How to Order Your European Rail Pass
Choose the Rail Pass that Best Fits Your Trip.
Study your options throughout this Rail Guide, and use our rail planning worksheet and "Cost & Time" map to see if a rail pass will save you money compared to buying train tickets.
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.
Prices are subject to change.
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.
How to Order Your Rail Pass
- Online: Choose the rail pass you want from the Buy Rail Passes menu. Enter your personal data and follow the ordering instructions. Do not use your browser's back button during this process. Add more rail passes to your order by following the "Continue Shopping" button (which takes you back to the ordering menu). Groups of four or more travelers can add separate saverpasses for each pair or group that will travel together. Please add all your rail passes into one order before checking out. The Shopping Cart icon at the top of any rail pass web page allows you to double-check your order before sending. Enter your departure date in the specific box provided. This helps us deliver your rail pass on time (but does not appear on the pass). You may enter more than one credit card on the payment page if desired.
- FREE delivery to U.S. addresses (50 states) applies only when you purchase rail passes online by Dec. 29, 2013.
- Fax or mail: If you prefer to fax or mail your rail pass order, use our printer-friendly order form. (Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader). These orders are shipped for $15 to USA or Canada only.
- Canadian residents: Sorry, our online ordering system cannot accept Canadian delivery addresses. Please fax or mail your order using the form above. Be sure to indicate your departure date.
- In the Seattle area: If you buy your rail pass in person at our Travel Center in Edmonds, WA, we'll issue it on the spot. Please do not submit orders in advance.
- We do not accept phone orders.
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.
Shipping and Delivery
- Five Day Delivery: You'll receive your rail pass via UPS within 5 business days, barring delays over which we have no control (such as Canadian customs and declined credit cards). For instance, orders received in our office on Monday are delivered to you by Friday. Weekends and holidays (below) do not count as business days.
- Sorry, but we cannot ship rail passes to APO/FPO addresses or beyond the U.S. (50 states) and Canada.
- We suggest (but don't require) delivery to business addresses where people are present to receive packages. Include the name of the business and suite number.
- Most rail passes are shipped via two-day UPS service so they'll arrive within five business days from receipt of your order. We'll automatically email you the UPS tracking number. Be alert for envelopes, packages or notes that UPS may leave at your door. For delivery to P. O. Boxes, rail passes are shipped via Express Mail, which must be picked up from the post office service window within a few days of arrival.
- If you do not receive your rail pass within the expected delivery period, then please track the package at www.ups.com and report any problems to us immediately by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. When necessary, we can request a UPS trace to locate delayed packages or can track Express Mail shipments. If you experience a problem with your rail pass delivery, you must report it to us within two weeks (ten business days) of your original order date. We cannot be responsible for lost deliveries if they are not traced promptly.
- Please complete your rail pass order before buying other travel gear. As soon as we receive your online rail pass order, we'll confirm the order by email. This e-mail includes your personal Travel Store discount code and a link to an online form to submit your three travel questions (keep it in a safe place). Travel Store merchandise orders are processed and shipped separately from rail passes.
- With your rail pass, you'll receive important instructions for using the pass and the railway map and timetable provided by the railways.
Shipping Holiday and Year-End Rail Orders
The last day to order rail passes at 2013 prices and with Rick Steves' special offers is December 29, 2013.
These holidays do not count toward our five-business-day delivery guarantee:
- January 1
- Memorial Day
- July 4
- Labor Day
- Thanksgiving Thursday and Friday
- December 24, 25, & 26
- December 31
Rail Pass Fine Print
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 Pass Insurance
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.
- $18 for a single-person, single-country rail pass
- $20 for a single-person, multi-country regional pass (two countries, or more options in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe)
- $23 for a single-person Eurail Global or Select pass
- $31 for any multi-person Saverpass, Twin pass, or Party pass
See more details about rail pass insurance.