FAQ –What are the advantages of buying a rail pass in advance vs. buying train tickets on the fly?

1) Savings – For most itineraries, once you compare the cost of point to point train tickets vs. buying a rail pass, it quickly becomes clear that you get much more value with a rail pass.  Sometimes you can even make up the price of your rail pass in your first travel days, leaving you with a few days of travel – practically for free!  Not to mention the potential savings by keeping a flexible itinerary with a rail pass and not committing to a set train ticket there is less chance you will have to pay cancellation fees if your plans change.

2) Skip ticket line-ups – With a rail pass, board local trains without going through the hassle of standing in line to buy tickets.  Simply get your pass validated on your first day of travel and then you’re on your way.  If you have a Flexi Pass, fill in the date in the travel calendar on your pass before boarding the train.

3) Arrive prepared – Traveling to an unfamiliar country can often be an adventure so it’s nice to be able to do some basic planning before arriving.  Having your rail pass in hand means that there’s one less thing to think about! Remember that you can’t buy select rail passes on location so be sure to purchase before your departure.

4) Stay flexible – With a rail pass you won’t need to go to the ticket window to buy a train ticket while figuring out the specifics such as train date, time and number, class, one-way vs. round trip, language/communication differences and currency conversions.  Instead, you can enjoy a flexible itinerary and board the train at your leisure.  Think about the possibilities, as each travel day lasts anytime from midnight of one day to midnight the next day, which means you can hop on and off the train as much as you wish.

This entry was posted by Angela on November 10th, 2010, and is filed under Australia,Europe,FAQ,Japan,Scandinavia,United Kingdom,United States. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.
  • http://google.com marjorie ewers

    I would like to have the cost of passes from London to Edinburgh. Is there a time frame that they need to be used?

  • katherine

    While travelling a number of years ago we found the point to point ticket was the best v alue for us as we were just travelling around and stopping wherevere we felt like and maybe spending the night or just touring and getting back on the train and going to the next stop–wieth one cost for the trains between two points return we found we were able to take a different route on the return journey and it was fantastic as we went from London to Loch Ness- the only thing was we weren’t sure if we could go to Fort William from Loch Ness and then get back to London on our ticket so we skipped Fort William–a real regret./ Love travel by train–at that time we could take either the faster or slower trains to Scotland. We purchased our tickets before we left Canada.

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