Make sure you order the right rail pass for your trip. Changes, exchanges, or refunds for unused rail passes are not always possible, and are subject to a service charge of 15% or more. Validated or partly used rail passes are not refundable.
If you still have many questions that need answers before you can select a rail pass, check out our trip-consulting services. If you have just one or two quick questions, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone us at 425/771-8303 ext. 214.
2013 railpasses are offered for sale through Dec. 29, 2013, but rail pass prices are subject to change without notice throughout the year. Rail pass wholesalers can adjust prices as often as daily based on fluctuations in European exchange rates and other variables. Prices can vary between different agents, too. We have no control over price fluctuations but do update these Web pages as soon as we receive rate changes. The $U.S. price you pay will be locked in at the time of ticketing, much like an airline ticket, and this rate remains in computer records of your purchase. Your printed rail pass, however, may show the price in euros only. (The $U.S. rate for mail or fax orders will be determined on the day we process the order, which may not be the same date received.) Rick Steves' Europe Through the Back Door is an agent for Rail Europe and is not responsible for their policies nor those of the European railways.
Rail & Drive Passes: We do not sell Rail & Drive passes. To purchase Rail & Drive passes, call Rail Europe at 800/438-7245 or your local travel agent.
Sorry, Rick Steves' Europe does not sell any train reservations or point-to-point train tickets. With your railpass, you can make reservations through www.raileurope.com in their section "Reservations for Rail Passes" (or by phone at 800/438-7245) or at train stations and travel agencies in Europe.
The last day to order rail passes at 2013 prices is December 29, 2013.
These holidays do not count toward our five-business-day delivery guarantee:
Selectpass countries: Selectpasses are good for use only in the countries listed on your pass. You must choose your countries at the time you buy your rail pass. Be aware of your route! If you travel by train through a country not covered by your rail pass, and you have not purchased separate tickets to cover that portion of your trip, you will be fined!
Saverpasses and Twin passes: All members of the traveling group must be identified and paid for at the time of purchase, and must all be present when validating their Saverpass in Europe. A Saverpass is a single rail pass listing 2–5 travelers. (Groups of four or more may want to order separate rail passes in pairs or threes for more travel flexibility.) A Twin pass is limited to two travelers per pass, so a third group member pays full price.
Youth passes: Pass users must be under age 26 the day they validate their youth rail passes in Europe. There are no "saver" discounts for youth pass users traveling together.
Kids: For most rail passes, kids 4–11 pay half the adult price, under 4 travel free (rule varies per pass). Kids must be under age 12 the day they validate their rail passes in Europe.
Country of Residence: Most rail passes sold in the U.S. cannot be used by residents of Europe. You are not a resident of Europe if you live on an American military base or have only a temporary student visa for Europe. You must provide proof of at least 6 months residence outside Europe (and outside the Russian Federation or Turkey) when validating most rail passes. A passport or green card is the usual proof. These rail passes require only proof of residence outside the countries covered: Balkan, BritRail, European East, and Swiss passes.
Name on Passport: The gender, last name, and first name (or first initial) on your rail pass must match your passport. Middle names are not used. Rail passes are personal and nontransferable.
More Fine Print: This is not meant to be a complete explanation of all restrictions and requirements. Carefully read all the information that comes with your rail pass!
Rail passes are not replaceable if lost or stolen, so your best insurance is to treat your pass like cash, keeping it inside your moneybelt, tucked under your clothes. You may purchase insurance which reimburses you for the value of the unused part of your rail pass in case of loss or theft in Europe. Just check the box to add it (costs shown below) as you complete your rail pass order (we cannot sell it to you later). This non-refundable insurance does not get you a new rail pass in Europe! It does enable you to file a reimbursement claim with Rail Europe after your trip.
See more details about rail pass insurance.