Global pass value for money - yes or no

  • 10 August 2022
  • 2 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +10

After all the problems we read about, I wonder whether anybody has any comments or experiences about getting value from a pass?

Here is ours:

We have 2 senior first class IR global passes for 10 days in 2 months, and have the first half of it planned next week. Out of interest I  checked the first class turn up and go prices of all the trains we have planned and amazed that these come in at nearly £1000 each and we have a second trip planned after that, which would be many hundreds in fares as well.

The routing is:

Siracuse to Salerno

Salerno to Bologna

Bologna to Nuremberg

Nuremburg to Brussels

OOI our second trip on these passes are currently planned as:

Monaco to Venice

Venice to Vienna

2 days based in Vienna (Salzburg and Budapest?)

Then Vienna to Prague.

Brussels to Leeds

3 Low cost flights from UK will be about £500 in totaI, compared with a minimum of £900 for home to London then Eurostar.

appreciate that could have been dramatically reduced with pre booking saver fares but they don’t have the flexibility of transfers to other trains, refunds or routing changes. Also I have ignored reservation costs.

The passes were bought pre-covid and on 1st for 2nd offer for just over £600, but even now the same passes would still be only about £900 for 2 seniors.

So this may help those thinking whether or  not to use a Global pass.

OOI for those considering Eurostar and moaning about the £30/£40 res fee and thinking they can travel on a full fare for almost the same, our train next week would be £140 each in standard premier.

For first quarter 2023 we already have 2* 3 month unlimited passes from the recent 50th BOGOF for about £1000.

2 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +5

As everything in life: it depends. Yes, it can be indeed a great money-saver, but as you as now regular also must have noted,the main crowd are unfamiliair with trains and choose all the routes hard to get and needing much extra surcharges-then it might be much less so. Every now and then someone from over the oceans lists complete route and then it fairly often makes me think that normal advance tickets (without the troubles to get the RES etc) would be better value.

I do it the other way: I do not choose the route first (I have been about everywhere anyway) but see what is also available in other ticketings or discounts to minimize total outlay. But for that one does need a very thorough knowledge of what there is and sometimes also how to get it. My primary interest are not the trains at all-that is just a means to reach the prime sources.

Userlevel 7
Badge +10

In many ways your approach, as a cross continent wanderer, is a wonderful way to show how to both get best value from your pass and also its many other benefits, especially flexibility and last minute changes. Like me, you are obviously a bargain hunter and like to .understand the many options to achieve some great adventures.

There is obviously no benefit with a flexi pass using it for journeys with cheaper options than the day rate for the pass.

I am also in no way suggesting that mine is the only way to use a global pass, merely that for what we call a Land-Cruise a pass is a very cost effective way to cross large distances. it is then relatively easy to get tremendous value from a Global Pass against using pay as you go long distance tickets that are fully flexible.