Welcome Back to our ultimate guide of passes, in this new entry we’re going to continue explaining how to use the Eurail so you can focus on the most important part of a trip, having a good time and enjoying it to its fullest!
How to Use the Eurail Train Pass
So, the first thing you need to do is to actually buy your Eurail Train Pass (either the Global Pass or the One Country Pass) using their website. Once you have purchased your train pass you have to activate it. You can do this from the moment you buy your pass or arrive in Europe.
After that, make the corresponding reservations. You can do this before arriving (with a cost) or arriving in Europe (recommended) and finally fill your travel diary. You have to do this before boarding the train selected.
The Two Ways to Activate Eurail
The first one is online during the purchase process. Before paying your Eurail pass the system will ask you if you want to activate it; if you accept that, it activates, and it will ask for the date you want it to be activated. You have 11 months from the date of purchase to validate your pass, so if you buy it in February you can use it until January of the following year.
The option to activate it online is only recommended if you have a 100% certainty of your trip dates and the itinerary you plan to do, so be sure to do it only if you are sure of everything, don’t waste money on rescheduling your trip.
Otherwise, the other option to activate your pass is quite simple, you just have to go to the ticket office where they sell the tickets at the train station and ask them to activate it. They will put a stamp with the date and ready, from that moment pass’ countdown starts.
Do I need a Reservation For my Trip?
If you are planning your trip in advance then on the Eurail website you will find a section where you can check the train schedule. This tool is very important because you can select the route you plan to travel and it will tell you, in addition to the train schedule, what transfers you need to make and the timetables.
Find the section where it says, “Where would you like to go?” In this part enter the date, the Origin Station and the Arrival Station, then click on “Search your train route”. If you don’t know the name of the station, there is no problem you can enter the city and the application will show you all the combinations.
Rail Planner App
The Rail Planner application is a tool with which you can search for information about trains wherever you are. It works without an Internet connection so you can quickly access the departure and arrival times of European trains.
The application can help you plan your trip in advance, but it can also be very useful when you are at a crowded train station and you are trying to find your connecting train, there are other apps related to Eurail, make sure to check them all out.