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Thursday, June 9, 2011

European Train Travel 101

Riding the trails is the best alternative to air travel not only because it's cheaper, but also practical, romantic and a great chance to take the scenery up close. It is also easier on the environment, plus you avoid the hassles of security line delays at the airport, etc...

Your tickets to ride: - specializes in selling single tickets as well as all of the major multi trip passes.

BritRail Passes (from $259 for 4 days) - are the only option available to North Americans for an unlimited travel throughout Britain. (Snag this before your trip - they're not sold in U.K.)

Eurail Passes - include Global Pass (from $744 for the 15-day first class option) and valid in 20 countries. For lesser and shorter itineraries, there's the Eurail Select Pass good for 3-5 adjoining countries. Whichever you choose, buy it here. Buying it in Europe will be 20% more expensive.

First class tickets cost about 50% more than 2nd class. That typically buys a reclining seat, a meal, bigger space for luggage and a quiet train car.
Second class ticket is fine if your trip is only a few hours.