How to Use a BritRail Pass

How to Use a BritRail Pass
The United Kingdom is a beautiful, interesting and diverse region that just begs for exploration---especially by overseas travelers. Unfortunately, this area consists of four countries and nearly 94,000 square miles, making it difficult for travelers to explore the United Kingdom to its fullest. That's why the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) of Britain and BritRail created the BritRail Pass, which allows ticket holders to travel between London, the rest of England, Scotland and Wales freely for a limited period of time.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Major credit card Luggage Passport
  • Major credit card
  • Luggage
  • Passport
Step 1
Decide whether you want to purchase the consecutive pass or the flexipass. BritRails' consecutive pass allows you to travel freely between three United Kingdom countries---England, Wales and Scotland---for a set number of consecutive days. Get this pass if you to spend a day or less in each destination; you can purchase it for up to a month of consecutive travel days. The flexipass allows you to tailor your route a bit more, as you can choose to travel on consecutive or nonconsecutive days when you arrive at a destination where you know you'll want more time. YOu can purchase it for up to 2 months of travel.
Step 2
Purchase your BritRail Pass prior to your overseas departure. You can do this by calling (866) BRITRAIL, visiting BritRail.com or speaking with a travel agent who specializes in European and UK travel.
Step 3
Validate your pass at the first train station you intend to use. Simply present your pass, along with your passport, at the ticket counter, where a railway official will note your first and last day of travel and stamp your pass. The official will enter the number on your pass into the system, and you will have to sign the back of your card.
Step 4
Carry your BritRail Pass, along with your passport, with you as you travel throughout the United Kingdom.YOu've had your pass validated, you can jump on and off the BritRail network of trains on your valid travel dates as you please.
Step 5
Show your BritRail Pass and passport when asked by the train's conductor or any other BritRail official. Unless asked, however, you can simply walk into the station and board the train.

Tips & Warnings

 
If you're uncomfortable traveling with your original passport once you've validated your BritRail Pass, simply bring a copy of your passport, along with another valid international travel ID, such as a driver's license or International Student Identity Card (ISIC card).
 
Because you cannot purchase the BritRail Pass in Britain, buy the pass well before your intended travel date. Just make sure you mark the specific dates you intend to use it for travel. You cannot use BritRail Passes on Eurostars located between Paris, London or Brussels. You also cannot use it on any other forms of public or private transportation, including the Underground, ferries and taxies. Unless you purchase add-on services, your BritRail Pass will not be valid in Ireland---both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
 
Because you cannot purchase the BritRail Pass in Britain, buy the pass well before your intended travel date. Just make sure you mark the specific dates you intend to use it for travel.
 
You cannot use BritRail Passes on Eurostars located between Paris, London or Brussels. You also cannot use it on any other forms of public or private transportation, including the Underground, ferries and taxies.
 
Unless you purchase add-on services, your BritRail Pass will not be valid in Ireland---both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Article Written By Nellie Day

Nellie Day is a freelance writer based out of Hermosa Beach, Calif. Her work can regularly be seen on newsstands, where her specialties include weddings, real estate, food and wine, pets, electronics, architecture and design, business and travel. Day earned a master's degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Southern California.

Keep Me Informed

Weekly newsletters, announcements and offers from Trails.com to your inbox.

Sign me up!

We HATE spam and promise to keep your email addresses safe and secure.