Is my only option the Eurail Global Pass for travel from Germany to Netherlands to Belgium to France to Spain? Does it have to be 1st class?

Hi: I will be traveling from Germany to Netherlands to Belgium to France to Spain in 8 days. Is my only option the global pass and does it have to be first class?
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) July 26, 2016 20:47
    Hi Kathleen,

    If your travel is confined to the 4 countries you mentioned, you would not have to purchase the Eurail Global Pass. Instead, you can purchase the 4 country option of the Eurail Select Pass to include Germany, the 'Benelux', France, and Spain.

    Belgium and the Netherlands are both included as a part of the 'Benelux'. The Benelux covers Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg and counts them as one ‘country’ for the purpose of rail passes. Therefore, to account for Belgium and the Netherlands, you would include the ‘Benelux’ as one of the countries on your Eurail Select Pass.

    For the Eurail Select Pass, you would click here: https://www.raileurope.com/rail-tickets-passes/eurail-select-pass/index.html.

    For adult passengers (passengers 26 and over), this pass would only be offered for 1st class. The 2nd class option is only offered to youth passengers (passengers 25 and under).
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  • Hi Jeff: I bought the select pass for 4 countries. To take a late night train from Berlin to Amsterdam I have to pay an additional ~200 euros. Is this true? Is there a way to make a reservation for a non-sleeping car? Or is that my only option?
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) July 28, 2016 17:56
    Hi Kathleen,

    There are day trains from Berlin to Amsterdam. Day trains don't have sleeping compartments.These trains would just have 1st and 2nd class seats.

    A rail pass covers the ticket costs on trains. When applicable, reservations are a supplementary cost to a rail pass. Reservations are required on most high-speed trains, many international routes, and all overnight trains. In Western Europe, most major cities are connected almost exclusively by high-speed trains. Therefore, it is likely that reservations would be required for many of your trips there.

    Note: If you were to purchase regular point-to-point tickets (instead of a rail pass), the value of any necessary reservations would still be embedded into those costs. Therefore, a rail pass still can often work out to be the most economical option for travelers taking multiple trains while in Europe.

    On trains from Berlin to Amsterdam, reservations aren't required, but they are highly recommended. We are not able to provide or verify prices on this forum; however, the reservation fees for a day train from Berlin to Amsterdam would not be as much as the amount you indicated.

    For travel with a rail pass, you would check reservation costs and purchase reservations by clicking the 'Seat Reservations' tab on our homepage (www.raileurope.com), entering a route, and indicating the type of rail pass with which you'll be traveling (i.e. 'Eurail Four Country Select Pass').

    The direct trains from Berlin to Amsterdam are IC (InterCity) trains. Generally, these trains can be reserved once within 90 days of an intended date of departure.
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  • I cannot reserve a train because I'm leaving in a few days and cannot receive the tickets in time. I'm striving to understand why anyone who is traveling in four countries would buy a select pass if you need to buy new tickets anyway. Is it better to return my select pass so I can buy tickets? This makes no sense to me.
    • Jeff (Official Rep) July 29, 2016 14:25
      It wouldn't be tickets that you would purchase (the rail pass covers ticket costs), it would just be reservations. A rail pass and a reservation are separate things, and some trains require reservations.

      One would purchase a rail pass if it works out to be the most economical option for their itinerary. Even with factoring in reservations, a rail pass still can work out to be the most economical option for certain itineraries. If you were to purchase regular point-to-point tickets (instead of a rail pass), the value of any necessary reservations would still be embedded into those costs.

      Whether or not returning your pass is your best option would depend on what all the costs involved are. Depending on your itinerary, the regular tickets could very well end up being more expensive (especially after you subtract the refund penalty for your pass). We're not able to assist with specific orders through this medium, so I would recommend that you call us. We can be reached at 1-800-622-8600. Our current hours are 8:00 AM to 7:30 PM CT Monday to Friday and 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM CT on Saturdays.
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  • I’m confused
    I think I need to return my Eurail pass... do I just follow directions on your site? Thanks for your help. I have to say, I find it difficult to get good information from your site, it is very confusing for someone using this for the first time. I don't know why you would sell a select pass for four countries, and then make us buy the tickets all over again. I guess I'm just clueless, but thanks anyway.
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) July 29, 2016 14:29
    It wouldn't be tickets that you would purchase (the rail pass covers ticket costs); it would just be reservations, which are less of a cost. A rail pass covers the ticket costs on trains. When applicable, reservations are a supplementary cost to a rail pass. Reservations are required on most high-speed trains, many international routes, and all overnight trains. In Western Europe, most major cities are connected almost exclusively by high-speed trains. Therefore, it is likely that reservations would be required for many of your trips there.

    Note: If you were to purchase regular point-to-point tickets (instead of a rail pass), the value of any necessary reservations would still be embedded into those costs. Therefore, a rail pass still can often work out to be the most economical option for travelers taking multiple trains while in Europe.

    For some itineraries, a rail pass is the most economical option. For others, regular tickets are the most economical option. We encourage comparing both options. Our website is unique in that it does offer both options. Therefore, users are able to shop freely and choose between either purchasing a rail pass (with reservations) or purchasing regular point-to-point tickets.

    When considering the option of a rail pass, you would just have to be sure to factor in any 'passholder' reservation costs.

    If you are unsure about what to purchase, you are always welcome to call us. We are also unique in that we have a contact center to assist customers with questions and bookings. We can be reached at 1-800-622-8600. Our current hours are 8:00 AM to 7:30 PM CT Monday to Friday and 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM CT on Saturdays.
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