Tuesday, October 24, 2017

European Train Travel Hacks

One of the winners of people's choice prize in The 2018 Drone Photo Contest captures a breathtaking shot of a train passing through mountains in Landwasserviadukt in Switzerland. © SkyPixel

Rail Europe has released eight train travel hacks that aim to help travellers with their European holiday plans and budget.

Commercial Director Ingrid Kocijan says while many travellers are aware of the benefits of rail travel in Europe, many may not be aware of the different ways they can and should take advantage of rail passes to maximize their time and money's worth.

Here are her top hacks:

1. Consider Multiple Day Trips
Passes such as the Eurail Select ones, which include one, two, three and four countries as well as the Eurail Global Pass, allow travellers unlimited travel each given "day" on the pass within the 24 hours from midnight to midnight. Depending on the places of interest, travellers can often visit two or three small towns in one day without having to rush around.

2. Use the SaverPass
Groups of up to five people travelling together and on the same itinerary (i.e. making the same stops) qualify for the SaverPass, which is a discounted Eurail Pass. Booking the passes together as a group
translates to significant savings.

3. Apply Discounts and Bonuses
When booking any rail pass, travellers should be aware that numerous travel bonuses and discounts on buses, ferries, private railways, hotels, sightseeing tours and WiFi come with the pass. These are updated each year, so it is advisable to check the items on offer before making accommodation and tour arrangements.

4. Free travel for kids
Up to two children from the ages of 4-11 years travel for free with their parents travelling with any Eurail Pass. In Switzerland, children under 16 years old travel for free when accompanied by a guardian using the Swiss Travel Pass.

5. Swiss Travel Pass
The Swiss Travel Pass http://www.myswitzerland.com/rail grants the holder unlimited access to all Swiss public transportation including buses, trains and boats; allows up to 50% discount off mountain railways and cableways; and free access to 500+ museums around the country. This is unsurpassed value for money!

6. Avoid Seat Reservations Where Possible
Travellers embarking on routes serviced by both high-speed and regional trains may like to consider the latter option to save on seat reservation costs. (Note however that seat reservations are mandatory on all high-speed services and inter-country connections).

7. Travel During Off-peak and Shoulder Seasons
Travelling during the quieter months (usually spring and autumn) will also help with the savings in general. There is also the luxury of space on the trains as crowds usually tend to swell significantly during the peak seasons of summer and winter.

8. Book in Advance
Travellers who plan ahead can save up to 70% off their rail bookings. Eurail passes can be booked up to 11 months in advance, and seat reservations up to three months prior.

For more tips, deals, information and booking, head to www.raileurope.com.au.

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