I am traveling to Europe this upcoming May and I am stuck on whether it is best to use a Eurail pass or buy point-to-point tickets. I know which dates I want to travel and my accommodation is all pre-booked. Are point-to-point tickets always more cost effective? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?
My partner and I (in our mid-twenties) are traveling to the following cities:
Barcelona - Marseille
Marseille - Paris
Paris - Berlin
Berlin - Prague
Prague - Frankfurt
The easiest option seems to be the new Eurail 4-Country Select Pass
, which precisely covers 5 travel days and works out to about $544 per person. However, I've been doing some research on Seat61
, and a tentative online search of these trips purchased point-to-point would seem to cost around $420 per person.
That's certainly decent savings, but some of these trips involve transfers with short turnaround times (10 minutes). They are also the economy tickets, so the train on your ticket seems to be the only train you can ride. On the other hand, it sounds like the Eurail now often requires separate reservations, especially for many of the routes that we are riding. Apparently, they can cost up to ~30 euros each.
Any thoughts on which option is best? Any tips on where to find discounted fares?