Questions about the Eurail Global Pass

Hi everybody. I'm from Costa Rica and we dont have any train system like in Europe. So your train system is a completely mistery for me.

I will be on Paris december 26 and I will go to London on January 30. Then I will travel to Frankfurt on january 2, and then travel to Austria on january 5. Then travel to Italy (probably Milan) on January 8 and finally get back to Paris on January 11 to catch a plane back home. I will travel with my daughter (youth) and my mother (senior).

I think my best option is the Global Pass 15 days continuous, but I got a few questions...

1. Can I buy the 3 global pass today (to get the discount) and use the tickets 9 months later (in december)?
2. Once I got the passes, I need to start planning about hotels check in and check out so I will need the schedule for every train. Where can I get that information? As an example, what is time for the Paris-London train on december 30?
3. I still dont really understand the activation process. What is means? Can I buy today and activate the tickets today? Or I should activate the tickets a few days before my travel?
4. I see some trains needs can I know what trains need reservation?
5. In the FAQ says some trains can be reserved 6 or 9 months in advance...can I make the reservation with an un-activated ticket? If the answer is no, can I activate the tickets online?
6. The tickets are delivered online? Can I print it at home or use it on my phone? In the "Book now" it says "Issued as a paper document"....thats not convenient for Costa Rica.

Thanks in advance for the help.

Fabian Gutierrez
1 person has
this question
  • Jeff (Official Rep) April 03, 2019 17:45
    Hi Fabian,

    For the Eurail Global Pass, you would click here:

    For the most comfortable experience doing that much travel, 1st class is recommended.

    1.) The Eurail Global Pass just has to be validated for use within 11 months from the date is is purchased. Therefore, you can purchase the pass now for use in December.

    2.) The objective of rail passes is to cover ticket costs. 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.

    For travel with a rail pass, you would check reservation costs and purchase reservations by searching a route on our homepage (, checking the box that says ‘I have a rail pass’, and then indicating the type of rail pass with which you'll be traveling (i.e. a ‘Eurail Global Pass’). Generally, reservable trains can be booked within a range of 60 to 120 days of an intended departure. It just depends on the train/route. Only the Eurostar (the between Paris and London) can be reserved as far out as 6 to 9 months in advance of a departure.

    Since your intended travel is not until December, you would have to use earlier dates just to get an idea of schedules and reservation costs in the meantime.

    For trains that do not accept reservations, there is nothing you need to book, so the Eurail Global Pass is all you would need to board. On such trains, you would just hop on and show your pass. For planning purposes, you can still use the route search feature on our homepage just to view schedules for many unreserved trains. Generally, when you're just trying to access schedules for non-reservable trains, you would have to be sure to leave the 'I have a rail pass' button unchecked.

    3.) Eurail Passes just need to be validated before they can be used. This is something you would do at the rail station before you take your first train. You would just go the ticket window in the station and request that your pass be validated.

    4.) As I alluded to above, many trains do require reservations as a supplement to the rail pass. If you have any questions about whether or not a particular train will require reservations, you would just have to let us know the specific route. The Eurostar (Paris-London), for example, does require reservations. You would purchase reservations from Paris to London by searching the route on our homepage, checking the box that says ‘I have a rail pass’, and then indicating the type of rail pass with which you'll be traveling (i.e. a ‘Eurail Global Pass’).

    5.) Eurail Passes do not have to be validated for you to purchase reservations. Since most reservations should be purchased in advance (before even leaving for Europe) and the pass validation is something that's done at the rail station, it would be discouraged, in fact. Many trains, like the Eurostar, can sell out quickly, so it is recommended that reservations be purchased in advance, before leaving for Europe.

    6.) I'm sorry, as the Eurail Global Pass is issued as a physical document that would have to be shipped to you. Eurail Passes are not able to be issued electronically.
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  • Hi Jeff

    Thanks for your clear and extensive answers. Due to your collaboration, I just bought the 3 global pass for my travel.

    Thanks a lot for your help, Jeff
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