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4 replies
9 person, 13 night euro trip - everything planned...except transport!
abbynormal
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So, we decided to ditch our travel agent because she was NO help. She just wanted to put us on a cruise ship. Instead, we took up the task and booked 4 nights in Munich, 5 nights in Florence and 4 nights in Rome for 9 people. So, everything is done except transportation.

It would be a simple matter of buying point to point rail tickets to our destinations, except that our group wants to do different things while we are in our locations. So, here’s the deal:

4 Adults (30’s)
2 Youth (20’s)
2 Seniors (62, 64)
1 Child (2)

We have hotel rooms booked for every night already.

While in Munich:
Some of the group wants to visit Salzburg, Austria
We all want to explore Munich
We all want to visit Neuschwanstein Castle and the black forest
Maybe some other place on a whim? Afterall, we have 8 adults (4 couples)

While in Munich, or possibly on the way to Florence:
Day trip/travel layover in Switzerland, maybe Lucerne

While in Florence:
We all want flexibility to independently (in groups of 2-4) travel out to various surrounding places…Piza, Bologna, Venice, the Tuscany countryside

While in Rome:
We all want to travel around the city. We probably won’t go outside the city much.

So, I’ve already priced eurail passes that cover germany, italy, switzerland, austria. For everyone with 8 days of travel, it’s like $3,500. I’ve also priced car rental, something like $1,300-$1600 per car + gas if we keep it the entire trip.

Then, some people (seat 61) say that it’s more economical to buy rail tickets in italy on the day of right at the station, or at least directy from the trenitalia web site and not to include italy in a rail pass.

Bottom Line
I’ve got conflicting recommendations and am just so indecisive on the best option to take. I need to make a decision and quick. Would really appreciate some advice here! Again, I’ve read just about every euro travel blog out there, but with our unique plans (read: unplanned), I’m just still not sure the best option to take. If I don’t hear otherwise, I will probably just play it safe and get a 4 country 8 day pass so anyone can travel anywhere anytime…I hope.

P.S. We arrive in Munich July 9th AM, Depart Rome July 22 AM

oldlady
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Assuming that you will usually split up into the same pairs, I’d look at getting adult “saver” passes for everybody except the child. A saver pass is for 2 to 5 people traveling together. Everybody doesn’t always have to travel together, but anyone who doesn’t go “with the group” would not have a pass to go somewhere else. One person could stay in Munich while others went to Salzburg, but the person who stayed in Munich would not have a pass to use if they wanted to go somewhere. Get them in pairs (only 2 persons on each pass) as everyone on the same pass has to travel together and the price per person is the same for 2 people on the pass as for 4 people on the pass. You could save a little money with youth passes for the two youth, but then you have the 2nd class/1st class split and an adult saver pass isn’t too much more expensive than a youth pass.

abbynormal
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Do you know if the select pass will cover a sleeper train from Munich to Florence?

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The pass serves as your ticket for this train, but all overnight trains require reservations which aren’t covered by the pass. I’d plan reservation costs of 20 euros for each berth in a 6 berth couchette and 30 euros for each berth in a 4 berth T4. You MIGHT be able to get berths in a T-4 for the same price as a couchette (20 euros) with a 1st class railpass.

Specials as low as 43 euros for ticket and reservation are available on this route which means you might be better off buying advance purchase tickets on-line than using a day of your railpass. Check pricing at the German national rail company website and if you find good pricing for the day you want to travel, buy it right away, before the cheap fares sell out. http://reiseauskunft…

clubfred6
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Consult for the consensus. Make your plan. Ask who will be attending at your suggested events. Give reccomendations for where the dissenters can do their own research and bookings if they are too particular. Give them some ownership in their own trip. You will never be able to please everyone.