I've been following the always entertaining Jeremy David (of Choose My Adventure) as he gallivants across Europe on his first backpacking adventure. Like me, he hit the road soon after graduating college. The premise behind his trip and blog is that the readers direct him where to go. I've been struck by how much ground he's covered in his first 3 weeks – England to France to Spain to Portugal and now on to the Italy by way of Nice along the French Riviera.
Along the way, he's shot quite a few video clips, including a few of him on the various trains he's been riding. At the end of his most recent clip, he's on another night train from San Sebastian, Spain to Nice, France. Fully prepared for the 10-hour ride, he brought a cheap bottle of wine.
If you've ever ridden the rails in Europe, holding the all-important rail pass, then you're probably starting to recollect some of your own experiences by now. Rail passes equal a beautiful freedom in Europe – access to timely and efficient trains carrying a wildly diverse crowd of locals and travelers back and forth across the continent.
If you're headed to Europe for an extended period, or even just a few countries in less time, a rail pass can save you quite a bit of money. They need to be purchased in advance though. Buying them is has become easier than ever, as online suppliers grew quickly as the Internet expanded over the last 8 years.
I first learned about Rail Connection in 1999, when I signed up with them as an affiliate. Back then, there weren't a whole lot of sites about backpacking, and I reaped the rewards by collecting $30-$40 in referral payments per sale. I recently put up an ad for Rail Connection on this site (left sidebar). If you're in the market for a rail pass, I suggest you check out their low prices and extra offerings by clicking here.
For those reading with a blog or travel website, try joining as an affiliate and see how you do!
PS – If you look closely at the 1st day on my pass above, you'll see it sort of looks like 13….or 17. Hard to tell, isn't it? That was because I used the pass for two train trips instead of one. Soon after, I picked up an erasable pen to make it even easier to stretch the value of the pass. As you can tell, I only needed 8 of 10 travel days (or slots) for my 2-month trip! On only one occasion, during a night train, were me and my friends questioned. We played dumb after being caught, and simply added the current date in a new slot on the pass.