Sunday, October 4, 2009

European Railpasses and Reservations

When traveling in Europe using a railpass, you will need to make reservations and pay a supplemental charge for certain trains. I just bought a Swiss Saver Pass (a two-person pass for Switzerland) from Rail Europe, and the pass was mailed to me with free shipping since it cost more than $449 U.S. Cool!

Since the centerpiece of my trip in Switzerland is taking the entire reservation-only Glacier Express from Zermatt to St. Moritz, making reservations ahead of time is a very logical idea. My friend and I hopped online while talking on the phone to make sure that we were each reserving the same train.

We got off the phone after chatting, and I proceeded to finishing placing my order online with Rail Europe. I was stunned to realize that the $30 reservation is a paper document that would need to be mailed----at $18!

Uh, have these people heard of email???

The moral of the story: when you purchase a pass from Rail Europe and need to make reservations for your itinerary, go ahead and order them at the same time as your pass!! You will then get the free shipping for all of your documents. ;-)

In this case, I think we probably could have purchased our reservations when we arrive in Europe, but we wanted to play it safe since we will be riding in first class in an observation car. Word to the wise, travellers!

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