Plan Your European Train Trip This Summer With Eurail's New App and Discounts
Sure, low-cost carriers such as Ryanair and easyJet offer tons of cheap flights throughout Europe. But train travel still has a lot of advantages.
Train stations are usually centrally located in major cities, and thus easier to reach than airports, and you rarely have to worry about baggage limits or slogging through security. Best of all, you can actually enjoy the scenery, whether you're whizzing across the French countryside or chugging through the Swiss Alps. And now Eurail, the company that made it easy to design an entire journey through Europe by train, is celebrating its 60th anniversary by releasing new app features and discounts.
Eurail's Rail Planner app (admittedly not the most eloquent name) has a new look and easy-to-navigate interface. With the "Trip Planner" feature, you can now search train routes and only be shown trains that accept the Eurail pass. Once you find the route you want, you can save it to the new "My Trip" feature, which organizes your trip as a day-by-day itinerary. You can also map out your trip, making it easy to visualize the routes you're taking.
Plus, the app now tells you if an additional reservation is needed. For trains in France, Italy, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland, the app makes it easy to book a seat in advance and receive a confirmation by email.
Earlier this year, Eurail underwent a revamp that included simplified passes, the addition of three new countries — Great Britain, Macedonia and Lithuania — new rules and more discounts. Now, you can choose a One Country Pass or a Global Pass that gives you access to train routes in 31 countries.
There are even ferries, accommodations and attractions that offer discounts to Eurail pass holders, and the updated app makes it easy to search by country and see where you can save by showing your pass or pre-ordering online. In Italy, for example, you can get 10% off the rates at Generator Hostels and 20% off fares on SNAV ferries, which go to Capri, Ischia and Sorrento on the Amalfi Coast as well as the Eolian Islands off the coast of Sicily.