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Eurail Mobile Pass

Just received a note from Rail Europe providing info on the new Eurail Mobile Pass: https://www.eurail.com/en/eurail-passes/eurail-mobile-pass. The mobile Pass is a paperless ticket that can be added instantly to your phone.

As the header says, Travel paper-free with our new Eurail mobile Pass and discover the easiest way to travel using our app - where you can do everything from planning your trip to ticket inspection.

Posted by
17853 posts

So, let's see. They are making it easier for me to add a pass, I don't want or need, to a phone, I don't use.

Such a deal!

Posted by
24660 posts

it is probably not for you Lee. Leaves more for those who do want one

Posted by
422 posts

40 thousand + posts btwn you two and this matters too? Ever commiserated about the size soap in a hotel?

Posted by
2721 posts

Thanks for the link RnR. I hope they have simplified the process and worked out the bugs before rolling this out. I can see this as being a real learning curve for some technically challenged people of a certain age.

Posted by
519 posts

RnR, thanks for this post. I have the phone, I have the need, and I have hopes for 2023

Posted by
7201 posts

And that Eurail Pass works for you, does it? Do you ever think you're over spending on an inflated price of an antiquated ticket? Because if you're not thinking that - you really really should give it some consideration.

Posted by
1927 posts

Tim, I would agree that the Eurail Rail Pass is not always the best option. Point-to-point tickets can be far less expensive, especially if you purchase far in advance. Where we found the Eurail passes most viable for us was when we were traveling often by train, without any fixed plans, or on a multi-country trip.

With the pass, we'd often jump off the train at random stations and go exploring - knowing we could get on the next train out of town. It led to some amazing "local" experiences (and yes, a few duds). The Eurail Mobile Pass would give a traveler more info which makes those day trips - or SLOW intercity journeys - easier. It would be great for spontaneous travel or exploration-by-train day trips.

But if you're a planner, or only using the train 2-3 times in a two-week vacation, Point-to-point is probably the best way to go.

Posted by
17853 posts

"Leaves more for those who do want one"

I think the passes are unlimited; my not buying one doesn't leave more for you. But why, considering what Eurail is now offering, would you want one?

A while back, a frequent poster on this board observed that, while a European rail pass used to be a no-brainer, it's no longer the bargain it once was. And that observation was made when Eurail was still offering their "Select pass", a lower cost pass for a few contiguous counties. With the demise of the Select Pass, a Eurail pass has ceased to be a viable option for most travelers.

What does Rick Steves say about rail passes. "The more time you expect to spend on the train, the more likely you'll want a pass" and "The more countries you plan to visit, the more probable it is that you'll save money with a pass." I don't think most people spend enough time (or should) on a train, or visit enough countries, to warrant a Global pass. Why should you have to buy a 33 country pass if you are only going to visit, say, eight countries, or a 15 day pass if you are only going to use ten days?

Twenty years ago is returned to Europe after a decade of not going, and, out of habit, I bought a rail pass. When I came home, I looked at where I had gone and, even then, not knowing what I know now about how to save money on tickets, I concluded that I had just about broken even with a pass. Since then, before every trip, I have costed out the rail trips I plan to take, and compared that to the cost of a rail pass, and a rail pass has never made sense.

Looking at my most recent trip, where is used rail on eight out of the 21 days I was in Germany - six changes of venue, including an almost day long trip from St Goar to near Füssen, plus two side trips. At today's fares, I would have spent 257€, about $323 for two adults. That consisted of one day long, advance purchase, SparPreis ticket from St Goar to near Füssen, three regional passes, 2 local passes, and two point-point tickets. All but the SparPreis ticket were purchased on the day of travel.

Eurail does not have an eight day pass - the next pass up after 7 days is 15 days, definitely overkill. Compare the 7 most expensive days of my travel, which cost us $296, with the current 20% discount price of a 2 adult Eurail Global pass at $660. We would have gotten the price for 2 seniors, which is only $596, still over twice what I spent.

But whatever, don't just blindly buy a pass 'cause you can use it on your phone. Compare; do the numbers. And to find the best ticket prices, you might want to ask people here.

Posted by
662 posts

The never ending argument between anti-Eurail pass people and pro Eurail pass people. I have done both and if my cost estimate is less than a couple hundred dollars different, I opt for the pass. Saves time, lots of time, buying tickets at kiosks or standing in line and I always add unplanned trips. Having it as an app will be great because with a paper pass you always had to treat it like gold, it was valuable and if you lost it, too bad! Good idea to have an app. Thanks for the post/info.

Posted by
17853 posts

The pro-pass people always overestimate the time spent buying tickets. I bought 7 tickets, 5 from automats (never had a line) and two (VV TK) on buses. Total time spent, maybe, half an hour, probably less. Saved $300. That's $600 per hour saved, at least.

Posted by
16809 posts

Lee: Why are you comparing an 8-day trip in Germany to a 7-day Eurail Global pass instead of a 7-day German pass at 388 euros for a pair? Did you move much outside of Germany? An early step in choosing or comparing a rail pass is to find the one that most closely fits your trip. There are many one-country options. For multiple countries, however, the current Eurail Global rates are cheaper than many versions of the old Eurail Select rates.

Posted by
17853 posts

Why are you comparing an 8-day trip in Germany to a 7-day Eurail
Global pass instead of a 7-day German pass at 388 euros for a pair?

Laura, I believed the title of this thread was "Eurail Mobile Pass", and we were discussing the efficacy of the Eurail Mobile Pass. I was staying on topic. (See item 1 of the Community Guidelines.)

But, in my analysis (you know I do detailed analyses), I did compare the GRP, which is not a product of Eurail to what I spent. The 7 day Twin Pass is, as you say, 388€. I paid 244€ for my 7 most expensive days of travel. I still saved a lot of money by not buying a rail pass.

Did you move much outside of Germany?

I had one day of rail travel, for about $44, in Switzerland and Austria. Hardly worth getting a Eurail 33 country pass for a $44 trip.

My point is, I know the Eurail Global Pass is a big convenience. Just buy a pass and never again think about whether it was a good deal. It probably wasn't a good deal, but it was convenient.

I believe that everyone should do the analysis for any travel, with a good knowledge of advance purchase, regional passes, and point-point ticket prices or whatever bargains they can find where they are going, and that, if they do, in most cases they will reject the rail pass option.

Posted by
662 posts

I believe that everyone should do the analysis for any travel, with a good knowledge of advance purchase, regional passes, and point-point ticket prices or whatever bargains they can find where they are going, and that, if they do, in most cases they will reject the rail pass option.

This is the best advice. Analyze first. Usually the shorter the stay the less a pass makes sense or if you stay in one place for longer time periods. If you are in Europe for 10-11 weeks, travel around, make day trips, you'll find the pass will pay for itself. Day trips add costs because they are round trip. It is like choosing between airfares. Sometimes the more expensive one just makes life easier. I don't travel and pinch every penny because it tends to dampen the trip.