15 day 3 country train pass verses point to point train travel.

I have researched the point to point travel in FRANCE on Voyagers-SNCF.com. After inputing 5 destinations in France and Switzerland, I had spent 800 Euros and still had 3 stops to make in Germany. The 15 day 3 country pass for two is $1300.00. So, I believe the pass is cheaper. Suzy

Posted by suzy
vancouver, wa
29 posts

Thanks again Lola and Lee, I looked on Voyagers-SNCF from Carcassone to Nice for 2 people over 60 in second class and the price was 113 Euros. I will check the TVG-Europe price. i am also putting in the information that I am from CANADA as this site suggested. Thanks Suzy

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
5444 posts

suzy, the prices I listed are for one person, so for Carcassonne to Nice it is no all that different (I actually saw prices ranging from 57 to 63 euros per person). But the other one, Nice to Zermatt, is significantly less on TGV-Europe.

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
5444 posts

Did you include the reservation fees you will have to pay for the TGV trains in France? Did you find the discount fares that are available? And where are you going in Switzerland? A 3-country pass may not fully cover the travel there; sometimes it is only 25%. And from Switzerland into Germany you can often find very good discount fares on bahn.de.

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
11280 posts

You don't say where you are going in Germany. You might find that travel in Germany costs less than you think. If you are using trains in France that require mandatory reservations, you need to get them in advance because French Rail often limits pass holder reservations. You might find that getting them in advance is difficult and expensive.

Posted by suzy
vancouver, wa
29 posts

Thanks Lola and LEE, Here is the itinerary and cost for two people. I am going from Paris - Tours on TGV for 40E. Tours to Sarlat on SNCF for 84E, Sarlat to Carcassone for 91 E on SNCF, Carcassone to Nice for 113 E on SNCF. uNice to Zermatt foon TGV for 260 E. and that does not include the reservation fee. This totals 588 E and I have not found the Zermatt - Fussen connection yet. I will research that with Swiss trains and then Fussen to Rotthenburg to Berlin, Germany. Can I do all those stops with a 15 day 3 country pass for $1315.00 for two. And does this pass include the resevation fees? Suzy

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
11280 posts

I don't think Swiss trains are reservable, but the TGV have mandatory reservations, which are not included in the price of the pass. Those reservations might be difficult to come by except from Rail Euorpe. From Füssen to Rothenburg could be done with a Bayern-Ticket, which costs €29 and covers both of you. I found advance purchase Savings Fare tickets from Rothenburg to Berlin for July 5 at €79, total, for 2 people. Seat reservations for both of you would cost €8. For the same date, I also found an advance purchase, Europa-Spezial fare on the Bahn website from Zermatt (11:39) to Füssen (20:55) for €98 for both of you. All the prices I've quoted are also in 2nd class (I haven't ridden in 1st cl since 1987, when my company paid for it. After that I didn't even use 1st cl if they would.).

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
5444 posts

Just to clarify, ticket prices DO include the reservation fee; there is nothing to add. You have to add the reservation fee when using a pass (so consider that when comparing prices).. Where are you seeing those ticket prices? They seemed high, so I checked on TGV-Europe. Booking 2 months out, I found Carcassone to Nice for around 60 euros, and Nice to Zermatt for 98 euros. That is in 2d class. Maybe you are looking at First Class? Also, the portion between Visp and Zermatt is a private train and only covered 25% with a 3-country pass.

Posted by suzy
vancouver, wa
29 posts

Thanks Lola, I did find on the Bahn.com 2 people in 2nd class over 60 for 118 Euro on the super saver site for Zermatt- Fussen. Thanks Suzy

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
5444 posts

Suzy, you have definitely done your homework, and you may be one of the exceptions to the "general rule" that passes are not cost-effective, by the time you add in reservatoin fees. For the travel you are doing---mostly long trips, and not much time in Switzerland riding lifts, etc., the passes may well work out, even with the added reservation fees. And the passes may well be less expensive than you think. You are pricing a 15-day (consecutive day) pass, but you actully only have 8 days of travel (as I count them). You can get a 3-country Selct Pass (Saver) for 9 days of travel for $525 each, or $1050. That is an average of $58 per trip, and most of yours are way more than that. But before you decide for sure, better check on those reservation fees, especially on the TGV in France. The passes are for travel in First Class.

Posted by suzy
vancouver, wa
29 posts

Thanks Lola and all you other guys! You have been a real big help. I will research the 3 country 15 day with 8 travel days. I do love this web site!!!! Suzy

Posted by Sarah
Stuttgart, Germany
2012 posts

Some of the people here claim railpasses are always a bad deal, but there are itineraries in which it is the cheapest way to go - particularly if you want to use high speed trains on long journeys, especially if you're doing a lot of travel in countries that don't require mandatory reservations. People just have to do the math to figure out what is best for them, really.