I’m frustrated

Pricing out my itinerary & the Reservation fees seem amazingly high. $1000 in reservation fees?!? Am I doing this correctly?

For my trip I was planing on flying into Lisbon, having a free week (+/-),the Amalfi coast, another free week(+/-), then fly out of Vienna.
It was looking like the Eurail Global pass was the best option, but as I chose pretend dates with our projected cities the reservation fees seemed amazingly high.I am trying to put the finishing touches on the budget.
Nearly $1200 for 2 adults just in reservation fees, only one night train with us in the same compartment, on top of the $2000+ for the passes themselves.
I hope that I am not doing this correctly and missed a step that will a
Save me that thousand dollars. It really seems that not being spontaneous, like the global passes would allow, and picking each city, each day, each time for travel saves money.

Is this everyone elses experience?
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) October 21, 2014 15:44
    Thank you for your question, Lisa.

    The most economical option for an itinerary depends on the specific itinerary itself. We encourage comparing both options, a rail pass with reservations or regular point-to-point tickets.

    For travel with a rail pass, you would check reservation costs by clicking on 'Book your Rail Pass Reservations' on our homepage, entering the cities, and indicating the type of pass you'd be traveling with. On most reservable trains in Europe, the 'Passholder' rates (reservation costs) range between $11 and $25 per person but are usually $11 to $13 per person. However, the Passholder rates on certain trains (i.e. the 'Thalys' trains connecting Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, and Cologne) can be higher than the standard reservation fees on reservable trains throughout most of Europe. Reservation costs on night trains also run higher than than the standard reservation fees for day trains, since it would be space in an actual sleeping compartment that is being reserved. If you'd like to verify the reservation costs quoted to you on our website, you would have to call us at 1-800-622-8600.

    Regular ticket costs would be checked by clicking on 'Find Fares & Schedules' on our homepage (instead of 'Book your Rail Pass Reservations') and not indicating that you'll be traveling with any type of pass.

    Considering that any reservation costs are embedded in the cost of regular point-to-point tickets for reservable trains, a rail pass still often works out to be the most economical option for travelers who will be taking multiple trains while in Europe.

    If you'd like assistance determining the best option for a lengthy itinerary, please don't hesitate to call us.

    Note: While a rail pass generally covers the ticket costs for any train between different cities in the country or countries included on the pass, there is one notable exception in Italy, which is the privately owned and operated 'Circumvesuviana' rail line that goes to the Amalfi Coast and Sorrento (this is how you would reach the Pompeii ruins, Positano, and the island of Capri). For anyone who wishes to travel to these destinations/the Amalfi Coast, a rail pass would cover as far as Naples, where they would purchase a separate ticket locally to take the Circumvesuviana line down to the area. The Circumvesuviana trains depart out of the Piazza Garibaldi station in Naples, which is conveniently located in the lower level of the same building as the Centrale station, where most trains from elsewhere in Italy will arrive into.
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  • So I talked to my brother-in-law, and he was telling me that he bought the Eurorail pass a few years back and was disappointed. Not only did he have to pay extra for the reservations, but when he arrived at the train station he had to wait in lines to check in for pass, then his reservations. While he was waiting he watched people use the self serve kiosks buy their tickets and get on the train.

    So I have decided that I will buy point to point tickets. I will show up at the station and buy my tickets that day, or the day before. I have flexibility in my plans. Additionally he mentioned that you can catch sales for some destinations and some of the locations and days for our plans are completely open so maybe that will work out for adventures.

    Good luck.
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) January 26, 2015 17:46
    Hi Lisa,

    It's all dependent on many different factors. For some itineraries, a rail pass and reservations would work out to be the least expensive option. For other itineraries, regular point-to-point tickets would work out to be the least expensive option.

    When a rail pass is purchased, it is recommended that reservations be purchased in advance as well, in which case the only time you might ever have to wait in a line would be to validate the pass before you board your first train.

    Depending on where and when you're traveling, the lines to purchase tickets can be long and certain trains can sell out in advance.
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