Information on the most visited continent in the world. Learn about Eurailing in the summer, travel through post-communist countries and what to do in Paris with a 12-hour layover.

Europe Warnings

seraphim

User avatar
Extra Pages in Passport
 
Posts: 2759
Joined: February 12th, 2001
Location: Antwerp, Belgium

Share on Orkut

This thread doesn't have any tags.

You can still check out the tag index though.

What are tags?
  • Added on: June 15th, 2006
Never had any problems with Ryanair either. Except for a flight to Venice being cancelled once because of loads of snow in Charleroi (it hardly ever snows in Belgium! just my luck) but that's hardly their fault and the staff was very friendly and helpful and got me on another flight 2 days later (I could've flown standby the next day but that sounded too risky). Never experienced any "hidden" charges either, their bagage rules etc. are quite obvious on their website, as are the exact locations of their airports.
Karlien
---
Don't click here.

mahkara

Thorn Tree Refugee
 
Posts: 1
Joined: June 8th, 2006

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: June 19th, 2006
I just wanted to warn all other travelers about my experiences with Eurorail to warn everyone else from being totally ripped off like I was...

My "inclusive", $510 pass cost this much in fees over the course of my three week trip to Europe:

Schedule of Fees:

Charles de Gaulle Airport to Lyon: 3 E
Lyon to Chambery: Free
Chambery to Milano: 10 E
Milano to Anacona: Free
Anacona to Patras: 16 E
Patras to Corinth: 5 E
Athena to Patras: 6 E
Patra to Bari: 16 E
Bari to Roma: 23 E*
Additional 8 E fee after being told by station attendant that I could “just hop on a train”. After boarding train, told that needed to have reserved a pass despite what station attendant said, and was charged an additional 8 E above the 15 E of the ticket.
Roma to Naples: 5 E
Naples to Roma: 5 E
Roma to Firenze: 15 E
Firenze to Paris: 25 E
Paris to Rennes: 3 E
Rennes to Paris: 3 E

135 Euros total (about $175)

Beyond that, the rail tickets were not all the expensive purchased separately (between 5 and 70 Euros), and plane tickets are really cheap as well. I cannot imagine a case in which a Eurorail pass would be a good idea.

I was also displeased with my experience on the trails. I found the trains to be filthy (a cab I was in stank, many of the bathrooms were smeared in fecal material), the trains were slow (the supposed "high speed" trains that I was billed supplements for traveled at about 25 mph), and when I complained about this to Eurorail headquarters, I did not even receive a response.

This doesn't mean that all national train lines stink. When, prior to my trip to Japan, I purchased a J-Rail pass, I was pleasantly surprised. For the cost of about $200 U.S., I had free travel in immaculate trains (both high speed and otherwise) throughout Japan for the length of my stay. The pass was all inclusive, covering everything from the local commuter rails to the shinkansen, and to book a ticket, all that I would have to do was talk to the front office, get a seat, and hop on board a train. Pity that Eurorail doesn't work that way.

Oh yeah, and for customer service? Still haven't replied to the complaint I sent them (it's been a month!).

JessieS

User avatar
Community Manager
 
Posts: 4119
Joined: February 23rd, 2005
Location: Portland, Oregon

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: June 19th, 2006
Just so it's clear, a railpass acts as your ticket on trains, but it's often required to purchase a reservation as well. The reservations are inexpensive, and sometimes avoidable if you can spare the time to take slower trains - the high-speed trains almost all have reservation requirements. The "fees" you mention here are right in the range of reservation costs, so I'm assuming that's what they were.

Railpasses are often a great deal, and sometimes they're not. If you've got questions before you go, give BootsnAll's Eurail Expert Dave a call (866-549-7614) and he'll help you figure out if a pass is right for you, and if so, what kind would work best.
The Official BootsnAll Italy Travel Guide
Are you on Twitter? Follow me!

seraphim

User avatar
Extra Pages in Passport
 
Posts: 2759
Joined: February 12th, 2001
Location: Antwerp, Belgium

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: June 19th, 2006
I agree there's often cheaper ways of travelling around Europe than with a rail pass - budget flights, busses, cheap local trains or local rail passes, hitch-hiking. But if you do have a rail pass (and it can be worth it if you want to travel often and far in expensive countries), you usually needn't take the trains that require reservations or supplements. It all comes down to planning - know what trains you need to pay a supplement/reservation for, know what alternative trains you can take. For example, if you go to http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de , you can select no ICE (which you always need to pay a supplement for with an interrail pass, don't know about eurail) or also without IC/EC (which you need to pay a supplement for with an interrail pass in some countries), and they will also tell you which trains require reservations.
Karlien
---
Don't click here.

aislinnw

User avatar
Thorn Tree Refugee
 
Posts: 2
Joined: June 26th, 2006

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: June 27th, 2006
Be very careful when travelling by train between Venice and Nice, especially if you're travelling at night. I had a bag stolen, and afterwards learned that that stretch is infamously bad for robberies.

