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Top 10 Travel Tips

  1. A Eurail Select pass will cover border cities, even if the country is not on the pass. For example: although Salzburg is in Austria, you could use your Selectpass to get there from Germany (but not Italy, since it lies close to the German border).

  2. Stretch a Eurail Flexipass by paying out of pocket for shorter train trips. If you travel through a country not included on your pass, you'll need to purchase an additional ticket for that part of the trip. These can be purchased at any train station at the ticket window.

  3. Overnight trains not only save you money on accommodations, but get you to your destination early the next day, giving you a full day of sight seeing. Board overnight trains after 7:00pm to conserve money and valuable travel days. Only the day of your arrival will be counted on your railpass, therefore you save a day of travel. Additionally, sleeper and couchette supplements cost less than a hotel room. Private sleepers are approximately $80-$90 dollars per person per reservation, while the couchettes are only about $25-35 per person. You can make these reservations at any train station ticket window.

  4. For safety, keep all of your important documents (passport, railpass, traveler's checks) in a moneybelt worn underneath your clothing. When sleeping on a train, use your daypack as your pillow. This will prevent anyone from snatching it while you sleep. Also, Xerox all important documents such as your passport, identification cards, insurance cards, and railpass. Keep the copies in a separate, safe place. Watch out for groups of children or adults creating a commotion meant to distract tourists for easy pickpocketing.

  5. Most major train stations have lockers or luggage storage. These are a great way to store your large bags while you explore a city with just a small day pack.

  6. Reservations are required for all sleeping accommodations on all overnight trains. Reservations are also required for high-speed trains in France (TGV and Thalys), Italy (TAV, formerly the Eurostar Italia), principal trains in Spain/Portugal (AVE and Talgo 200) and most express trains in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.

  7. When traveling on a budget, bring food on board the train. Don't forget an extra bottle of wine to share with your cabin mates . Bring handi wipes to quickly refresh yourself. Also, it's often useful to carry tissues or toilet paper on board trains. Trains occasionally run out of paper.

  8. For comfort, wear an eye shade and an inflatable neck pillow for sleeping on long train rides.

  9. Talk to other travelers and Europeans you come in contact with. Be friendly and open-minded. Most Europeans are more than happy to talk to friendly travelers. Share information about your home town and they will be happy to reciprocate. Bring some pictures of your life to get conversation going. An added advantage is that your fellow travelers will help you check out the local scene. People will be more than happy to tell you their favorite spots in areas you may not already know about- no one knows more about Europe than the locals!

  10. Be courteous and patient with all Europeans, especially train personnel such as the conductors. They can make your journey difficult if they want. Hostility combined with a language barrier can lead to misunderstandings or worse. If you don't want problems, don't hassle others.


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  Top 10 Rail Travel Tips
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  Great Walks of Europe
  Off Season Travel In Europe -
  Europe Climate - Historic Averages
  Deep Travel - Taking time to get to know a place