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buying eurail

How do i buy a global eurail pass if i'm currently studying abroad in Spain right now? I want it for the summer.

Posted by
2353 posts

You are here: HomeSupportOrdering a pass Do I need an InterRail or a Eurail pass? Find out which pass you can use You can only use an InterRail pass if you are a European resident and have been living in Europe for at least the last 6 months (counted on your first day of travel). It appears an Inter-rail pass is what you will need if you will have been in Spain for more than 6 months. There is a simple "test" HERE Non-European residents Non-European residents cannot travel with an InterRail pass and can instead use a Eurail pass, available from www.eurail.com. Proof of residency Train staff have the right to check your residency, so ensure you always have one of the following documents available that proves your country of residence: Work or student visa Residence card Rental agreement Bank statement
Utility bill Government certificate I love you folks who immediately assume that a rail pass is not cost effective - especially with no details of the persons itinerary or travel style.

Posted by
21356 posts

Have someone buy it for you in the US and mail it to you. Do be sure it is cost effective for you. It is hard to make most rail passes pay.

Posted by
2799 posts

If someone else buys it for you, make sure it is your name and ID details that go on the pass. But first you Need to look at how you will use it and whether extra costs are involved for reservations, that may dependent whether you ride regional trains or faster long-distance or intercity trains.

Posted by
1831 posts

I think a couple of you people may be suggesting that the regulations governing Eurail passes be broken. Not cool.

Posted by
31 posts

Monte, are you suggesting that the OP should be buying the Interail Pass? She is entitled to buy one or the other, and I think the Interail is the better buy. My understanding is she can buy the Interail pass is she has been in Europe for six months, otherwise she needs the Eurail. I don't see why it would be wrong to have it shipped to the U.S. and then mailed to her.

Posted by
21356 posts

Do tell Monte, which rules are being broken?

Posted by
2799 posts

If she'd rather, she can fill out the form and buy it herself right on this website, then enter her home address (or her parents') in the USA as the shipping address. Her parents can then mail it to her. Problem with that Monte? but I am guessing that a global pass won't be cost effective anyway. She needs to say where she wants to go.

Posted by
18064 posts

According to the Eurail website, "Eurail passes can only be used by non-European residents, who have lived in a non-European country for at least 6 months (counted on the first day of travel with the pass)." That would seem to preclude your using a Eurail Pass. You have to have a Eurail pass validated at a rail station and show your passport. If they're linked to the Schengen database, they will know how long you have been in Schengen and not in a non-European country. I wouldn't take the opinion of anyone here. Contact Eurail at customerservice@eurail.com, explain your situation, and get the answer straight from the horses mouth (so to speak).

Posted by
2799 posts

This is all I can find: "Only non-European residents can use a Eurail pass.You need to activate your Eurail pass within 6 months of the issuing date." Are you saying that studying in Spain (presumably on a student visa) makes her a resident of Spain? Probably an academic question since the global pass is not likely to be cost-effective.

Posted by
31325 posts

Megan, As someone else mentioned, it would help to have some idea where you plan to travel. Using budget airlines on some routes may certainly be cheaper than using a Railpass (considering you'll have to pay reservation fees separately). Cheers!

Posted by
2353 posts

Sasha - I have just noticed a trend here that many folks flat out bad mouth passes - but sometimes they do make sense. Especially if the traveler does not want to be locked in to dates in advance. Inter rail passes are considerably cheaper than eurail passes Check out HERE

Posted by
12400 posts

Hi, Most Americans traveling in Europe hardly know what an InterRail Pass entails. How many have actually met anyone, ie., someone with official residency in Europe, in the course of their trips holding an InterRail Pass. For those under 26 it could very well be a better than a Pass for North Americans.

Posted by
2799 posts

OK, I see from your link (thanks) that the InterRail pass prices are better. But, assuming she does qualify for that (meaning she is a resident of Spain), she would not be able to use it for travel within Spain (her country of "residence". OTOH, she would be able to use it to get to the UK (unlike a Eural Global pass). So we are back to needing to know where she plans to go.

Posted by
2353 posts

If you will have been in Spain for 6 months on the first date of travel you should qualify for the Interail Pass - if it has been less than 6 months you would need a Eurail Pass or point to point tickets.

Posted by
5 posts

thanks for the advice everyone. I am planning on starting in milan and going to ljubljana-budpest-krakow-prague-berlin

Posted by
5 posts

sorry then from berlin to austria. Could someone further explain interrail passes? I have been in spain since January on a student visa and wont be leaving until June.

Posted by
12400 posts

Hi, On Berlin to Austria...where to Vienna? Salzburg, Graz? With the InterRail I see you have two choices. If you want to break up the ride with time for lunch at the train station before proceeding to Vienna or Salzburg, then I suggest going Berlin-Frankfurt on the ICE. Time it right and you may go direct. From Frankfurt change to Vienna on the ICE direct. The faster way is Berlin-Munich on the ICE direct, change there to a RailJet to Vienna or Salzburg. Presumably, you're under 26, you'll get a great deal with the Youth InterRail 2nd class Pass.

Posted by
97 posts

Having done extensive research on both the Eurail and Interrail passes, I can verify the Interrail pass is indeed a much better purchase if you can qualify. It is a shame that the Eurail pass does not have the same diverse purchasing prices and use benefits that the Interrail pass does. If the two passes were similar, I am sure more people would be purchasing the Eurail pass. As often been pointed out by many travel boards including here at the Rick Steves Helpline, the Eurail pass just too often does not pay for itself. Point to point tickets are a much better purchase. I have to wonder if there are long term plans to eventually phase out the Eurail pass.

Posted by
5 posts

so since I will depart for this trip only 4 months into being a student in spain i can't qualify for the interrail? can i have someone else who is a resident buy the pass for me?

Posted by
2799 posts

No, you cannot have anyone else buy it for you. It has to have your name on it and be derived from YOUR residency. So you are back to a Eurail pass.

Posted by
12400 posts

Hi, You can still buy the InterRail Pass and avoid Eurail, provided you change a few things. Since you've been in Spain since January, wait until you are literally eligible time-wise to buy the Pass in June. Wait a few days for it to arrive, then activate it at a train station in Spain. Now, of course, doing this means a bit of sacrificing on your part, ie., postponing the start of the trip, but insofar as the time length needed to meet the residency requirement to get the InterRail, you'll make it.

Posted by
2799 posts

If she arrived in Spain mid-January, she will not be eligible for the resident pass until mid-July. She wants to travel in June.