It’s always good to start with how your clients like to travel. We have great options for those who know exactly where they’re going and when, as well as those who prefer to travel with more spontaneity.
In many cases, a rail pass is the ideal companion. It allows clients to explore one or more countries and is perfect for anyone planning rail travel for more than three days. A consecutive pass is best for anyone expecting daily train travel since it provides consecutive days of unlimited rail travel during however many days you’ve purchased. A flexi pass offers greater flexibility for those wanting an open itinerary, and is valid for a specific number of days within a longer period of time (i.e., three days within one month). Additionally, most passes are available in first and second class — another way to ensure your clients’ expectations are met.
If clients are planning on visiting just two cities or traveling by train for less than three days, train tickets might be the right choice. Train tickets are valid for a single journey from one European destination to another. We also offer tickets for selected airport transfers to and from the cities of your destination. Many train tickets are available as e-tickets.
Get the answers to the following questions in a client meeting and you will have the knowledge you need to customize a rail vacation.
- What countries and cities do you want to visit on your trip?
- How long do you plan to travel in Europe?
- Do you want to travel every day, or do you plan to stay a few days in each city?
- Will you be traveling alone? If not, how many in your party will be traveling together?
- What are the ages of those in your party?
- What is your budget?
- What level of accommodations would you prefer?
- Do you generally travel with a lot of luggage?
- Do you have any particular hobbies or interests? (This enables you to offer suggestions for visits to European cities with attractions that match your client’s special interests, cities they might have missed without your expert advice!)
Although all Europe-bound clients are potential Rail Europe clients, there are certain key markets that are particularly suited for European rail travel.
Baby Boomers: Never before has the adult population had so many dual-income couples looking to travel during their peak earning years. For some, a trip to Europe is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. For others, it’s the return in comfort versus their youthful adventures with a backpack. Either way, the boomer traveler is easily indulged with the Rail Europe range of passes and activities – from the spontaneous adventure to the well-planned itinerary.
Youth: Travelers under the age of 28 qualify for the special savings offered by a series of Youth Passes. Sell a young adult an exciting rail vacation they’ll never forget, and you’ll create a rail client for life! Youth discounts are available for the following passes: Eurail passes, BritRail passes, German Rail Pass, and many more.
Families: European rail vacations are an excellent value for families traveling together and can be quite cost-effective. Family-friendly Saver Passes offer reduced fares for groups of two or more traveling together. In the UK and Switzerland, travel is free for kids under 16 traveling with a parent. And for many of the Eurail passes, two children ages 4 – 11 can now travel free per adult. Extended families traveling together can additionally benefit from group travel discounts.
Groups: Rail Europe is dedicated to encouraging group rail travel in Europe. Rail is ideal for this market because of its affordability (groups of 10 or more receive reduced rates on train tickets). It also promotes social interaction in compartments, dining and bar cars, and enables travel agents to customize trips to each groups’ unique needs. And once you have planned a successful group rail adventure, you’ve made a lifelong connection with a bunch of individual travelers who will look to you to plan future trips.
With Rail Europe, travel agents receive as much personalized service from our Group Travel Service as the travelers themselves do. A dedicated Group Consultant will work with you to secure space months in advance and provide helpful information to ensure that your clients’ rail journey is a success. Your Consultant can also help you organize train charters or exclusive carriages, meal service and luggage handling, city transportation cards and museum passes, and transfers and private excursions.
From student groups to corporate incentives, you’re covered. For more information, call our group rail specialists at 800-462-2577 or visit www.raileurope.com/groups
Seniors: Seniors are an extremely fast-growing travel demographic, often with more time to spend in Europe and curiosity that lends itself to new and different experiences. Rail vacations offer the ideal way for them to do it. There’s no rushing through airports or being stuck in a seat. In fact, luggage handling tends to be a primary concern that you can easily talk them through. There are luggage carts in many stations. However, some lifting will still be necessary (putting bags onto a cart or lifting them onto and off the train, for example), so you should recommend that clients take only as much luggage as they can manage themselves. Special discounted prices are available for seniors on BritRail passes and remember: Saver Passes are discounted over regular rail passes regardless of age and work well for senior citizens who do not usually travel solo.
Gay & Lesbian/LGBT Travelers: This hugely lucrative travel market is characterized by dual incomes and an interest in culture. Several European cities such as Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, London and Zurich are actively marketing to gay and lesbian travelers with travel offerings geared toward their particular travel needs. You, too, can secure a piece of this business by showing these clients the best Rail Europe has to offer — European trains and over 100 available activities. LGBT families can also benefit from specific rail passes that offer free rail travel to children under 16. See Swiss Travel Pass, Eurail passes, and the France Rail Pass for additional information.
Business Travelers: There is no more efficient way for corporate clients to travel from city to city in Europe than by rail. Trains bring corporate travelers directly into city-center, eliminating the time and hassle of airport transfers. They’re fast, quiet and comfortable; with first class fares almost always lower than the cost of a first class air ticket on the same route, plus a full range of onboard amenities make their trip far more efficient and enjoyable: a pleasant surprise to flight-weary business travelers. And since there is no takeoff or landing, there are no cell phone or laptop restrictions (aside from the quiet cars on some routes), allowing business people to travel in a relaxed atmosphere that’s very conducive to work or onboard meetings. The demands of the business traveler, WiFi and quiet cars, are becoming more readily available throughout Western Europe. In fact business travelers on Eurostar also have access to dedicated business coaches, refurbished trains, expedited breakfast services, WiFi access, lounge access, fast check-in and more.