinking to take the convenient night train ? With Eurail you only pay the accommodation price, available through the Czech Railways ČD.

Prague - Munich : easy direct train, reservations recommended.

Munich - Beaune : the most expensive leg, likely via Strasbourg. For example :

- ICE München Hbf - Stuttgart Hbf 08:28 - 10:31

- TGV Stuttgart Hbf - Strasbourg 10:52 - 12:17 18€ Eurail reservation

- TGV Strasbourg - Dijon 13:05 - 15:11 10-20€ + TER Dijon - Beaune 15:50 - 16:19 or

- TGV Strasbourg - Beaune 13:37 - 16:39 10-20€ reservation

French tickets (and reservations) will be released on 24th January so you might be able to calculate better

General guide for reservations :

Thanks for such a helpful response. I am slowly getting my head around all of this with your invaluable tips.

As I understand it if we choose to buy a 2nd class Global Pass then each time we use a train we need to use 2nd class reservations? Is it really a lot of difference between 1st and 2nd for the trips we are taking. 

I was unable to find cost of accommodation option for overnight on Czech Railways for 19 April as too far out. That would obviously need to be reserved?

The Munich to Beaune is causing us angst. Is it worthwhile trying to do half train and half bus even or is there another suggestion you may have please?

Thanks in anticipation.

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

You're welcome! :)

Reservations aren't always required but yes you'd need to travel in 2nd class with a 2nd class pass. Sometimes you can get upgrades for not much more (thinking of French TGVs).

You go 1st class mainly for emptier carriages, larger and comfier seats, 2+1 configuration. Food isn't included, except on Eurostar and most long-distance British trains.

Reservations generally cost the same. 1st class passes aren't much more expensive than 2nd class ones so I'd say it's a good deal, especially on busy routes.

The Krakow - Prague night train is rather cheap for European standards now : 1050 CZK (42€) for a double cabin or 1750 CZK (70€) for a double cabin with ensuite shower & WC (of course don't expect luxury). Price for two with Eurail, remember that you save a night accommodation while travelling so it's good value. :)

I checked February dates as neither March nor April seem to be available yet. You'd need to book in advance yes.

What is worrying you ? The transfers ? I wouldn't take a bus for sure, it's less reliable, prone to delays and not faster. You also don't want to miss the 320 km/h trip across the French countryside :)

The 20 min transfer in Stuttgart is plenty of time and they might even hold the connection a bit as you'll likely not be the only one going to France! With the 1h20 break in Strasbourg you could the journey in 3 trains.

If you prefer to stick to two it would look like this :

- TGV München Hbf - Strasbourg 06:49 - 10:40 18€

- leave luggage at lockers and go explore the city center a bit, it's a 5-10 min walk

- TGV Strasbourg - Beaune 13:37 - 16:39 10-20€

I'm not afraid of connections (I'm even used to them living in Switzerland!) but I can understand your point.

You are a veritable wealth of information and thank you for putting my mind at rest. Those connections and transfers were a worry as some are a very short space of time.

Now the main decision to make is what number of day pass to purchase, obviously cheaper the more days of use.

Unfortunately I have already purchased tickets from Amsterdam to Berlin before learning so much about Eurail passes. Could have been included of course in the major trips.

We will be in France (primarily Beaune) for 3 weeks but could train somewhere. We then plan to fly to Ireland and self drive around.

May then hand the car back in and use the pass (or hire car) to see more of UK, Scotland and Wales before heading home to Australia from London mid June.

Thank you again for your help and ideas.

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

Eurail is definitely good value in the UK as train tickets are especially expensive. You also get full flexibility as reservations are optional (and free of charge!).

As the trip is over 1 month you'd need a pass valid for 2 months : something like 10 days in 2 months. I'd say it's good value, if only for the Munich - Beaune and Edinburgh - London journeys (they'd be really expensive otherwise).

You can't get anywhere by train in France but for example for a day trip to Lyon or Dijon from Beaune I'd definitely take the train. :)

Btw if you have time or no fixed plans you could take a ferry from Normandy to Ireland. A little bit more here :

I agree that a car is a good way to travel around Ireland (outside Dublin at least).

