If you’re lucky enough to travel in Europe, you’re going to need to get on a train. This is pretty much a non-negotiable reality of European travel, but you do have options for how you purchase your tickets: either on an as-needed basis, or up front with a Eurail Pass.

This popular pass give you access to 28 European countries and multiple tickets with one purchase. The cost and range of the pass depends on which option you select, but it can save you time, money, and hassle on train tickets.

If you’re wondering “Should I buy a Eurail pass? Is it really worth the expense”, we’ve put together some factors to consider before you make your choice. Read on to decide whether this pass is right for you.

Factors to consider:

With Eurail, you can choose your pass based on how many countries you want to visit, how long the pass needs to be valid for, how old you are, and whether you want to travel first or second class. These factors will determine how expensive your pass will be and whether or not you actually need a Eurail pass.

Should you just rent a car?

If you’re going to urban areas, don’t rent a car. Highways are busy and often poorly maintained, and parking in cities can be a nightmare, so for city trips with a lot of travel between urban areas, a Eurail Pass can save you time and give you flexibility to take impromptu day trips. It can also be cheaper if you’re traveling more than a handful of times. However, if you’re doing an extremely rural trip or only taking a few train trips, the Eurail Pass might end up being more expensive.

Trains are easier…

Air travel might be faster in terms of actual flight time, but when you factor in time spent getting to the airport by bus or taxi, waits at the check-in line, the flight itself, possible delays, and then getting another taxi when you land, air travel has a deceptive amount of builtin wait times that eat up your vacation.

Trains have far less overhead and are, in our opinion, a lot less stressful to take than an airplane. The Eurail Pass makes it even less stressful, because you don’t have to buy a ticket each and every time.

..and more pleasant.

Taking a train is also a romantic and scenic way to experience a country. You can really get a sense of the culture of your vacation spot by watching the scenery out the window, even if you do a bit of reading during the trip. Some people like the Eurail Pass just for the first class option, even if it means their ticket ends up being more expensive than it might have been to buy a single ticket.  Plus, many trains have sleeper car options for longer trips, and some even allow you to bring wine!

What’s right for you?

We think train travel is a wonderful way to experience a country, and Eurail Passes can simplify your trip a lot and work out to be cheaper than individual tickets, so take a look at the options and choose the best option for your travel style, budget, and itinerary.

For more information, visit Eurail.com

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