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FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

From how to choose the best rail pass to when to expect delivery, browse below for answers to all your rail pass questions.

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What does it mean to "validate" a rail pass or train ticket in Europe?

For Rail Passes: All rail passes must be validated twice. The first stamp is printed automatically by our office and will appear on the top right hand corner of the pass. You must begin use of this pass within 11 months of this validation. On your first day of train travel, all people listed on the pass must go to the ticket office of the train station and have an official validate the pass again. The station official should put a second stamp on the pass under the first one. Please note that the pass MUST be validated at the station—a conductor on a train cannot validate the pass. If you do not validate the pass, or if you tamper with the pass in any way, the conductor has the right to confiscate it, at which time the unused part of the pass is non-refundable. If you are not able to start using the pass within 11 months of its printed date, you will need to return this pass and we will issue you a new pass.

Do I need to book a rail pass for everyone in my traveling party, including children and infants?

Children under four travel for free and will not require a pass. Up to two children ages 4-11 also travel for free when traveling with an adult using a rail pass.

If more than two children are traveling, extra children must purchase youth fare passes. Seat, couchette, sleeper, and other reservations must be made even for a child traveling for free, and will still incur the associated reservation fees.

I made a mistake when I ordered my rail pass. How can I correct it?

Depending on the mistake that has been made, and if your pass has not yet been activated, we can issue you a new rail pass. You will need to send the incorrect pass back to us via a traceable shipping method and pay a new shipping fee.

What information do I need to provide when booking a rail pass? Do the names on the rail pass and the passports have to match?

You will need to provide the name and country of residence for each passenger exactly as those items appear on his or her passport.

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How can I compare the price of a rail pass and reservations to that of train tickets?

You can start with cost of the rail pass and then add the costs of any required seat reservations. Then total the cost of individual train tickets for your planned routes. (Please refer to the point-to-point comparison on the results pages.)

In general, the more travel days and more countries through which you plan to travel, the better value a rail pass offers. See it all!

Can I share my rail pass with others (family, friends)?

A pass is only valid for the person whose name is on it, and you cannot share an individual rail pass.

However, there are Saver passes that are valid for two to five adults traveling together. Also, many passes allow up to two children (aged 4–11) to travel with each adult in possession of a valid rail pass.

Are there discounts available for rail passes?

Beyond train travel, there are additional benefits associated with each rail pass. Examples of discounts include free or discounted ferry and bus fares, discounts on hotel and hostel reservations, and discounts on tours or attractions.

How do I know the right rail pass to choose, and how many days I should purchase?

You need to determine what countries you plan to travel through and how many days you will spend in each country to determine the best pass for your needs. Please refer to the comparison chart on the pass results page for the most detailed information. Just fill in the details in the search field, and we will find you the best pass for your trip.

How do I use the bonuses that come with rail passes?

Take advantage of extra pass benefits by contacting the individual company in advance, or show them your pass when you make your booking. Some offers may require an advance reservation, so make sure you check if this applies to that specific offer.

You can see the offers, and their rules, listed on the Benefits page of the Pass Guide.

Does each trip I take require using a separate day of travel on my rail pass?

No. You may take as many trains as you like within the 24-hour period for each day on your pass.

Can I use my rail pass on any train within its area of coverage?

In most European countries, the vast majority of train lines are part of a national rail service, and any rail pass will usually be valid on all of those trains.

However, many countries also feature a handful of private rail lines, plus regional or urban commuter trains, and a rail pass may or may not be valid on those (or, in some cases, a pass will only get you a discount on certain private scenic lines). You must read the rules of the pass for each country to determine which train lines are included.

For example: In Italy, the local Metros (urban subway systems) are not included on the Italy pass.

What is the "validity period" of a rail pass?

The duration of time the pass will be valid, once you validate it at your first train station. For example, Eurail passes come in 15-day, 22-day, and 1–, 2–, and 3-month versions. If you validate a two-month pass on May 15th, it will be valid until July 14th.

What is the 7 p.m. rule?

With a flexipass, rail days are normally counted from midnight to midnight.

However, when traveling on a direct overnight train you do not have to burn two rail days. On any train that departs after 7 p.m. (19:00 on European train schedules) and arrives at its final stop after 4 a.m. (04:00), you only need to enter the arrival date on your rail pass calendar.

What is a travel day on a rail pass?

A travel day is a 24-hour period during which you can travel on trains with your rail pass. It lasts from 12 a.m. (midnight) to 11:59 p.m. on the same calendar day—though, for overnight trains departing after 7 p.m., you need only enter the following day's date on your pass.

What is the difference between a flexipass and a consecutive-day pass?

A consecutive-day pass provides unlimited rail travel for the duration of the pass, once it has been validated. For example, if you buy a one-month pass you can travel on as many trains as you like on any day during that month.

A flexipass gives the pass-holder a two month period during which to use the number of days specified by pass. For example, if you buy a two-month flexipass with 10 days of travel, you can use each of those ten days at any point during the 60-day validity period.