Tami

Lost in Place
 
Posts: 56
Joined: June 30th, 2005

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: June 30th, 2006
I totally agree with the Eurail pass poster, and try warning everyone against it. It's sold to Americans who don't really get the idea of train ticket vs. train reservation, it's LOADS more expensive then buying point-to-point tickets, the customer service is terrible, and there's no benefit whatsoever. They say it's easier because you don't have to deal with buying tickets once in big, bad, scary Europe - but you still need to make reservations (almost all the time) - which requires waiting in the same types of lines and having the same type of interactions that Eurail will claim you'll avoid.

If you buy a pass ahead of time, you'll miss out on any deals that pop up while you're in Europe, which happens all the time. The Paris train service has HUGE sales every week - I think right now you can get a ticket to Amsterdam for 10 Euro. you can find flights that cost way less and take a fraction of the time than a 9-hour ferry ride which will only grant you a seat on the deck (and a 12 Euro reservation fee). for people backpacking through Europe, staying at hostels or with friends, there's just no advantage to using Eurail whatsoever. The reservation fees really add up after a while, and I hate how Eurail says "oh they're so small!" Like the original poster stated, $175 US dollars is not a SMALL amount.

At least, that's my opinion. Smile

--Tami

DrVanNostren

Thorn Tree Refugee
 
Posts: 12
Joined: June 20th, 2006

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: June 30th, 2006
Quick tips of things i ran into...

1. Don't drink like your at home. You're not, drinking heavily is just fine, but there's no need to take your camera out with you on a night you know you're hardly going to be able to walk at the end of.

2. Don't take out much money, i learned this the hard way, i needed to buy a towel, and this italian dude on the beach was selling them, well it should've cost me 20E i think, he ended up basically taking 30E cuz i couldn't understand him.

3. Don't be afraid to walk around in scrubby places if you've got a group, i went on our trip with 4 of my buddies so the 5 of us never really felt in much danger. Odd stares and things in places where people aren't used to tourists is off-putting and unsettling, but not really dangerous.

4. Be firm. 3 of us were walking across a small bridge over a canal in amsterdam and this crackheadish guy who pulled on 1 of my buddies arms who was 2 steps behind me. He asked for money, naturally we politely said we had none. He then said "look either you give it to me, or i'll take it." Well by this time, my and my other friend both saw what was going on, so we approached him, he didn't have any obvious weapon so we just stayed firm saying something to the effect of "get lost or you'll be swimming in that canal full of piss in about 2 seconds." Funny end to the story was we got away from him and crossed the bridge, and 2 guys sitting on the bench said "you guys okay?", "sure" we said "does that happen a lot?", "all the time naturally with all the tourists, especially at night here in the red light district, but we would've helped out if we thought you were in trouble", "good to know thanks guys" we said, they then replied "no problem, uhh by the way, want to buy some coke?"
Always go somewhere you know nothing about, cuz even if it sucks, you'll have a story to tell.

brianthetraveler

Thorn Tree Refugee
 
Posts: 6
Joined: February 25th, 2006

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: October 10th, 2006
bad hostel in amsterdam

don't stay at the Amigo Hostel, we found it to be really sketchy. one of my friends stayed in for the night and someone who works at the hostel opened our room and came into it (said he was fixing the tv, but there was nothing wrong with it) just basically was suprised to see someone in our room while he was in it.

Also watch out for Vienna, it may not seem bad but i got my wallet stolen there just as i was boarding the metro.

Finsbury13

Thorn Tree Refugee
 
Posts: 1
Joined: October 14th, 2006

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: October 19th, 2006
Bad hotel in London

I got scabies at the Marble Arch Inn, so don't go there unless you want this infernally itchy rash. Also, there was mold on one of the walls so the smell was pretty interesting.

Asheai

User avatar
Holds PhD in Packing
 
Posts: 233
Joined: December 20th, 2004
Location: Singapore

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: October 24th, 2006
quote:
Originally posted by Moen:
Never, ever, go to the Youth hostel in Thessaloniki (although i think it was the only hostel i could find in this town). The hostel itself is on the third floor, while the showers are in the basment. basment means, dark and dirty. The beds aren't clean either. Only the location is good.


