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Validating &Using Your Pass
Validating Your Pass:
Your rail pass will be validated twice. The first stamp is printed automatically
by our office and will appear on the top right hand corner of the pass. You must
begin to use your pass within 6 months of this validation.
On the day you begin your travel, go to the ticket office of the train station
and have an official validate your pass. They should put a second stamp on your
pass under the first one. You must do this in order to start your journey and
not risk having your pass confiscated. Please note that you must have your pass
validated at the station. A conductor on a train cannot validate your pass.
- Month Definition: A rail pass “month” is 30
consecutive days long. It begins on your first day of travel, when you activate
your pass, independent of the calendar date. The month ends midnight of the
30th day from activation.
- Day Definition (7pm rule): A day of rail travel gives you
unlimited train travel from midnight to the following midnight. If you are
traveling on an overnight train and you board after 7:00pm, when you arrive
at your destination you will only have used up one day of travel on your pass
rather than two. Travel that takes place between 7pm and midnight is not counted.
You mark the day of arrival at your destination on your rail pass. If you
travel on an overnight ferry, you may mark either the day of arrival or the
day of departure on your pass.
- 6 Month Expiration: Passes expire after 6 months from the
date of pass activation (when it was written).
Using Your Pass:
What is a Eurail day? A rail day is considered any travel between 12
midnight to 12 midnight of the following day (i.e. a 24 hour period). However,
a good tip to know is the 7:00pm rule. If you board a direct, overnight train
after 7pm, only the following day of travel is counted. On your flexi or Selectpass,
you would write the day of arrival on the pass prior to boarding the overnight
train. Overnight trains departing after 7:00pm do not require 2 day from your
pass. When traveling on an overnight/hotel train that has departed after 7:00pm
you simply enter the next day's date in the calendar box.
Important: Do NOT enter the date in the American form
(month/day/year). Eurail Passes require that you enter dates in European format
(day/month/year). Do not use erasable ink, or tamper with your pass in any other
way. If you are caught, your pass will be confiscated, you will be subjected to
fines, and you may be denied further use of the rail system.
- Consecutive Day Pass: You do not need to enter the date
of travel on to your pass. The conductor will check the expiration date on
your pass. Once validated a consecutive day pass (Eurailpass) requires no
other steps, just use it to travel and enjoy.
- Eurail Flexipass/Selectpass: If you have a Eurail flexipass
or Selectpass you must enter the day and month of the present travel day onto
the grid at the bottom of your pass. Use black or blue permanent ink and make
sure to enter the date in the international form of day/month/year (For example
July 24, 2001 = 24/07/01). Once you are on the train, the conductor will check
your pass and see if you have entered the correct date.
Making Reservations :
Most regional trains (shorter trips) you can just walk on to the train with your
rail pass and sit in any unreserved seat. We do recommend checking into your local
rail office the same day or a day before your journey to make sure you don't need
a specific seat reservation. When traveling on premier/high speed trains you will
most likely need to make a seat reservation before your journey at the departing
rail station. Any seat reservation fees or supplements will be charged to you
then and you will be guaranteed a seat.
If you are running late or making a tight transfer you can board your premier/speed
train and make your reservation and supplement payment with the conductor providing
that the train has available seating. Peak travel months are (May,June,July,August),
while peak travel times are usually during the business morning and evening rush.
( Between 7:00am-9:30am and between 4:00pm-6:00pm) During peak travel season or
if you are traveling with a large group we do recommend making seat reservations
to insure that you will be on a specific train and will be seated together. First
class passes will also increase your ability to secure a seat during peak/rush
time periods as usually 2nd class cars fill first, and in most cases there is
always space available in first class.
However, if your travel itinerary is flexible and you want to save money, we suggest
that you make your seat reservations before your journey, or when you arrive in
Europe. This will allow you more flexibility in your travel plans, and you will
save money on not having to secure any pre-journey reservations. Most trains including
premier/speed trains run frequently, therefore if by chance you cant get onto
one train there is always another one that runs after it or you can opt to travel
on slower regional trains that may require some transfers, but will get you where
you want to go. First class passes will also help you in this case, as you will
find a free seat more easily (2nd class fills up first).