On the continent it is EurailPass. Enough said.
In the UK it is BritRail. Enough said.
Well, not really. But I want to emphasize that if you are visiting the countries on the continent of Europe, then the EurailPass is the only way to go. The details about the EurailPass are available elsewhere. But I want to repeat with my own emphasis as much as I can to help you realize the EurailPass is the best deal going for transportation there.
Here are the countries that are included in the Eurail Pass:
This information is from the Official EurailPass Web Site. Click HERE to go to it.
Here are some special bonus aspects available to pass holders:
Can you believe this? It is such a bargain!
You can now order the EurailPass online. Click HERE for details.
I like to give tips which may encourage people to go to Europe because I have so liked my trips there so much. Here's an added feature of the EurailPass which I feel may make all the difference in convincing a person that they can afford to go to Europe. Check this out:
If you are young enough, poor enough, smart enough, and adventurous enough, do I ever have a great European Travel Tip for you.
Sleep on the train, rather than use a hotel, hostel, campground, or residence. Nothing revolutionary, you think? Well hold on. The way I will suggest it, it is just that, Revolutionary.
I have traveled to Europe with the Eurail Pass about fifteen times. I was able to travel frequently because I did not have to find the cash to pay for hotels every night. Instead, I planned to sleep on the train between towns as often as I could. You do need a First Class Eurail Pass to do this. The second class pass does not work very well.
Here's how you do it.
Get a Eurail Pass Map from a travel agent.
Get a good train timetable for the entire area you plan to visit.
Circle all the places you want to visit. Think clockwise or counterclockwise from where your plane lands. With this system you can fly into any country. Start your circuit there.
Connect the dots, so to speak. Make a route which incorporated all the places you want to visit. Here are the mechanisms:
Find out where you want to be the next day. Find out when the last night train leaves.
Put your luggage in a locker. Hit the town. See the sights. Have fun without luggage.
Return to the train station an hour before your train leaves.
Grab a shower in the station for a couple dollars. Change clothes. Get ready for bed.
Get on the train and settle in to sleep. Be sure you have a pillow and blanket or large coat.
Wake up the next morning where you want to be.
Sure there are problems. You may not sleep too well the first few nights. But you'll eventually get into the groove.
If you want to stay in a place two days in a row, do the double back shuffle. For example, I simply love time around Frankfurt, Weisbaden, and Maintz Germany. At night I hit the train station for a shower. Then I get on the last train for Hannover. I get off at 4am and get on a train going back to Frankfurt only to wake up there again that same morning at 8am. This can go on for days.
Another train ride I really liked was the Basel, Switzerland, Frankfurt, Germany, Paris, France, Basel, Switzerland Circle Tour. I did this three days in a row once. I was working on some writing. The scenery through snow in France was fantastic. So I was awake in daylight from Paris to Basel. I ate supper at Basel. Got a train to Frankfurt. Then showered and took the night train from Frankfurt to Paris and slept in my own private EurailHotel room. The first class compartments are the best. The seats slide together and make a sleeping surface that is quite comfortable.
The boat train from Ireland to France included in the Eurail Pass gives you a great cruise and undisturbed sleep for 24 hours.
My all time favorite is the boat train from Germany to Denmark. For about four hours while the train is being loaded on the Ferry and crosses the water, undisturbed sleep is possible.
Sometimes I was at a station with no specific destination in mind. I saw a good looking train and got on. Serendipity works great on the trains of Europe.
Now that I am older, I can not do that sort of thing. Infact, if I tried to do the EurailHotel deal now, I would wake up with a back ache that would not go away. But when I was a kid, wow could I travel and see the sights for very little money.
Think of it. There are thousands of rooms (compartments) leaving train stations all over Europe and they are included in your train pass at no additional charge.
You have to figure out where you want to go, figure out the reservation system so you will not occupy a compartment that will get passengers in the middle of the night, and in general, become a student of the rail timetable. But once you do this, you'll be surprised at what you can do.
I often would sleep in a hotel every fifth or sixth night just to get back in shape for more train nights.
There are some routes where you should be awake rather than sleep through. For example, the train from Zurich to Vienna has to be done in the daylight hours at least once. It is my favorite ride. It feels like you are inside a model railroad setup. Mountains, towns, rivers, everything is fantastic.
I am sure this is not an original idea of mine. But I never did hear anyone else talk about the practice in just this way. So I am claiming authorship of the concept of EurailHoteling.
While in Europe, you will most certainly find many different sorts of transportation to use. Here's a list of what I have used to get from place to place:
Buses (Often included in the EurailPass)
Click HERE to continue.