Monday, June 7, 2010

A Real Rail Discount in Europe This Summer

Gone are the days when Europe's backpacker trail led over railway ties. Ryanair, EasyJet and the rest of Europe's low cost airlines, along with the budget buses that now criss-cross the Continent, have become the de facto mode of transportation for students and other cheapskates. Still, there's something magical about riding Europe's efficient, fast, super-clean railway system. The landscape sweeps by in alternately majestic and proletarian vistas, riders chat strike up friendly conversations with strangers much more frequently than they do aboard planes and for those with a rail pass, a serendipitous type of travel takes place. If the bearer sees an intriguing-looking town, she can stop for the night. If not she sweeps onward with no penalty. 

With that in mind, I'd like to tell you about a nice discount that RailEurope ( is offering to groups traveling with Eurail passes. Instead of the usual $365 per person pass for visits to up to 5 adjoining countries,traveling 5 full days over the course of two months, the cost will be $714 split among 3 travelers. Have 4 in your group? Your quartet will pay $1068 total. Fivesomes pay $1425. Children pay less.

Complete details on travel dates, length of validity and more can be found on the Rail Europe site (see above). 

As someone who engaged in this fancy-free type of travel when I was in my fancy-free early 20's I can heartily recommend it. True, it may not end up being the dirt-dog cheapest option nowadays, but it remains the one with the most history and, dare I say it, charm. Try it, you'll like it.

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