We recently travelled around Europe with a first-class Global Eurail Pass courtesy of Eurail.com, and along the way we took note of what we would have paid for the same journeys had we been buying point-to-point tickets on the day of travel. Without doubt, the Eurail pass would have saved us money – although on some days didn’t really get our money’s worth.
Eurorail or Eurail?
There’s a little confusion over the terms Eurorail and Eurail. Basically, they’re two terms for the same thing! The term Eurorail was replaced with Eurail a few years ago, so we’re going to stick with that from now on.
Our Europe train travel
We had a 15-day Global Eurail Pass each, which meant we could travel in any of the countries covered by Eurail on fifteen individual days spread across the two-month validity of the pass. Every day that we wanted to use the pass, we wrote the date in the space provided. Our passes were checked every day that we used them, and usually stamped by the conductor – we’d heard stories of people trying to cheat the system using removable ink on their passes – this isn’t going to work anymore.
Total price of the Eurail pass:
A full pass costs €792, but since we always travelled together, we would have bought a Saver pass (which is discounted for groups of two or more people) at €675. We had to pay extra charges of €30.50, which puts the total cost at €822.50 for a full pass, or €705.50 for a Saver. Average daily costs therefore are €54.83 for a full pass or €47.03 for a Saver.
What we would have spent
As we travelled, we kept a note of what we would have spent. We probably would have travelled second class if we didn’t have first-class tickets, but since we are over 26 we had to travel in luxury – poor us!
- Day one: €68.15 or €112.75
- Day two: €81.47 or €127.84
- Day three: €114.80 or €232.40
- Day four: €38.90 or €62.60
- Day five: €62.00 or €92.00
- Day six: €80.40 or €123.60
- Day seven: €41.51 or €54.01
- Day eight: €52.50 or €75.11
- Day nine: €58.84 or €94.44
- Day ten: €40.80 (no first class)
- Day eleven: €58.51 or €115.37
- Day twelve: €43.20 or €71.40 (we paid €23.50 reservation)
- Day thirteen: €65.40 or €106.80
- Day fourteen: €80.20 or €125.80 (we paid €7 reservation)
- Day fifteen: €7.80 or €11.65
If we had travelled in second class, we would have spent €894.48, or €59.63 per day. Travelling first class and paying for every ticket would have cost us €1446.57, or €96.44 per travel day.
Comparing the price of a Saver ticket versus second-class point-to-point tickets, we saved €188.98 overall – €12.60 per day. Comparing a Saver ticket against the cost of all those full-price first-class seats that we actually used, we saved €741.07 – €49.40 per day!
The savings are only a little less if you compare them against a full pass – a saving of €71.98 overall (€4.80 per day) looking at second-class tickets, or €624.07 (€41.60 per day) compared with first-class point-to-point tickets.
The Eurail Pass definitely saved us money whichever way we look at it. Although we would have only bought second-class tickets, travelling in first class ensured us a comfortable seat in every train – which we definitely enjoyed.