Subject: Re: Questions from a first timer to Europe!
Hi Brenda,

We bought our train pass from a travel agent in Toronto where we live (TravelCUTS). They issue the passes and tickets for the Eurostar, etc. without the extra handling charges that Rail Europe charge.

Luggage: as long as your rolling bag is not too wide so that it can roll down the aisle of trains and as long as it is light enough to carry up stairs, you should be fine. Limit your luggage as much as you can. Count on hand washing. Test the clothes before you leave to see what they look like when washed and hung out to dry - no ironing! Consider bringing one of those flat rubber sink stoppers and a light clothes line. Look through the archives for other discussions about travelling light and carryon. Linda has some good info on

The trains are easy to get off and on but there are often stairs to cross the tracks to platforms. Look at Rick Steves' book Europe Through The Back Door to see information about train platforms, maps on platforms to see how trains are made up, colour striping to indicate class, reading timetables, etc. Not really hard but might shorten the learning curve!

BTW, England is worthwhile but really expensive compared with the Continent.

Ryanair: I have seen some negative comments but then, I have seen negative comments about lots of airlines! For fares, try:

We considered flying from Paris to London but when we looked at all the costs, we decided to go by train. There is a good discount on the Eurostar and it doesn't use up a day's travel. Buy the ticket when you get your pass if your date is set.

Frances Toronto, Canada