After making the decision to stick to Western Europe for the first portion of my trip, I realized I needed to make another big decision…how I’m going to get around. I’ve heard so many mixed reviews about the value of a eurail pass that I have no idea if it will be worth it. A 2 month pass with 10 days of travel is $908, a 2 month pass with 15 days is almost $1200. It might just be better to look for a combination of point to point rail passes and cheap airfares via ryanair or some other budget airline.
This trip is about being spontaneous and free to go whichever way the wind blows me so I hate the idea of being tied down to a specific route. What if I meet some awesome people on the road and they’re headed to Nice and I have a ticket to Venice? That pretty much defeats my goal for this trip. One of my favorite parts of traveling through Central America was that I never booked anything in advance, except for the 10 days my parents visited my in Costa Rica. I had a loose plan, but there was so much room for negotiation. For that reason, I think a Eurail pass is not for me.
If you have a very definite path mapped out with a lot of long travel days, a pass might be worth it. Just keep in mind, even with a eurail pass, you might be faced with additional fees for some of the trains (especially overnights). You also may need to book legs pretty far in advance.
Ok, another decision made! Man I’m on a roll ;-). Even though I’ve decided not to use a eurail pass for this trip to Europe, I may use one on a future trip, so I would still love to hear from anyone that has used a pass in the, er, past.