Unlimited train rides



 Is it worth buying an unlimited train pass?

Not at all times, I should say.

The tickets or passes to unlimited, ride-all-you-can train rides will only be practical if you are going to so many places in a short span of time.

The Eurail pass in Europe, for one, will only be worth it depending on how many countries you are visiting and for how long are you traveling.


For instance, a 15-day Eurail pass costs about 567 euros. If you are going to just three countries, for example, this pass may be just too expensive.

Based from what I have experienced, a one-way, second class ticket from Cologne, Germany to Luxembourg costs about 55 euros. Then the train to Paris, France was 78 euros, then another 193 euros for a train going to Frankfurt, where I was to catch my flight back home.

If you add these up, it would still be cheaper to buy the tickets individually than just to have an unlimited train pass.

The same is true if you are going to Japan, whose JR pass has become so popular among tourists. But the question remains: Is it worth buying the JR pass?

Indeed, it sounds so enticing that you can see the whole of Japan by practically get on and off the train.

The cheapest that you can get is a seven-day pass in ordinary coaches, which costs 29,110 yen (for adults), equivalent to about PHP15,000 or $331.

But again, if you are planning to go to so many provinces around the country in a short span of time, the JR pass is your friend. But if not, you will just regret it.

A train from Tokyo going to Osaka costs about 13,620 yen. And if you are going to Kyoto from there, that’ll be just another 560 yen via JR special rapid train. Add another 13,080 if you are to go back to Tokyo to catch your flight back home. This is just a total of 27,260 yen (or PHP 13,630 or $310).

I’ve met a fellow traveler in Kyoto and she said she regretted having to buy an expensive JR pass. Just so that she can maximize its value, she ended up going to places that are not originally part of her itinerary – which I think is much costlier.

So the lesson here is, try to look for train fares for each destination and try to match it with the price of unlimited train passes.

This is not to discourage travelers, especially the budget-conscious adventurers, from buying these unlimited train rides. The key, still, is to do your research so as to maximize every possible savings there are for your trip.

How was your own experience using unlimited train passes? Let me know!

0 comments: