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Interrail Global Pass in August.

Poland
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Interrail Global Pass in August.

I will be embarking on Europe Rail Journey and need to make seat reservations for three legs:

Amsterdam - Paris

Paris - Barcelona

Madrid - Lisbon (night train)

From what I see, it looks like mission impossible unless I pay full prices, which basically means for these three journeys I will end up paying almost as much as the whole Rail Pass?

I know it is high season and seats are limited for Passes, but I am seriously thinking of taking my chances and turning up one day before at the station and try my luck.

Tickets websites are not helpful or not responding to any requests.

The clock is ticking.

Any suggestions?

13 replies to this topic
Albufeira, Portugal
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1. Re: Interrail Global Pass in August.

If you know the dates and times you need to travel, buy tickets now direct from from the train company. Long gone are the times when you could show up with a pass and easily get on the train of your choice.

The Thalys trains Amsterdam - Paris have very high reservation fee for pass holders, book direct with them.

There are so few trains Paris - Barcelona that you should do the same. I assume you have hotels booked and need to arrive in certain places at certain times.

And the Madrid - Lisbon night train is the only train that connects the two cities. In summer it sells out weeks in advance. That is one trip you absolutely must book now if you can at either www.renfe.com or www.loco2.com oryou are quite likely to arrive at the station and find the trains full. I saw that myself at Lisbon last August where a large notice in English stated that the Madrid train was sold out for three days. People with passes were at a loss but they don't realise that trains can be sold out.

Poland
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2. Re: Interrail Global Pass in August.

Thank you! You are right with your suggestions.

I have things planned and times of trains as well, but refne or thalys charge alot more than I expected with the rail pass. I mean amsterdam-paris-barcelona = extra 250 Euro, it is like half of my Rail Pass already? Night Train 170 Euro? (Two People travelling).

Could you please suggest feasibility of this route: Madrid - Merida - Badajoz - Lisbon (or near), please?

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3. Re: Interrail Global Pass in August.

Hi

I have a question about Interrail Pass. I bought one for August and it arrived with the wrong Date of Birth (the year is 1986 instead of 1989). Everything else is correct. They said I should exchange it but it is quite a hassle and costs extra. Does anyone have experiences if this would be a problem or can I travel with the current one as well?

Thanks!

Albufeira, Portugal
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4. Re: Interrail Global Pass in August.

"Madrid - Merida - Badajoz - Lisbon (or near), please?"

This can be done, but only with careful planning. There is only one train a day across the border from Badajoz into Portugal, so everything hinges on that. Where reservations are not available your pass will be OK.

This is how I see it using current (June2018) timetables

Madrid Atocha leave 0807 Sundays excepted

Badajoz arrive 1405 reservation required

There is later train every day at 1018 with a connection at Mérida for Badajoz arriving at 1605 but that leaves little room for delay. Reservation required Madrid to Mérida.

Badajoz leave 1624 Spanish time

Entroncamento arrive 1825 Portugal time Reservations are not available

Entroncamento leave 1858

Lisbon Santa Apolónia arrive 2000 reservation required OR

Entroncamento 1841

Lisbon Santa Apolónia arrive 2020 reservation not available, slow train.

Amsterdam - Pars could be done by using a series of slow trains but it would take literally all day, especially problematic in France where regional trains are disconnected.

There are some theoretical routes for getting from Paris to Barcelona in slow local and non reservable trains (ie with a pass no more to pay) but you would probably need more than a day to it.

Here's one route :

Paris - Clermont Ferrand

Clermont Ferrand -Nessargues - Béziers which is where if possibly fails as only one train a day proceeds south of Nessargues and if memory serves correctly even that is now replaced by a bus.

Béziers - Narbonne - Cerbère local trains

Cerbère - Portbou- Barcelona Sants using Catalan regional trains.

Or Clermont Ferrand - Aurillac - Toulouse - Latour de Carol - then Spanish regional trains to Barcelona.

So, you work with a detailed rail map of France and a good rail journey planner. You would have to check each section separately. The journey planners probably won't even offer such a possibility as a single journey.

I cannot offer many thoughts about the wrong birthday on a rail pass. I cannot for one moment anyone would even bother checking unless it was a youth or senior pass and you obviously were neither!

Edited: 8:27 am, June 07, 2018
Poland
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5. Re: Interrail Global Pass in August.

Cobsur,

Very details and informative. Thank you.

I dont want to waste time travelling cheaper but longer and probably will book at extortionate prices. Amsterdam-Paris-Barcelona. I hope trains Barcelona - Madrid are in less demand.

I however still consider your route Madrid - Lisbon, it sounds like a true adventure :-) Are the area picturesque through the train window?

Also, another option worth considering is FixBus - Madrid - Lisbon, 8hours. 70 Euros.

Sirli,

As long as your Passport numbers match with those on the Rail Pass you will be fine.

I would print the email correspondence with rail issuer regarding this error and show it to ticket controller if in doubt.

Quainton, United...
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6. Re: Interrail Global Pass in August.

1. The passholder fee Amsterdam-Paris is €25. Regular advance fares start from €35, so potentially your €80-per-day pass saves you just €10 here!

2. Normal ticket websites don't do passholder reservations. This site WILL do passholder reservations for Thalys: https:/…TravelWish

3. oui.sncf MAY do pass reservations for Paris-Barcelona, but usually just shows regular fares.

4. There's nowhere that will sell sleeper reservations Madrid-Lisbon. Beds in 4-berth start at €57.30 without a pass, the best thing is just to book one of those, at www.loco2.com - just forget you have a pass!

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7. Re: Interrail Global Pass in August.

Thanks! :)

Albufeira, Portugal
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8. Re: Interrail Global Pass in August.

"Are the area picturesque through the train window? "

You cross into Portugal during the night and there is maybe only an hour and 30 minutes of daylight in which to admire the view, which if you are on the correct side is mostly of the River Tejo until close to Lisbon, when it is factories and docks.

Poland
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9. Re: Interrail Global Pass in August.

Thank you!

For the route I have chosen in Europe I guess my Global Rail Pass will prove a total waste of money. That is 520 Pound.

I just purchased two tickets via Oui.sncf

Amsterdam - Paris ----- 100 Euro two people

Paris - Barcelona ------ 158 Euro two people

During the booking process, they DID ask if I have a Global Pass, so I assume those prices are discounted a little.

This Amsterdam - Paris 25 Euro fee is OFF season and at the station I guess.

I checked Barcelona - Madrid - again 120 Euro without Pass. Madrid - Lisbon night train 170 Euro (all two travellers)

With all those extortionate priced bookings I will confront each local ticket office and try to book these seats again once I am in Amsterdam, Paris, Barcelona, Madrid. If I get a partial refund (and a seat available) it is a bonus.

Brussels, Belgium
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10. Re: Interrail Global Pass in August.

Basically what you have learned is that you have to research reservation and passholder fees for the specific trains you intend to take BEFORE buying a pass rather than afterwards - at least if hoping to save money. I have seen the argument that irrespective of cost, some people would rather have a single pass than a number of individual tickets, but they are in any case going to end up with separate documents if taking trains that require reservations, which is all high-speed trains and most international ones; and they can end up paying way over the odds using a pass + additional fees, compared with buying individual tickets sufficiently early..

But you'll know next time!

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