Please sign in to post.

Railpass Eligibility

My daughter has been in Germany since January this year. We are visiting her in September before she returns home, and tripping through Czech & Austria with her. Travel by train. Has anyone ever had a problem purchasing and using a rail pass for US resident who has been in Europe for 9 months already?

Posted by
4528 posts

Some very weird posts in this thread... To just answer the question simply, there is no problem with her using a Eurail pass. I assume she's still an American citizen, so I don't get all the confused posts above... A more complex answer would be to ask if it makes financial sense for a pass. If you know when and where you are traveling, you can most likely buy advanced tickets at steep discounts. This almost always totals less than a pass. Plus, if you will be with her, you'll need tickets too. A pass for you will be even more expensive since you'll have to buy 1st class (but yet would be sitting in 2nd with your daughter). Do a site search, there are many threads here with more details, and better answers.

Posted by
44 posts

Well, she is there legally. Not sure why INS or State Dept would be 'looking' for her. So I'm a little confused by your post.

Posted by
18226 posts

From the Eurail website, "European residents cannot travel with a Eurail pass but can instead use an InterRail pass" Note that it says "resident", not citizen. I would check with Eurail (sales@eurail.com) to make sure she is eligible to use a Eurail pass. If she is considered a resident of Europe (since she will have resided there for 9 month), she might have to use an Interrail pass.

Posted by
44 posts

Sorry, Ralph. I apologize for missing the humor. Worst part about text is missing the voice inflection. I don't want to waste $ on EurRail pass if they won't validate it because daughter has been in Hamburg since Jan.

Posted by
4627 posts

"How would they check residency on the website?" - Well they can't on the website, but she will have a visa stamped in her passport that indicates she is a resident; this should prove the residency requirement for Interrail. Scott, Do have your daughter check on the Interrail pass. In the past it was significantly less expensive than the Eurailpass. I haven't checked prices recently, but I suspect this will be a much better deal than the Eurailpass for her if she is eligible.

Posted by
4627 posts

I don't think anyone who suggested InterRail is confused. InterRail passes are available to European residents with at least 6 months of residency. Eurail passes are available to non-European residents. Residency (not citizenship) matters. InterRail passes have more options, can be used in more countries, and are cheaper than their Eurail counterparts. So if someone were eligible for Interrail and a railpass made sense, this is a better option than a Eurail pass. This site will show if she is eligible: www.eurail.com/help/choosing-pass/should-i-travel-eurail-or-interrail On the otherhand, I agree with the previous posters suggestion that a pass may not be necessary at all. Many people find that point-to-point tickets are less expensive than the pass for their itinerary. The only way to figure out whether a pass makes sense is to price out the individual segments and compare.

Posted by
2964 posts

I am still not sure what "residency" means if you're in Europe temporarily as a US citizen to be honest. I will say that I purchased a Railpass without realizing the limitations with regard to residency after I'd been here more than 6 months. It didn't matter in my case, while they did need my passport when I purchased the pass, they didn't seem to check the stamp for my arrival or my "visa" (status of forces agreement). She could check out interrail, she's probably best off consulting with the DeutscheBahn customer service people for advice. But please make sure before you purchase passes that it's the best option for you. It's possible it might be (Germany and Austria are two countries where the pass still offers good flexibility) but price out point-to-point tickets first.

Posted by
12739 posts

Scott, I agree with Laura on looking into using InterRail over using the Eurail Pass.

Posted by
2828 posts

The criteria they use to check that is fairly simple. If you have a visa valid for more than 90 days, like a student vista, you are a resident. She could check Interrail. Interrail costs roughly the same but they are not sold for all the same days / period combinations. An advantage of Interrail is the availability of 2nd class passes for passengers older than 25, but that is moot in your case as you will probably want not to ride apart from each other.

Posted by
44 posts

Thank you. Y'all have been very helpful. I appreciate it. I'll look into the Interrail pass.

Posted by
4528 posts

Scott, I think you still may be missing the main point from several of us buried in this thread: While she is eligible for a Eurail pass, and may be eligible for an Interail pass, the most likely best option is neither. Perhaps we are missing parts of the story, but if all three of you will be traveling together, then you all need tickets. If you'll be buying P2P tickets in advance, why not buy your daughter's at discounts at the same time? Now if she is doing other traveling, then perhaps the Interail pass will be a good option for her if eligible.

Posted by
44 posts

Thanks Douglas. I get it, check P2P pricing as well. I'm traveling Germany, Czech Republic, and Austria. Original intent was to get Saver Rail passes. 6 or 8 days over 2 months. After reviewing the Eurail link provided, I will need to review this also: http://www.ricksteves.com/rail/bestpass_wksht.htm

Posted by
4528 posts

Do search other threads on this topic. As I said before, you'll have to have 1st class Eurail passes and sit in 2nd class with your daughter. Why pay for 1st class just to sit in 2nd?

Posted by
44 posts

Thank you all very much for the direct ticketing advice. Following your direction I have reduced my train travel costs for 3 adults from $496 per person ($1488) to $449 total! Impressive. I still have Cesky Krumlov on my itinerary. I may splurge on a private car to Vienna after finding this much savings! :-) Got all my prices at http://www.oebb.at and http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de

Posted by
5668 posts

Interesting thread. I wonder if all this business about residency was applicable back in the 70's. My parents, back in the US, bought me a student Eurail Pass and mailed it to me after I had been in Europe for about two months on a student visa. I wonder if we were law-breakers back then. I know back then you could only buy the pass in the US. There were several of my classmates who bought their pass in advance of their trip to Europe. We all would have validated the passes after getting that big old Student Tourist Visa that took up a full page in your passport. ; ) Pam

Posted by
4627 posts

Pam, I know when I was in college (in the 80s) one of my friends who had spent a year in France got an Interrail pass. Even back then when the Eurail pass was cheap, the Interrail pass was cheaper. I don't think anyone really cares if an American student uses a Eurail pass because the Eurail pass costs more.

Posted by
12739 posts

No, you were not law breakers back in the '70s! Your parents mailing the Eurail Pass to you in Europe (for whatever reason, ie., it didn't arrive before you took off, you needed a second Pass after the first one expired, etc., etc.) was normal procedure, it was the way things were done. All Americans kids I met had an Eurail or Youth Pass, as I had,... some of the European kids had InterRail.

Posted by
4528 posts

No Pam - as was stated above in the thread, US citizens (and others) are eligible for the Eurail Pass. If you also meet residency requirements, you could be eligible for the Interail Pass too. Scott - so glad we saved you so much money. Now if only we could get a cut of that ;-) Enjoy your trip!