To cross the Irish Sea there are a few ferries :

- Belfast - Cairnryan (Scotland)

- Dublin - Holyhead (most convenient)

- Rosslare - Fishguard or Pembrok (Wales)

I've spent a month touring the UK and Ireland last summer so feel free to ask some questions. I've used the latter two ferries. There are some stunning railways across Scotland you shouldn't miss... :)

Hullo thibcabe, 

I had originally thought of a 10 day pass with minor trips in France in back of mind.

Dates for these journeys are 14/4 through to 27/4 so it falls into a month range as we are only doing x4 major hops:





I can see the possibility of some French travel ns then potentially UK so I can see the sense of a 10 day option if it will be utilised for the money.

Thought of flying (RyanAir) from Nancy/Metz to Belfast or Edinburgh depending on deal for a hire van (sleep in). Then the question was whether to hire for rest of UK/Scotland vs the train and a Pass. 

Thank you for info re Scotland railway. Can you be more specific as to name and location please?Perhaps that could be done first if we flew to Scotland and then made our way over to Ireland later.

Again many thanks in appreciation.



Userlevel 7
Badge +5

I’d say a 10 days pass will be good value, it’ll also encourage you to take the train. :)

Metz/Nancy airport is really small, you’d have to fly from Paris (CDG or Orly). At this point you could take the Eurostar under the Channel : Nancy/Metz - Paris (10 min walk between stations) - London. Afterwards a nice and very convenient way to get to Scotland is the Caledonian Sleeper, it runs direct from London to remote places like Inverness and Fort William! It’s a bit expensive unfortunately, more here : (165£ for a double cabin)

I loved these 2 lines :

Between the two we spent a night in the beautiful Isle of Skye using buses and a ferry to Mallaig. Unfortunately bus timetables are quite bad on some lines so be aware of that. It’ll be easier to get a taxi to Armadale for the ferry.

We then visited the Lake District before heading to North Wales and catching a ferry to Dublin in Holyhead. Also possible to do Glasgow - Cairnryan - Belfast :

Hullo thibcabe

Talking of Skye this came from the friend in Cannock who we will be visiting in England. It might be of interest to you.

1 Heaste, By Broadford, Broadford, UK 07580 559745

From 90 pounds a night, remote, no wifi

Thanks for all these forthcoming tips. It is really appreciated.


Hullo thibcabe

Nearly there but I still can’t get my head around how this is going to work.

I buy my Eurail Pass and when I go to check train times and secure a ticket what happens then as to the fact that I will not be paying, unless I have to reserve a seat.

Is there something on the Trainline site eg Trainline, Ohio etc that I have to tick as I go through the process? 

I can’t do a dummy run to check it out as tickets are not up online yet.

Affter the recent purchase of Amsterdam-Berlin Omio ticket that is not refundable or able to be used on S & U bhans, I am panicking. I know once I get the system worked out it will flow so any prescriptive steps would be so so helpful.

Thanks in anticipation and grateful appreciation for your patience



Userlevel 7
Badge +5

You do not need to secure a ticket. The pass is your ticket. You won't use third party websites such as Trainline or Omio.

You need to log on Rail Planner the train you'd like to take. This can be done at any time prior to boarding. I generally log the train a few minutes before I board.

Of course you may do planning beforehand : I use DB Navigator app (and the companies websites if needed) as they're more reliable than Rail Planner which works offline and is only updated every other week.

Seat reservations are a totally separate process : you should get them in advance on Rail Europe or through the companies directly for example, they'll be emailed to you. Then on the train you show both the Rail Planner app (QR-code, your ticket) and the reservations PDF.

Hope it's less confusing now!

For S&U-Bahn : simply get a day ticket or individual tickets when you arrive in Berlin, there will be machines at the station.

Eurail is valid on S-Bahn but it's not good value to use a pass day for such short rides, unless you're going to Prague that day for example.

Hullo thibcabe

Thanks of the info regarding the use of Rail Planner or DB Navigator (the latter I have already, but yet to use).

Just a quick question please?

When I purchase the 10 days (2mths) pass how easy wis it to upgrade to the 15 day pass if we see that we are using it further along on the trip, especially in the UK?

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

When I purchase the 10 days (2mths) pass how easy wis it to upgrade to the 15 day pass if we see that we are using it further along on the trip, especially in the UK?

You can't upgrade a pass. You can only exchange it for another one as long as it is not activated.

Once you've activated it and the validity period has started, you can't exchange it anymore.