A Triumvirate of Train Deals

Three super rail deals have landed on our radar this week:

  • Buy a BritRail pass between March 15 and April 15, and enjoy an extra day of rail travel at no extra cost; complete travel within six months of purchase. This promotion applies to BritRail and BritRail England passes, in both standard and first classes, with valid travel dates ranging from three days to a full month. The extra day is available on full-priced passes, and also on various reduced-price Party, Family, Senior, Youth, and Eurail pass-holder passes. If you're planning extended train travel in the U.K. this spring or summer, the promotion is a no-brainer. The offer also throws in a pay-as-you-go SIM card for your unlocked mobile phone at no extra cost, with rates that are good in the U.K. but only fair in other countries.
  • A promotional rail pass on Japan's JR East system is available for purchase through June 14. Travel period starts April 1 through June 20. This is priced at $165 for ordinary economy class, and it provides unlimited rail travel on any three days out of a 10-day period on the entire JR East network. This network covers all of Honshu to the east and north of Tokyo, including five high-speed Shinkansen routes and several scenic lines. Unfortunately, the pass is available only in ordinary class—and many Americans prefer the roomier Green class. The least expensive regular passes are the four-days-within-a-month flexible pass or the five-day consecutive pass, both at $220 in ordinary class or $308 in Green class.
  • Check with ACP Rail or BritRail for details on both of the promotions above.

  • Rail Europe is featuring a different Eurail pass promotion: extra days of travel added to a consecutive global pass. You'll receive two days on a 15-day pass, three days on a 21-day pass, and five days on a one-month pass. The global pass covers travel in more than 20 European countries. It's available only in first class for adults and children, and second second for youth. These days, few travelers need the full global coverage, and the prices are high enough—$797 for a 15-day adult pass—that the pass is a good value only if you take lots of long train trips or ride trains every day or so. Still, an extra day is valuable. Buy by March 20, and travel within six months.

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