Agreed... this hostel is unfortunately the ONLY hostel in Thessaloniki with no other budget options available... but it is the crappiest place I've been in.. the beds are seperated by a shower curtain, the showers themselves are 3 stories down in a dank scary dirty basement... plus the prices are waaay too high in comparison, around 15 euros a night... which is bad in greece for any place!

emdoolan

Thorn Tree Refugee
 
Posts: 1
Joined: November 29th, 2006

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: November 29th, 2006
OWNER OF HOTEL BACARRAT IS A RAPIST!!

the HOTEL BACCARAT in NICE, FR is attached to the ANTARES hotel and is owned by the same family. the HOTEL BACCARAT is the hostel part of these joined hotels. i recently stayed at the hotel baccarrat because it offered cheap and comfortable rooms, little did i know what i was getting myself into. the owner of the HOTEL BACCARAT, DAN insisted on having a drink with me. i wanted to be polite so i agreed, but being a young woman traveling on her own, i was cautious and insisted on making my drink myself. i poured quite a lot of orange juice and very little rum into a glass and didnt even drink half of it. i felt far drunker than i should have when i stood up to go to my room. it turns out that DAN has slipped a DATE-RAPE DRUG of some kind into the orange juice!! luckily, i was able to recognise the state i was in and became distressed, excused myself for feeling sick (which wasnt at all a lie), took a shower in the hopes that it would sober me a bit, then tried to sleep it off. apparently, i was not of sound mind enough to get the door bolted compleatly, and DAN let himself into my room after a few hours and got into my bed as i was sleeping! I managed to get him out without any harm done to myself and get the door throughly locked. i didnt awake until late in the day and felt sick and dazed all day. i waited until he wasnt there, and checked out early. it just wasnt safe to stay.

PLEASE, if you are a woman traveling alone in nice, france, DO NOT stay at HOTEL BACCARAT, however luring the low price of rooms are! in fact, no one should book there at all. dont give this scum your money. hes tried it once, im sure hes done it before and this certainly wont be the last time.

disaster

User avatar
Holds PhD in Packing
 
Posts: 243
Joined: May 29th, 2006
Location: London

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: November 30th, 2006
quote:
OWNER OF HOTEL BACARRAT IS A RAPIST!!


This is a very serious accusation. I do believe you but don't you think that posting the story on this forum is not enough? Did you go and report it to the police? Like you're saying he will probably try it again so this should be reported.
www.myspace.com/aneta2006

Eppyboy

Sells Travel by the Gram
 
Posts: 2083
Joined: June 20th, 2005
Location: New York

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: November 30th, 2006
stay at hotel busby
Josh and Nicole aren't going anywhere for a while, but you can still read about their past trips herehttp://blogs.bootsnall.com/eppyboy

davidcatherall

Thorn Tree Refugee
 
Posts: 1
Joined: December 12th, 2006

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: December 13th, 2006
quote:
Originally posted by Leif, God of Thunder:
Avoid RyanAir all together. There are a dozen hidden charges and surprise fees (this is how they recoup for selling seats for 99P). The staff are poorly trained and sour from being yelled at every day by irate travelers who got stung by the hidden fees. Their network is weak. In some cities they fly out of airports that are so out of the way and cost one so much to reach that one could have paid for a First Class regular plane ticket in the end for the same price, particularly after the hidden fees get factored in.

EasyJet is infinitely better. More destinations, less hassle, less sneaky charges, more chipper staff.


I would agree with the comments above about Ryan air. We have just returned from Krakow in Poland. Flight was originally advertised at £2.49 pp each way. With the taxes and add ons we paid £20.00 pp each way - so beware.

One other rather nasty little trick Ryan air have is that they know that you cannot go into the airport check in carrying water (stupid new security regs) so they take any water (or Vodka! - off you) then when you get into the final departure lounge you find that bottles of water are twice the cost as the same bottle outside the ariport - wait for it!! On the plane good 'ole Ryan air then charge you almost double that price!

What's that I hear you say? "Captive market?" Dead right.

caminowebmaster

Thorn Tree Refugee
 
Posts: 4
Joined: December 2nd, 2006

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: December 13th, 2006
I take a bit of a different view on Ryan air, if you know what you are getting fine. They are cheap and from my experience always run on time.
Why do I keep walking when driving is faster?
http://www.caminodesantiago.me.uk
http://www.walkinginscotland.org
http://www.walkinginireland.org


PreviousNext

Return to Europe Travel

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

PLEASE NOTE: Your original BootsnAll Boards Member login still works by logging in below on the Boards.
We have a new BootsnAll Account that you will start seeing around the BootsnAll Travel Network. This new login is not yet linked to your current Boards Account. In the meantime, you will need to sign up (for a BootsnAll Account) to use Account features like Indie ™ , Traveler Profiles etc.

Quick Links

Community Activity

Statistics for the last 7 days

New posts:
0
Newest Member:
vodeus


Indie - Multi Country Flight Finder
Round the World Travelers


Join BootsnAll on Facebook

1 (503) 528-1005

© 2017 BootsnAll Travel Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.