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Extra transportation costs after railpass
Rach-j
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I’m just ironing out the details for my trip and feel like my transportation costs are getting out of control! I will be purchasing a railpass but am finding that I have to take special trains and flights on top of that!

I’m either flying or taking Eurostar train from London – Paris.

Either flying or high-speed train (which is apparently covered by rail pass?) from Paris to Barcelona.

Flying return Barcelona – Ibiza.

Paying “high season surcharge” on a ferry from Bari to Corfu

Flying Athens to London.

Is it normal to have this many extra costs?? Or is my planning just poor?

Thanks guys.

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Ryfela
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Because of how your trip is organized, looks like these costs are unavoidable. I hate to be a bummer but your train trip from Paris to Barcelona will require a reservation but the trip itself is covered.

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Rach-j
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Ah, I know. I might try and rearrange things, but I don’t really know how.

The only absolute set cities & dates are Pamplona on July 6 for a night or two for San Fermin festival, and Athens July 28 because we fly Athens-London on July 30. Other than that, I can move cities around if its easier. If anyone has any suggestions, I’d love to hear them!

I did forget about the reservation on the Paris-Barcelona route. I’ll see how much it is and if its pricey, I might as well just fly.

Thanks again.

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Ryfela
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According to eurail.com, this is the cost of a reservation for your Paris to Barcelona trip, looks a lot cheaper than a plane lol.
TGV (France, Spain)
Route: Paris – Figueres Vilafant (optional shuttletrain to Barcelona Sants, reservation compulsory, fee €3)
Reservation: compulsory
Fees – 1st and 2nd class: €3

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The supplement for overnight trains Paris-Barcelona are 50-75 euros depending on if you want a reclining seat or a berth in a four bed compartment.

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If you are not rich, I think transportation is the most complex part of a trip to plan. Sometimes flying looks cheap, but the amount of baggage they allow is tiny, and excess baggage is costly. Also, almost all discount airlines land at remote facilities, so you have additional costs to get where you want to go. Many discount airlines have few planes, so if something breaks, there is no substitute and you just have to wait until they get it fixed.

Buses are generally inexpensive and go everywhere. Seating is a little better than on planes, but they are relatively slow and finding the right bus routing can be a challenge. I would say if you want to get the flavor of a place and meet natives, buses are good because that is what a lot of locals use.

I like trains. They are fast, scenic, and comfortable. But calculating costs is a real challenge because you need a thorough itinerary to find out whether a pass will be advantageous (and they complicate it with a large variety of passes). On a lot of trains you can buy in advance and save quite a bit, but tickets like that cannot be changed or refunded. I prepaid for a round trip train from Berlin to Braunschweig and saved about 50%. But when we finished the museum and old town, we were tired. I asked if I could switch to an earlier train to return, and they wanted the 50% I had saved. On trains, second class is much more friendly than first class, and if you bring food for a picnic, you can save even more. I don’t like overnight trains; beds cost extra and you usually have to share a compartment. Sleeping is often interrupted as the train doesn’t really run all night. You may find it stops somewhere for a few hours, and often you have to make connections.

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Rach-j
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I’ve actually never even flown before so I have a question:

I am flying into London for 10 am.

But from there I am leaving same day to Paris via another flight or train.

If I get into London at 10 am, when would be a safe approximate time to book my flight or train to Paris? I want to account for delays, etc. Don’t want to miss my London-Paris departure.

Thanks everyone.

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Ryfela – that is great to know. I will definitely just reserve a seat for the Paris-Barcelona leg then. Thank you!

augustin25 – I have considered night trains too for Paris – Barcelona. A little pricey but I’ll do my homework. Thanks!

clevelandbrown – I hear what you’re saying about cheap airlines and pricey baggage. The person I am traveling with is afraid of flying so we would really rather rail than fly anyway. Thanks for taking the time to respond so thoroughly!

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If you plan to fly from London to Paris the amount of time you need will depend on what London airport you land at and want to leave from. Your cheapest flights to Paris will almost certainly not be from Heathrow or Gatwick, where you’re most likely to land. However, much of the savings you’d gain by flying from one of the other airports will likely be eaten up by getting there from where you land and paying the baggage fees. My wife and I landed around 7:00 a.m. at Heathrow, got our luggage and tubed into London, then had a few hours to wander before our 13:00 train to Paris.

Ryfela
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I’m guessing you don’t have a UK/European passport so I would estimate 1-1.5 hours from landing to be out of the airport. From there, it’s impossible to know when you should book your flight for Paris without knowing where you’re flying into and out of (London has 5 airports). For the train, you’ll be leaving from St. Pancras which is 45 min from Heathrow and Gatwick. You can order tickets at www.nationalrail.co…. and pick them up from a kiosk at the station (I’ve done this, it’s easy). If you find it to be a bit pricey, there might be bus services that will be cheaper but slower. From London to Paris by train it’s 2 hrs and 15 min and there are seats for only €38, which is cheaper and faster than any flight.

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Rach-j
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Good to know thank you.

I think I will take the Eurostar train from London-Paris. It seems to be around $50 and only 2-3 hours. The last Eurostar departure from London is 8 PM, so if I’m arriving on time in London at 10 then I should have heaps of time. Just double checking.

I might book the train around dinner then. That will hopefully leave me lots of time if my 10 am flight is delayed, and if its not I can wander around London like you said, and still not get to Paris too late.

Thanks a lot!!

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Ryfela – No, no UK passport. I’m landing in Gatwick. Sorry, should have mentioned that! I checked that link you gave and there are no spots left for June 27, so I’ll have to find another way to St Pancras from Gatwick!

You guys don’t know how helpful you are! Thank you sooo much.

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Ryfela
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lol sorry, should have mentioned that you’re checking nationalrail too early, check back in a couple of weeks and it will start selling seats for the 27th. It only sells tickets 3 months in advance Smile

St. Pancras is really easy to get to by the Tube, it’s King’s Cross station (where the famous platform 9 3/4 is from Harry Potter) so you can easily explore London for a bit and still have lots of time to get to your train.

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The London/Paris train is 39 Pounds, but only if purchased in advance and they do often sell out, so you want to purchase as soon as you have a confirmed date. The same ticket the day of the trip is something like 180 Pounds.

See http://www.seat61.co… for all the information you need on trains in Europe; if he doesn’t have it, he has a link to where you can find it. It is an afficiando’s site and thus not tied to any party line.

If I recall correctly, he has information on getting from the airport to the train station.

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Ryfela – Oh thats a relief! haha Thank you! I’ll check back there soon.

clevelandbrown – All booked! And yeah, I got it for 38 pounds.
I should have about 8 hours between my flight arrival and train departure if all goes well. Tons of time, I hope.

Thank you both! I’ve been hijacking the Eurotrip forum with all my questions as of late, so I am sure you will hear from me again haha

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