Friday, 5 May 2017

How to book a cheap Euro Rail trip (with first class rail fares)

With Brexit luring on the horizon you may want to plan yourself a little Euro Rail trip before travelling in the EU becomes that little bit more difficult.

You have probably seen the heavily advertised euro rail websites where you can buy fully flexible monthly passes but it is much cheaper to avoid these websites. Instead try these steps to cut your costs down for a more affordable journey allowing for some added luxuries (like first class rail or swish Airbnb's).



Length 


First step is to decide how long your trip is going to last and if you want a non stop touring trip or a chilled out leisure trip. 

I would suggest traveling to each new destination in the morning and then spending 1 afternoon and 2 full days if in a city or a minimum of 1 afternoon and 1 full day if visiting a town. 

Flights

First in the booking process; find some flights. The best thing to do is use www.skyscanner.net (get the app here) and select your most local airports. You're going to want to find one way flights to "everywhere" and select month view to find the lowest price.

Take a note of some of the results and then do the same for a return flight, from "everywhere" to your local airport. Think about how long you want to go for and pick out some of the results which give you your desired trip duration.

You should have a list of destinations flying to and flying back from, grab Google map and start to plot your destinations. Obviously you want the travel time to be as short as possible so try and make this a logical route. Personally I aim for a maximum travel time of 4 hours between each location unless I'm staying longer than 3 nights. Just think, the more travel you have to do to get somewhere the more exhausted you're going to be when you arrive so take sure you account for this in your planning.

Trains 


Ideally, travel early in the morning and stay at least 3 nights at each location. This means you have  plenty of time since you will be arriving at around mid-day giving you a minimum of 2.5 days to explore each place.

Always book your trains with the national train operator in whichever countries you are visiting. A great website which I use for all my rail trips is Seat61. This website allows you to pick a city, tell it where your travelling too and will flag up a raft of vital information of where to book and how much you should be paying.

Upgrading your ticket to first class can cost as little at 20 euros. 

Hotels 



Book your hotels through www.hotels.com (keep an eye out for 10% off coupons I post) and receive a free night after staying 10 nights.

It's also worth checking out Airbnb though as there are some amazing apartment's out there for much less than a hotel room. If you're looking for some inspiration check out my Top 5 AirBnB choices in Italy or France

My Trip (12 nights)



Duration = 12 Nights 
Citys = Bratislava, Vienna, Prange & Berlin
Trains = First class trains 
Total cost = £175pp


I hope this was somewhat helpful for anyone planning a Euro Rail trip. If you want some help in booking just drop me an email and I will be happy to help you plan the perfect trip (for free). Check back in June to find out how I got on and see some super awesome photos. 
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