Passes and Classes for travel through 8 countries

My friend and I age 21 will both be travelling together and are looking at getting the global pass we would be travelling to netherlands, germany, austria, czech republic, italy, Switzerland, france and belgium. Some places we will only be staying in for 6-12 hours and some places we wanted to stay over night, what is the best pass to get? The flexi pass or the global pass. The dates we'll be travelling is from the 20th of May to the 3rd of June. And if we wanted to use night trains to travel sometimes should we get the first class or second class so that we can request a 2 person room?
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) April 20, 2012 21:32
    Hello Maxime,

    'Flexi' is just the format in which a rail pass can be offered. For instance, a Eurail Global Pass is offered in 2 different formats: 'Flexi' and 'Consecutive'.

    A flexipass allows for a set number of travel days, which must be completed within a time frame of 2 months (in the case of the Eurail Global Pass.

    'Travel days' on a flexipass refer to how many separate days you plan on using your railpass. A rail day is a 24-hour period from midnight to midnight. You may take as many trains as you wish during the 24 hour time frame and still only use one day of travel on a pass. For instance, if you were take a day train from 'city A' to 'city B' and then take a connecting train to 'city C' on the same day, then you would only use up one day of travel on your railpass. In contrast, if you were to take that connecting train to 'city C' on the next day, then you would use up 2 days of rail travel on your pass.

    One important rule to remember is that if you happen to take a night train that departs prior to 7 pm to arrive into the destination the next morning, then 2 days of rail travel will be used up on a railpass. Most night trains; however, do depart after 7 pm, in which case only 1 day of rail travel would be used up on a railpass.

    The consecutive Eurail Global Passes allow for unlimited train travel within set time frames of either 15 days, 21 days, 1 month, 2 months, or 3 months.

    For travel through that many countries, you would purchase the Eurail Global Pass. The format in which you decide to purchase this pass would be up to you.

    With the Eurail Global Pass, the youth rates are only offered for 2nd class. If you wish to travel in 1st class, then you can purchase this pass at the 'Saver' rate, as long as you both will be traveling together at all times. To be eligible to receive the Saver rate, there would just have to be 2 or more passengers traveling together at all times, both listed on the pass.

    You can purchase the Eurail Global Pass by clicking here: http://www.raileurope.com/rail-ticket....

    Once you enter the number of passengers traveling on the page for the Eurail Global Pass on our website, you would just click 'Yes' where it says 'Special prices are offered for 2 or more travelers. Is everyone in your party traveling together at all times?', and you would then be quoted the Saver rate.

    Otherwise, you would be quoted the 2nd class youth rates just by indicating that you are youth passengers and then entering your respective ages. Please note, there is no youth rate on top of the Saver rate. These rates are separate from one another with the youth rate only being for 2nd class travel and the Saver rate only being for 1st class travel.
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) April 20, 2012 21:37
    A rail pass covers the ticket costs on trains (day trains and night trains) operating between different cities in the country or countries included on the pass. Reservations are a supplementary cost to a railpass, just as they would be factored into the cost of individual point-to-point tickets, and they are required on all high-speed trains, night trains, and many international routes. Generally, high-speed trains connect most of the larger cities and more popular destinations in western Europe. Therefore, it is very likely that reservations will be required for many of your trips.

    After you add the pass to your shopping cart, you would click 'Continue Shopping' to add your reservations and check reservation costs. On the next screen, you would then click 'Buy a Reservation' under where it says 'Reservations for Pass Holders' (if starting on the homepage, you would just click on 'Book a Reservation for Your Pass').

    Most trains in Europe can be reserved at any point within 60 or 90 days of an intended date of departure, depending on availability. Due to high demand, the Passholder rates on many trains can sell out quickly, so it is recommended that reservations be purchased as soon as possible.
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) April 20, 2012 21:41
    To view the type of sleeping accommodation being offered for a night train, you would just click on 'Select' listed with the fare shown when you pull up the results of your search.

    The class of service for sleeping compartments is generally determined by how many people a particular compartment sleeps. Single and double compartments are generally considered 1st class (Comfort Class on our website), while triple compartments, 4 passenger couchettes and 6 passenger couchettes are generally considered 2nd class accommodations (Economy Class on our website). Therefore, if a traveler wishes to reserve a compartment for as many as 4 or 6 passengers, then they would just have to expect that it would be considered 2nd class. In that sense, you can often just disregard class of service on night trains. The Triple compartments may just be listed under the 'Comfort Class' heading for 1st class.

    A 1st class railpass is of course valid to travel in 2nd class as well. Therefore, if need be, you can still reserve space in a compartment that is considered 2nd class even though you will be traveling with a 1st class pass. However, you would have to be traveling with a 1st class railpass to be able to reserve space in a 1st class sleeping compartment. In contrast, you would of course be able to be reserved in a compartment that is considered 2nd class if you are traveling with a 1st class railpass.

    In any case, we would recommend purchasing your pass for 1st class travel just for your day trains alone. On trains in Europe, 1st class offers more comfortable and larger seats, more leg room, and is often less crowded with fewer seats per train car. The 1st class train cars also tend to be quieter than the 2nd class train cars.
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