Order in Advance
When you order a Eurail ticket or pass, the standard shipping is free to the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, Israel, Taiwan and South Africa. But you have to order it four weeks in advance to get the standard shipping option. Otherwise you have to pay extra for the express shipping. There are two express shipping options. The regular express option takes approximately two weeks to arrive and cost $9 as of September 2009. The urgent delivery express option takes about a week and cost $35 as of September 2009. To stay on a budget, you should order your tickets or pass at least four weeks in advance to take advantage of the free shipping.
Buy a Youth Ticket
If you are under the age of 26, a youth pass is a great way to budget travel with Eurail. The youth pass offers a 35 percent discount for travelers that are age 25 or under on the first day of travel. This means that even if your 26th birthday occurs during your trip you can still use the youth pass.
Travel in a Group
If you are traveling in a group of two or more you can purchase a Saver Pass. The Saver Pass offers a 15 percent discount off the normal adult pass price. You do not have to travel together with the other members of the group on the train, however, there is only one pass that has all of the names printed on it. This means that you cannot split into more than one group to travel on the trains simultaneously.
Multi-Country or Region Pass
If you are traveling to multiple countries or to several places in a region, then the country and regional passes might be a good budget travel option. The Select Pass allows you to buy a rail travel pass for three to five countries that border one another. The Regional Pass allows you to choose one of 25 regions of Europe, such as France--Spain and France--Italy.
Some of the tickets and passes are available for purchase in second class and first class. When given the option, choose the second class ticket to save money. The savings range from $35 to $100 depending on the ticket you are interested in purchasing. For example, the Austria eight-day adult pass is $369 for first class and $259 for second class.
Each Eurail pass comes with additional benefits that can save you money on other travel-related expenses. Some ferries and buses offer free or reduced fares if you have a Eurail pass. There are also some hotels and museums that offer discounts for Eurail pass holders, such as the Meininger Hostels in Austria and Germany. Benefits vary according to the pass that you purchase.