TRAVEL – TOM SMITH– There are some exciting changes happening for rail travel in Europe for 2013 and some things you might want to keep in mind for your trip.

First and foremost is the news that France is not participating in the Eurail Select Pass for 2013.  This means that if you are purchasing a rail pass for only 3 or 4 countries for a select number of days within any 2 month period France cannot be one of those countries.  This is a problem in my opinion because France sits in the middle of Europe.  Most people traveling in Europe have to at least transit France to get to their destination.  So, for 2013 you can still purchase the Eurail Select Pass but if your plans call for travel thru France you will either need to purchase a point to point ticket or a France Pass.  There are other combinations and schemes and you are best to consult with your Rail Europe Specialist (that’s me!).  France does participate in the “GLOBAL” Eurail pass still.  And for those of you who will activate your pass within 6 months of purchase you can still purchase your pass in December 2012 but you must start travel by June and still get the Eurail Select Pass.

Here are some other news items about rail travel in Europe.  Again let me know if I can help you decipher it all.

Save $50 when you book a Eurail Select Pass by December 7, 2012. The Eurail Select Pass lets you choose 3, 4 or 5 bordering countries to explore (from a selection of 23). Hurry and book as France will not be included as of 2013.

Germany is a magical place during the holidays. Look no further than the fact that the Christmas tree originated there for proof. That’s why Rail Europe is offering 20% off a 5-day German Rail Pass for travel between November 15 and December 31, 2012. It’s a great chance to explore the Christmas markets and this twinkling winter wonderland of lovely quaint villages, picturesque towns, and a culture of charm and warmth. Of course, you’ll also find the bigger cities equally welcoming. Especially with the promotional German Rail Pass that delivers discounts on select public transportation, sightseeing, museums and more. Just buy your rail pass by November 29, 2012 and start packing those stockings.

Swiss Pass Still the Best Value in Europe! The Swiss Pass is  a great deal offering extensive travel on the Swiss system including trains, buses and boats. And all that stress-free travel provides the opportunity to take advantage of the more than 400 museums the Swiss Pass will get you into for free. There’s no smarter way to see more of Switzerland than with a Swiss Pass from Rail Europe. It helps make every minute of your trip quality time. And in a country of legendary watchmakers, isn’t that the least you should expect?

Here’s what you get:

•This rail pass gives you unlimited travel on the Swiss Travel system.

•Choice of a 4-day Consecutive or 4-day Flexi passes.

•Includes a Swiss Museum Pass with free access to over 400 museums.

•Each rail pass is only valid for 2 travelers, additional travelers can purchase a regular Swiss Pass.

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