Through this article, I want discuss various travel options in Europe which can help you save hugely on your travel expenses.
Case 1: Longer Duration Trip (2+ weeks)
If you are travelling for a longer duration, in excess of say 2 weeks, it is highly recommended to buy a Eurail pass or a Flix Bus pass.
What is it ?
Eurail is a train pass offered in collaboration by different rail agencies of Europe such as DB of Germany,Renfe of Spain,SNCF of France,TrenItalia of Italy and several others. It is a single pass allowing you unlimited travel between different countries or within a single country depending on the variant of the pass.
What are the different types of Eurail Passes ?
Eurail passes are either available as single country passes or in the form of a global pass. If you plan to stay on Europe for a longer period, it is highly recommended to apply for the Global Pass as it can allow you to travel between various countries for free in slower trains and for a minimal reservation fare in the high speed trains.
Besides,there is a 1st class pass and a 2nd class pass as well.With the 1st class pass,you get free lounge access at most train stations and complementary drinks(Beer/Wine/Coffee/Tea) at certain places along with the free lounge access.
Why is it necessary ?
Trains are an extremely popular mode of travel in Europe both because of the convenience factor and the also because unlike other parts of the world,they are always on time. As a result of this, demand can be huge causing surge pricing to kick in, putting the prices outside the reach of most travelers.
Pricing and Where to Buy from?
Eurail passes can be bought online directly through the Eurail website or through various travel agencies who can in some cases provide you huge discounts as well, as they often get discounts as they make bulk orders for their several clients. The discounts can be as high as 30%-40%.
Pricing for Youth (12-27 years)
1st class: 650 euros-850 euros(~INR 53,000-70,000)
2nd class:550 euros-650 euros(~INR 45000-53000)
Pricing for Adults (28+ years)
1st class: 850 euros-1100 euros(~INR 70,000-90,000)
2nd class: 650 euros-800 euros(~INR 53000-65000)
My Recommendation regarding which Eurail Pass to choose:
I would recommend going for the 1st class pass if you plan to cover a lot of countries because then lounge access becomes very important to chill, eat and sleep between various train rides.This pass will save you not just the accommodation expense but also save the drink and snack expense you will be incurring on a frequent basis. Moreover, reservation in 1st class is always available, even just before departure. Besides, you always have the option of traveling in 2nd class as well with your 1st class pass.
For further details on the Eurail pass pricing, visit the below link:
Flix Bus pass:
If travel by train is something you don't prefer maybe due to higher costs, then the FlixBus pass is for you.
With 99 euros for 5 bus journeys, it is the cheapest way to travel in Europe, although not as convenient as train travel.
For further details on the FlixBus pass pricing, visit the below link:
Case 2: Shorter Duration Trip(< 2 weeks)
For shorter duration stays,for daily travel within a city, go for the single day public transport pass.This will save you some cash and also from the hassle of buying bus,metro and tram tickets multiple times.
If you plan to cover just one country or a couple of countries in your short stay, go for the single country or 2 country passes rather than opting for the global pass.
My final take:
Travel by flight is the cheapest option overall for Inter-country travel but do note that you need to have the tickets booked well in advance besides sticking to the set itinerary. Moreover, you need to pay a hefty amount for any luggage in excess of a simple backpack on most of these low-cost carriers.
The eurail pass does not pose any such inconvenience and you can travel in comfort across Europe while enjoying the scenic views from the train.
This is how my Eurail looked like at the end of the trip :)